NASA Budget Cuts Aeronautics


For decades, industry has lamented NASA’s lack of emphasis on its first “A,” aeronautics. Now, as the agency’s fiscal year 2006 budget request is transmitted to Congress for action, comes evidence that industry was right all along. While space exploration got a boost in funding from $2.684 billion last year to $3.165 billion, the agency’s aeronautics budget has been placed on a descent for the next five fiscal years. NASA is requesting “only” $852.3 million for its aeronautics function in the next fiscal year, which is down from the $906.2 million it was allocated in FY 2005. Of that total, some $193 million is earmarked for aviation safety and security with $200 million slated to be used for ATC research. By FY 2010, the agency’s budget for aeronautics research is slated to decline to $717.6 million.