RESTON, Va., (AIAA PR) — The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) applauds congressional passage of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016.” The $1.15 trillion spending bill provides funding for key programs at NASA, the Department of Defense, and the FAA.
The bill increases NASA funding to $19.3 billion, more than $1.3 billion dollars over FY15 funding. Among the allocations are $1.24 billion for the Commercial Crew program, which will allow the transport of astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station. The bill also funds the agency’s planetary sciences program at $1.63 billion and the Space Launch System at $2 billion. These increased levels will help us maintain our long-standing global leadership in space exploration and scientific discovery.
The omnibus package also allocates nearly $573 billion to the Department of Defense, providing stability for our aerospace and defense industrial base that is critical to the U.S. economy, national security, infrastructure, and future workforce.
The FAA receives a total of $16.3 billion dollars, including $2.9 billion for programs related to the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System (NextGen), $225 million more than was allocated to the program in FY15. These generous appropriations will help modernize our air traffic management system to accommodate the growing U.S. traveling public.
“AIAA commends Congress for its work on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. The allocated funds for the Department of Defense, the FAA, and NASA are welcome, and a sign of good things to come,” said AIAA President Jim Albaugh. “The increased funding not only enables robust programs across the three agencies, but also signals to the aerospace and defense community a continued commitment to innovative design and development that has made this sector an important pillar of our nation’s economic and national security.”
AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.