The Need for Speed

Everything is in place for the development of a supersonic business jet-except U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations.

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In November 2002 the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry issued a report stating, "Superior mobility afforded by air transportation is a huge national asset and competitive advantage for the United States. Because of the tremendous benefits derived from a highly mobile citizenry and rapid cargo transport, the United States must make consistent and significant improvements to our air transportation system a national priority."

Because they have already done some preliminary work and because they serve a market that needs and can afford supersonic aircraft, business jet makers are uniquely positioned to create one such improvement: the next generation of high-speed transport. No company can make that move, though, under the current FAA regulations.

In order to ensure that new vehicle technologies are introduced into service efficiently and safely, the FAA's regulations must keep pace with the technologies that are both here and near. They must enable—not restrict—improved safety and mobility.

When I look at the Wright brothers' 1903 Flyer, I see a beginning, not an end. And when I look at the Concordes that are now being placed in museums, I'd like to think of them in the same way.

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