U S Centennial of Flight Commission F Y 2000 Report to Congress

U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission

FY 2000 Report to Congress

"It is appropriate to remember and renew the legacy of the Wright brothers at a time when the values of creativity and daring represented by the Wright brothers are critical to the future of the Nation."
Centennial of Flight Commemoration Act
Public Law 105-389
Section 2(5), 112 Stat. 3486
November 13, 1998

Introduction, Executive Summary and Recommendations

The Centennial of Flight Commemoration Act, Public Law 105-389, established the Centennial of Flight Commission to assist in the commemoration of the centennial of powered flight and the achievements of the Wright brothers. Further legislation was required, however, to address several Constitutional and ethical issues with the Act.

On October 6, 1999, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 106-68, amending the Centennial of Flight Commemoration Act. The Commission was modified to become a Federal advisory committee subject to the provisions of Public Law 42-463, the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), acting as the Federal agency responsible for FACA compliance of the Commission, chartered the Commission on November 22, 1999.

During the subsequent ten months, the Commission took major strides toward carrying out its Congressional mandate to provide advice and recommendations to the President, Congress, and Federal agencies on the most effective ways to commemorate the centennial, and to carry out its operational functions. During its quarterly public meetings (see Appendix A), the Commission has:

  • Completed the basic organization of the Commission by selecting a Commission chair, selecting the sixth Commission member, and requesting the detail of a NASA employee to serve as Executive Director;
  • Developed a strategy and plan of operations that defines and prioritizes Commission activities, sets initial Commission policy in several key areas, and defines respective Commission and staff roles and responsibilities;
  • Developed and deployed a suite of initial communications tools, including a Web site (www.centennialofflight.gov) that will ultimately feature a broad range of historical and educational information related to the centennial of powered flight as well as a Web -based calendar of significant centennial events, a Centennial of Flight exhibit and brochure, and, in conjunction with NASA, selected a design for the Commission logo; and
  • Reviewed major planned centennial events sponsored by numerous organizations throughout the country, with an initial emphasis on major organizations and planned activities in Ohio and North Carolina.

This Annual Report addresses each of these accomplishments in more detail. The Commission feels it is premature to make any recommendations regarding the issuance of commemorative coins, medals, and stamps by the U.S. In addition, as required by statute, the Report includes an accounting of funds received and expended by the Commission during the current fiscal year. The Report concludes with an overview of major Commission priorities and activities currently planned for FY 2001.

The Commission's legislation also requires the Commission to address in each Annual Report "...recommendations for any legislation or administrative action that the Commission determines to be appropriate regarding the commemoration of the centennial of powered flight..." In this regard, the Commission would like to highlight the importance to the centennial celebration of key venues operating under the auspices of the National Park Service, namely the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. These two sites encompass a major part of the story of the birth and development of aviation in the United States and play a critical role in educating the public about the impact of a century of flight. The Commission strongly recommends that the Nation ensure that these important sites are ready to receive, and meet the high expectations of, the large numbers of visitors that are expected in conjunction with the centennial celebration. Continued organizational and financial support will be needed to help ensure planned developments are completed so the sites are operational in time for the events planned for 2003.

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