The US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill from Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to increase the funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) by $1 million.
Building on efforts led by Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), this amendment brings appropriations for this office in line with the President’s Budget Request and fully funds FAA/AST. The Kilmer amendment to the T-HUD bill transferred $1 million to FAA/AST from the FAA’s Office of Finance and Management to bring FAA/AST funding to $19.8 million. In March, Representative Bridenstine led a letter with 17 other members to the T-HUD subcommittee requesting this amount, and the original version of the T-HUD bill granted part of this request.
“We want to make sure America remains a global space leader,” said Congressman Kilmer. “Today we have an opportunity to make sure regulatory bottlenecks don’t stifle the growth of the U.S. space industry. Fully investing in these resources will allow entrepreneurs and companies to innovate and grow their businesses and in the process strengthen our tech economy and the quality jobs it creates.
Congressman Bridenstine added, “FAA/AST oversees the commercial space industry, an industry critically important to modern life in America. The agency must be properly resourced to allow the private sector to innovate and grow the space economy which affects every aspect of our lives. Fostering an environment where commercial space activity can flourish is a high priority. Fully funding the Office of Commercial Space Transportation is integral to this. Representative Kilmer’s leadership has been invaluable, and it has been an honor to work alongside him as a fellow supporter of the commercial space industry.”