THE NATIONAL Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will transfer $500 million over the next five years from continuing "low-priority" aviation research and development efforts to projects designed to cut aviation accidents.

NASA's shift in priorities follows the recommendations of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, which was chaired by Vice-President Al Gore. The group set as a priority reduction of aircraft accident rates fivefold within a decade.

Daniel Goldin, NASA's administrator, says the initiative will include research to reduce human-error-caused accidents. Goldin says that the safety-related R&D will be undertaken without requesting additional funds. "It is not time to ask for more money when the government is under tremendous stress. We need to prioritise what we are doing," he says.

Source: Flight International