Provided by Del. Richard Anderson’s Office
At the Virginia state capitol on Sept. 18, Speaker-Designate Kirk Cox (R – 66) and Delegate Rich Anderson (R – 51) unveiled and discussed the findings and recommendations of a year-long study of Virginia’s aviation and space industries.
The study was commissioned in 2016 by the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS), which Delegate Anderson chairs, to examine ways to expand Virginia’s role in the aviation and space industries. The study found multiple areas where Virginia can work to compete with other states more strongly for the economic impact that comes with aviation and space operations.
The Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (VASEM) partnered with JCOTS on the study. The effort was chaired by A. Thomas Young, former director of NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center, president and COO of Martin Marietta, and mission director of NASA’s Viking missions to Mars.
The study made six key recommendations for state leaders:
- Pursue initiatives to grow Virginia’s commercial space enterprise and operation of unmanned aerial systems as key economic development initiatives
- Create a high-level aerospace economic development position in Virginia state government
- Attract new aerospace investments to Virginia
- Market current aerospace assets in Virginia’s government, commercial, and academic sectors
- Coordinate elements in Virginia’s aviation and space sectors to grow and diversify the economy
- Search for new opportunities in the financially-constrained federal sector for investment in the Commonwealth
The study will now serve as a roadmap for economic development programs in Virginia’s aviation and space industries. As chair of JCOTS and the House Science and Technology Committee, Delegate Anderson plans to collaborate with the Virginia’s aviation and space communities, Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen R. Jackson, and Virginia’s incoming gubernatorial administration on legislative initiatives for the 2018 and 2019 sessions of the General Assembly.
On the findings of the study, Delegate Anderson stated that “we are pleased to have worked over the last year in partnership with VASEM, Virginia’s aviation and space industries, and our General Assembly partners. The findings and recommendations in the report are important to all Virginians as a vital part of growing our state economy.”
Anderson further stated that “I look forward to leading the House Science and Technology Committee and JCOTS on a number of legislative fronts to translate these proposals into real-world programs that create jobs and grow our economy.”
Del. Rich Anderson is a retired 30-year Air Force colonel and represents the 51st House District (Prince William County) in the General Assembly. He chairs the House Committee on Science and Technology, the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, and the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus. He also sits as a member of three House committees: Appropriations, General Laws, and Transportation.