...As MIT Joins FAA In Search For Solutions
Taking one step toward the future, the FAA announced last week it has established (and will help finance) a "Center of Excellence" program based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to research ways to address noise and emissions issues. The FAA said those problems "may represent the single greatest challenge to the continued growth and prosperity of civil aerospace." The center will conduct basic research and engineering development and will develop prototype solutions, focusing first on noise. Other partners in the program include Penn State, Purdue, Stanford, and several other universities, plus a host of industry players, including Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter, and Sikorsky. "Bringing the formidable resources of academia and industry together, the center is a force to make significant contributions in noise and emissions research," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said in a news release. The center's research and development efforts will concentrate on a broad spectrum of noise and emissions mitigation issues, including: socio-economic effects, noise-abatement flight procedures, compatible land-use management, airport operational controls, and atmospheric and health effects. The FAA will share in the cost of the center, contributing $900,000 to $1.75 million in the first year, with a minimum of $800,000 per year for the next two years. The center is expected to begin operation this month. The FAA has established five other Centers of Excellence, focusing on computational modeling of aircraft structures, airport pavement technology, operations research, airworthiness assurance and general aviation.