In an effort to enhance aircraft safety, NASA and the National Research Council of Canada yesterday signed a protocol at the Aerospace North America conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, to focus their world-class talent and resources on aircraft icing technology development.
"NASA is pleased to join with the National Research Council of Canada to initiate this alliance," said Lt. Gen. Spence Armstrong, NASA's Associate Administrator for Aero-Space Technology. "This alliance will share the common purpose of improving aircraft transportation safety for the traveling public. I believe this alliance will be an outstanding example of an international research partnership for the new millennium."
Canada's Minister of Industry John Manley, who was on hand in Vancouver to participate in the protocol signing, said, "Ice is a significant challenge to the safety of aviation. Ice on runways, ice on wings -- these safety issues affect all of us as Canadian travelers. By working together to realize the protocol's Aircraft Icing Research Strategic Plan, the members of the alliance will provide a framework for collaboration to develop critical aircraft icing technologies."
The protocol aims to encompass many more key players in the area of icing research, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Environment Canada and Transport Canada, as well as other government agencies, universities, industrial firms and organizations with an interest in aviation icing research.
Canada's NRC president, Dr. Arthur Carty, said, "With the Aircraft Icing Research Alliance, we will have a new way to conduct research. We will have a better idea of how ice develops on aircraft surfaces and runways; we'll be better able to measure aircraft performance under icing conditions; we'll work on new de-icing methods, both fluid and mechanical, and much more. I foresee the alliance becoming an international center for cutting-edge research in aircraft ice accretion, a cross-border collaboration that brings together the top scientists in the world for our common good and for the benefit of a crucial industry."
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