What is the Future of Aerospace: From the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry

What is the Future of Aerospace? From the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry By Fred Workley Fred Workley The Commission on the Future of the Aerospace Industry has issued a final report. The report outlines...

In addition, the Commission concludes that emphasis must be placed on the concepts of "lifelong learning" and "individualized instruction" as key elements of education reform.

To accomplish these goals the Administration and Congress must:

  • Create an interagency task force with a national strategy to attract public attention to the importance and opportunities within the aerospace industry;
  • Establish lifelong learning and individualized instruction as key elements of educational reform; and
  • Make long-term investments in education and training with major emphasis in math and science.

9. Research
The United States must maintain its preeminence in aerospace research and innovation to be the global aerospace leader. This can only be achieved through proactive government policies and sustained public investments in long-term research and RDT&E infrastructure.

The U.S. aerospace sector has been living off the research investments made primarily for defense during the Cold War. The challenges posed by our rapidly changing world demand that we, like the Wright Brothers 100 years ago, look at the challenges as opportunities for aerospace and turn them into reality.

The Administration and Congress should adopt the following aerospace technology demonstration goals for 2010 as a national priority. These goals could revolutionize aerospace in the next half century much like the development of the jet, radar, space launch, and satellites did over the last half-century.

Air transportation

  • Demonstrate an automated and integrated air transportation capability that would triple capacity by 2025;
  • Reduce aviation noise and emissions by 90 percent;
  • Reduce aviation fatal accident rate by 90 percent; and
  • Reduce transit time between any two points on earth by 50 percent.


  • Reduce cost and time to access space by 50 percent;
  • Reduce transit time between two points in space by 50 percent; and
  • Show the capability to continuously monitor and survey the earth, its atmosphere, and space for a wide range of military, intelligence, civil, and commercial applications.

Time to market and product cycle time

  • Reduce the transition time from technology demonstration to operational capability from years and decades to weeks and months.

Promise for the future
The aerospace industry reflects the spirit of America. It has been, and continues to be, a sector of pioneers drawn to the challenge of new frontiers. To maintain this nation's heritage and global leadership, we must remain dedicated to a strong and prosperous aerospace industry and kindle a passion within our youth that beckons them to reach for the stars.

Fred Workley is the president of Workley Aircraft and Maintenance Inc. in Alexandria, VA, Benton City, WA, and Indianapolis, IN. He holds an A&P certificate with an Inspection Authorization, general radio telephone license, a technician plus license, ATP, FE, CFI-I, and advance and instrument ground instructor licenses.

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