NJ Aviation Research Center could lose jobs due to proposed changes, lawmakers say

The changes proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration to the structure of its aeronautical research center in the Township of Egg Harbor could threaten jobs and related economic development programs, according to New Jersey lawmakers.

American senses Cory Booker and Robert Menendez told FAA Administrator Steve Dickson in a letter that the restructuring of the William J. Hughes Technical Center could “jeopardize the integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of the former. the country’s aeronautical research center “, which employs 4,000 people. and helps stimulate the economic development of the region.

And Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd Dist., A member of the House transport committee, told colleagues the proposal “would bring the facility to its knees.”

“The tech center is producing benchmark results through a centralized model that would be fractured as per the FAA’s proposal,” he said.

What has raised the dander of lawmakers is a proposal to hand over the centre’s research, development, testing and evaluation operations to different officials at FAA headquarters in Washington, rather than just one. administrator in the Township of Egg Harbor who then reports to agency headquarters.

Senators said the restructuring would threaten the centre’s autonomy and jeopardize its ability to work with the private sector and the region’s colleges in economic development efforts.

“Any change that cuts jobs or diminishes the importance of the Tech Center could undermine efforts to revitalize this struggling economy,” the senators wrote.

The FAA said in a statement it was required to make the changes under a 2018 law, which required adding an assistant administrator for research and development and a chief technology officer. The agency said its proposal to Congress “will NOT result in job losses for employees or require geographic relocations.”

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Jonathan D. Salant can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on @JDSalant.

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