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March 24, 2021

Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Hearing on R&D Pathways to Sustainable Aviation

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics is holding a hearing titled, “Examining R&D Pathways to Sustainable Aviation.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.

Good morning. I would like to begin by welcoming Chairman Beyer as the new Chairman of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee for the 117th Congress. I also want to welcome back Ranking Member Babin and all the Subcommittee Members. I am excited about the future of space and aeronautics and I look forward to working with you.

The climate crisis is affecting nearly every aspect of our existence—weather, shelter, commerce, natural resources, energy, environment, and so much more.

Research is imperative to understanding and mitigating climate change impacts, and addressing climate change is an important priority for our Committee.

We held our first Full Committee climate hearing last week. And I’m pleased, Chairman Beyer, that today’s hearing will examine aviation’s role in reducing carbon emissions.

Aviation is one of the few industries that has provided a positive trade balance. Pre-pandemic, U.S. civil aviation accounts for about 5 percent of gross domestic product, including both direct and catalytic sectors, $1.8 trillion in economic activity, and nearly 11 million jobs, including 285,000 jobs in my own state of Texas.

Even closer to home, Dallas is a hub for domestic and international air travel, and I believe that developing innovations to enable sustainable aviation is the industry’s future.

Aviation’s infrastructure is immense and changes throughout the system take time, in part, due to the need to meet high safety requirements for passenger air travel.

That’s why research and development is essential for advancing sustainable aviation technologies.

However, the improvements that will lead to cleaner and more efficient aviation can’t happen on their own. The people and workforce that bring the ideas from the labs and into the engines and aircraft are instrumental. To that end, our investments in R&D are also investments in sustaining our human capital leadership in aviation going forward.

I thank our witnesses for being here and I look forward to your testimony.

Thank you, and I yield back.