U.S. Senators James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., introduced a bill on Thursday that would establish a National Center for the Advancement of Aviation (NCAA). The NCAA is intended to focus on supporting the development and distribution of aviation and aerospace science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based curriculums, workforce development, economic and safety data and research sharing, and providing a forum for cross-disciplinary collaboration. It would be operated as a private entity and funded by a percentage of the interest from investment credited to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
“In the more than 100 years since Wilbur and Orville Wright conducted their historic flights at Kitty Hawk, our nation has seen aviation in the United States grow, powered by the individual passions of pilots, aviators and countless others,” said Sen. Inhofe. “To continue this legacy, our bipartisan legislation would create an independent, stakeholder-led national center where all aviation and aviation-related stakeholders can work in concert to address the demands and challenges associated with a safe and vibrant national aviation system.”
Aviation organizations including the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) signed a letter (PDF) in support of the proposal, which was introduced as S. 3360 (PDF).