President Trump on Oct. 5 signed into law H.R. 302, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, which includes provisions of H.R. 3198, the FAA Leadership in Groundbreaking High-Tech Research and Development Act (FLIGHT R&D), introduced by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) in July 2017.
The FLIGHT R&D Act is expansive legislation that will establish several research and development programs to improve the safety, security, and efficiency of American commercial and industrial air travel.
Specifically, it establishes programs to improve cybersecurity for civil aircraft and air traffic control systems, improve traffic surveillance for air traffic over oceans and other remote regions, advanced single-pilot cargo aircraft with remote or computer piloting capabilities, and study the effects of the electromagnetic spectrum on the civil aviation domain.
Additionally, the bill directs the FAA to develop to “roadmap” to predict the effects and responses to the wider use of civil unmanned aircraft systems, most commonly known as “drones.”
“It is vital that America remains at the forefront of civil aviation technology and development,” Knight said. “The FLIGHT R&D Act will implement important programs to ensure Americans and our cargo fly safely, securely, and conveniently. This will not only improve the quality of life for all air travelers, but (also) give the American aeronautics industry a leg up over international competition. I am very thankful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this important legislation on its way to being signed into law.”
Knight is a member of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee. He also serves as a member of the House Aerospace Caucus and is the Founding Chairman of the House NASA Caucus.