Air Transportation Centers of Excellence

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Transportation , Federal Aviation Administration
CFDA #: 20.109

Purpose of this program:

To conduct long term continuing research in specific areas of aviation related technology. Responsibilities of Centers may include the conduct of research concerning catastrophic failure of aircraft, airspace and airport planning and design, airport capacity enhancement techniques, human performance in the air transportation environment, aviation safety and security, the supply of trained air transportation personnel including pilots and mechanics, and other aviation issues pertinent to developing and maintaining a safe and efficient air transportation system, and the interpretation, publication, and dissemination of the results of such research.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Centers of Excellence are established for long term continuing research in specific areas of technology. Funding may be used for the establishment and operation of the Centers of Excellence and the related research projects. The FAA determines a need for a Center of Excellence in a specific area of technology and publishes a Notice of Availability of Solicitation in the Federal Biz Ops. Each applicant submits a description of the institutional capabilities, available facilities and equipment, and additional information as required in the solicitation. Researchers at the Center are expected to maintain a close working relationship with relevant FAA program offices who have responsibility in areas related to their research. Centers conduct semi-annual reviews, and a major symposium at the conclusion of each 3-year phase of research to satisfy Congressional requirements to disseminate results to a broad audience. RESTRICTIONS: 1. Matching Funds - The Federal grant shall be 50 percent of the cost of establishing the Center of Excellence and related research activities. 2. Maintenance of Effort - Each recipient will maintain its aggregate expenditures from all other sources for establishing and operating the Center and related research activities at or above the average level of such expenditures in its 2 fiscal years preceding November 1990. 3. Locations shall be geographically equitable. 4. Contract tasks are negotiable cost share.

Who is eligible to apply...

Applicants are limited to colleges and universities with the financial resources to meet statutory requirements for matching Federal funds and maintenance of effort. Academic institutions may partner with industry affiliates and other government laboratories.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

Required documentation is outlined in each solicitation package. After each Notice of Solicitation is published in the Federal Register, copies of the Solicitation are available from the FAA Centers of Excellence Program Manager AAR- 400, FAA Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405. To establish a Center of Excellence, a solicitation, review, and evaluation is required. Public Law 101-508 established the following six selection criteria: (1) The extent to which the needs of the State in which the applicant is located are representative of the needs of the region for improved air transportation services and facilities. (2) The demonstrated research and extension resources available to the applicant for carrying out this program. (3) The capability of the applicant to provide leadership in making national and regional contributions to the solution of both long- range and immediate air transportation problems. (4) The extent to which the applicant has an established air transportation program. (5) The demonstrated ability of the applicant to disseminate results of air transportation research and educational programs through a State-wide or region-wide continuing education program. (6) The projects which the applicant proposes to carry out under the grant. Each proposal must include the following: (a) description of current research projects in the research area, (b) a schedule of anticipated expenses for establishing and operating the Center of Excellence, (c) a plan for meeting the 50 percent nonfederal contribution toward the cost of establishing and operating the Center of Excellence, (d) a statement showing its aggregate expenditures from all other sources for aviation research in its 2 fiscal years preceding November 5, 1990, (e) all data sufficient for the evaluation team to determine the extent to which the applicant is able to satisfy the six selection criteria outlined in the preceding paragraph. Each proposal must contain: 1. a cover sheet in the general format of FAA Form 9550-1; 2. table of contents; 3. a statement addressing the problem inherent in the specific technical area and probable solutions; 4. a summary of results from FAA funding in the past 5 years; 5. biographical sketches of senior personnel and a list of their principal accomplishments and publications during the past five years; 6.proposed budget for the initial three years; 7. current and pending support on all research awards from all sources; 8. available facilities and major items of equipment to be available to conduct research, and that which is necessary to acquire. Other required forms are Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form SF-LLL and certification of Compliance with Civil Rights Act.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Colleges and universities may apply after the FAA has published a Notice of Availability of Solicitation for a Center of Excellence in a specific research area in the Federal Register. Solicitation and application packages are available from the FAA Centers of Excellence Program Director, AAR-400, FAA Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Each Air Transportation Center of Excellence is awarded on behalf of the FAA Administrator. The FAA Centers of Excellence Program Director, AAR.400, issues solicitations, receives all proposals, convenes evaluation teams to evaluate eligible institutions for Centers of Excellence awards. Applicants should be prepared to host an onsite inspection of existing research facilities.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

Contact the FAA Center of Excellence Program Office for applications and application deadlines. Deadlines will also be published in the Notice of Solicitation.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From the closing date for applications, the FAA requires at least 6 months for evaluation and selection procedures.

Preapplication Coordination

FAA may hold an informational meeting prior to submission of proposals. Questions may be submitted to the FAA Centers of Excellence Program Director, AAR-400, FAA Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

None.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Recipients are limited to colleges and universities with the financial resources to meet statutory requirements for matching Federal grants and maintenance of effort. In conducting research, a Center of Excellence may contract with nonprofit research organizations and other appropriate persons.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

Use of Property, Facilities, and Equipment

Programs which provide for the loan of, use of, or access to Federal facilities or property wherein the federally owned facilities or property do not remain in the possession of the recipient of the assistance.

Provision of Specialized Services

Programs which provide Federal personnel directly to perform certain tasks for the benefit of communities or individuals. These services may be performed in conjunction with nonfederal personnel, but they involve more than consultation, advice, or counseling.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Program started in fiscal year 1992. Grant assistance is expected to be a minimum of $500,000 per year for each Center. In addition, sole source contract awards may reach $120 million over the next 6 years.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

(Grants) FY 03 $7,200,000; FY 04 $7,500,000; and FY 05 est $7,800,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

69-8108-0-7-402.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Centers of Excellence in Computational Modeling of Aircraft Structures, Airport Pavement Research, Operations Research, Airworthiness Assurance, General Aviation, Aircraft Noise and Aviation Emissions Mitigation.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

1) Program planning completed; 2) Agency Directive written and currently under revision; and 3) First Joint Center established in 1992; 4) Second Center awarded in Airport Pavement Research, April, 1995; 5) Center established in 1996 in Operations Research; 6) Center in Airworthiness Assurance established in 1997; 7) a Center established in general Aviation during fiscal year 2001; and 8) A Center was established in 2003 for Aircraft Noise adn Aviation Emissions Mitigation.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Public Law 101-508 has established the following six selection criteria: (1) The extent to which the needs of the State in which the applicant is located are representative of needs of the region for improved air transportation services and facilities; (2) The demonstrated research and extension resources available to the applicant for carrying out this program; (3) The capability of the applicant to provide leadership in making national and regional contributions to the solution of both long-range and immediate air transportation problems; (4) The extent to which the applicant has an established air transportation program; (5) The demonstrated ability of the applicant to disseminate results of air transportation research and educational programs through a State-wide or region-wide continuing education program; and (6) The projects which the applicant proposes to carry out under the grant. Public Law 101-508 mandates geographic equity in location and funding of Centers of Excellence. Depending on the outcome of evaluation under the six mandated criteria, geographic location may become an additional selection factor.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The FAA intends to support a Center of Excellence in three year increments over a maximum of ten years. Each Center will undergo a reassessment every three years. Research is reviewed semi-annually. Budgets and research projects are negotiated yearly. As a consequence of changing needs, or diminished requirements, the agency reserves the right not to renew support for a Center of Excellence at any time. Funds from program offices and additional appropriations may increase at any time providing the institution can demonstrate matching funds.

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Funds - The Federal share shall be 50 percent of the costs of establishing and operating the Center of Excellence and related research activities. Maintenance of Effort - Each recipient will maintain its aggregate expenditures from all other sources for establishing and operating the Center and related research activities at or above the average level of such expenditures in its 2 fiscal years preceding November 1990.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

Technical Reporting Requirements per Attachment H of OMB Circular No. A-110 and Attachment I to OMB Circular No. A-102. Financial reporting requirements as per Attachment G of OMB Circular No. A-110 and Attachment H of OMB Circular No. A-102. Semi-annual reports on matching Funds and technical reports, as well as an annual review of the research completed and in progress at each Center of Excellence. The annual review focuses on the relevance, merit and direction of research efforts in the designated area, and negotiation of projects and budget for the next year. A symposium is required by the end of each 3-year period as part of close-out activities and serves to highlight research results and discuss plans for the next 3-year phase. The symposium helps satisfy legislative requirements to disseminate information.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

Single Audit Act assigns responsibility to either the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Defense for most institutions. The FAA calls for an audit of each Center every 3 years as a part of close-out activities, and reserves the right to conduct individual audits annually, and as needed, within the constraints of applicable laws and regulations.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

Technical and financial records must be retained for a minimum of 3 years (or longer, depending on special situations) following termination of the Center of Excellence.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990, Public Law 101- 508; Catastrophic Failure Prevention Centers of Excellence, Section 9208; Aviation Research Centers of Excellence, Section 9209.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

OMB Circulars A-133, A- 122, A110 and A-21, Regulations and Executive Orders are referenced in Appendix 2 of the FAA Research Grants Order 9550. When the FAA is soliciting for a Center of Excellence, a solicitation and application package containing the appropriate forms and directions will be available. A Notice of Solicitation Availability will be announced in the Federal Register.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Patricia Watts, PhD, FAA Centers for Excellence Program Director, AAR-400, FAA Technical Center Office of Aviation Research, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405. Telephone: (609) 485-5043. Fax: (609) 485-9430. patricia.watts@.faa.gov.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: