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Highlights

The U.S. aerospace industry's wide-ranging activities--including commercial aviation, national security, and space exploration--make it critical to the economic health and strategic strength of our nation. However, the industry faces challenges, such as a national air traffic management system that, in its present form, cannot handle expected increases in demand; an aging aerospace workforce; and an increasingly competitive global market. In response to these and other challenges, Congress established the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry in 2001 to recommend potential actions by the federal government and others to support a robust aerospace industry in the 21st century. In 2002, the Commission made recommendations to address these challenges. This report discusses (1) the extent to which federal agencies have addressed selected Commission recommendations and (2) the challenges that remain in addressing the recommendations. Based on the opinions of former Commissioners and GAO research, GAO selected recommendations dealing with the national airspace system, space policy, government-wide management structure, international issues, the aerospace workforce, and research and development. This report is based on reviews of agency documents, literature, and interviews with aerospace experts and officials from relevant federal agencies.

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