President Obama’s 2015 budget request, released Tuesday, presents challenges to a number of domestic aviation programs, not least the rollout of NextGen, according to the president of the Aerospace Industries Association.
In a statement, Marion Blakey said the proposed $65-millon cut to the NextGen program would present “new obstacles to meeting program milestones in the next several years.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has presented a timeline for implementation of the program — which streamlines and updates the country’s air traffic control system, among other things — and with the significant cut to its budget, Blakey said the FAA won’t be able to meet its 2018 mid-term objectives for NextGen.
“While AIA and our member companies recognize the austere budget environment requires continued efforts across government to trim spending, our industry remains concerned at the trend toward year over year reductions to the FAA’s modernization budget,” she stated. “The economic benefits of the NextGen program far outweigh the nominal budget gains that would be realized if the proposed cuts are enacted.”
He added that the cut and a continued shrinking budget will risk “America’s future competitiveness and numerous other benefits” that come from the program. He noted that the 2015 NextGen budget is 20-percent lower than its budget from 2013.
“The extremely tight budget also poses significant challenges for manufacturers responding to a growing aviation marketplace,” she said. “For example, while the requirements for FAA certification increase to accommodate global aviation growth and the integration of unmanned systems into our national airspace, the agency's budget represents no growth compared to the current year.“