Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Air Transportation Centers of Excellence
020 Popular Name:
(FAA Centers of Excellence)
Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990
To conduct long term continuing research in specific areas of aviation related technology. Responsibilities of Centers may include, but are not limited to: 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.
060 Types of Assistance:
B - PROJECT GRANTS, I - USE OF PROPERTY, FACILITIES, OR EQUIPMENT, J - PROVISION OF SPECIALIZED SERVICES
070 Uses and Use Restrictions
Describe how assistance can potentially be used:
Centers of Excellence are established for long term continuing mission critical research in specific areas of technology areas. Funding may be used for the establishment and operation of the Centers of Excellence and the related training, education and 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 Grants.gov. In response to this announcement, each applicant submits a description of their institutional capabilities, available faculty, facilities and equipment, and additional information as required in the solicitation. Researchers at each Center are expected to maintain a close working relationship with relevant FAA program offices that 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 research results to a broad audience. CONGRESSIONAL RESTRICTIONS: (1) Matching Funds - The Federal share of the grant awarded shall be 50 percent of the cost to establish and operate and conduct related research within 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 5, 1990. (3) Locations of centers and distribution of funds shall be geographically equitable. (4) Contract tasks may be awarded following the competitive process and include negotiable cost share. (5) Funds are awarded to universities. Industry affiliates must align with academic institutions who may then sub-contract to others as appropriate.
Are there specific restrictions placed upon the use of the assistance?:
Centers of Excellence are established to conduct aviation related research, education, training and technology transfer.
Are there discretionary funds available?:
Please describe, including the percentage of funds set aside for discretionary activities:
Discretionary R&D, Operations, and F&E funds are made available for the appropriate purpose by sponsoring organizations and are awarded to establish, operate and conduct research and related activities.
Are loans a type of assistance in this program?:
080 Eligibility Requirements
081 Applicant Eligibility
36 - Private nonprofit institution/organization (includes institutions of higher education and hospitals)
Use of Assistance:
42 - Higher Education (includes Research), 68 - Transportation
FAA COE 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, other public and private entities, government laboratories and other interested parties. Applicants must satisfy the Congressionally mandated selection criteria as stated in an open Final Solicitation.
082 Beneficiary Eligibility:
36 - Private nonprofit institution/organization, 98 - Education (13+)
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.
Are there credentials or documentation required?:
Required documentation is outlined in each solicitation package. After each Draft Notice of Solicitation is published, copies of the Solicitation are available during a Public Meeting and/or from the FAA Centers of Excellence Program Office, FAA Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405. To establish a Center of Excellence, a competitive process is conducted to include a: public announcement, publication of a draft and a final solicitation, period of public comment, management/fiscal review, and a technical evaluation. 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 being conducted in the specific research area, (b) a schedule of anticipated costs to establish and operate the Center of Excellence, (c) a plan for meeting the 50 percent nonfederal contribution toward the matching requirements, (d) a statement showing 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.Each proposal must contain a: 1. completed Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424 Research and Related); 2. table of contents; 3. technical statement addressing the problems inherent in the specific technical area(s) and probable solutions; 4. summary of results from FAA funding in the past five years; 5. biographical sketch for all senior personnel and a list of their principal accomplishments and publications during the past five years; 6. proposed budget for the initial three years including the anticipated costs of managing a new Center of Excellence, and a management plan; 7. listing of all current and pending support on all research awards from all sources; 8. listing of all available facilities and major items of equipment to be available to conduct research, and that which is necessary to acquire. 9. a cover letter and letters of support from various industry representatives, state and local officials, etc. Other required forms are to be included such as Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Form SF-LLL and certification of Compliance with the Civil Rights Act.
Is OMB Circular No. A-87 requirements, "Cost Principles Applicable to Grants and Contracts with State and Local Governments," applicable?:
090 Application and Award Process
091 Preapplication Coordination
Is any prior coordination or approval required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the Federal funding agency?:
Does this program require submission of environmental impact information?:
Does Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs" apply to this program?:
FAA holds a public information meeting prior to submission of proposals. During the period of public comment and thereafter, questions may be submitted to the FAA Centers of Excellence Program Office, ANG-A12, FAA Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405.
092 Application Procedures
Does OMB Circular No. A-102 apply to this program?:
Does OMB Circular No. A-110 apply to this program?:
Other Application Procedures:
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 on the Grants.gov website. Solicitation and application packages are available from the FAA Centers of Excellence Program Office, FAA Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405.
093 Award Procedure:
The FAA Administrator is the selecting official for each Air Transportation Center of Excellence. The FAA Centers of Excellence Program Director 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 when being considered for a Center of Excellence designation. Grant award authority has been delegated to the FAA COE Grants Officer and Program Director, AJP-92, located at the William J. Hughes Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405. Awards are made to COE members throughout the term of the Center. No further announcements are issued.
Is a deadline for submission of application available?:
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines
095 Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
Other Approval Information:
From the closing date for applications, the FAA requires at least 6 months for evaluation and selection procedures.
Other Appeals Information:
Formal protests are not an option; however, those submitting a proposal may request a debriefing.
Other Renewals Information:
Grants: Multi-year grants and cooperative agreements are available; extensions are possible. No-cost extensions are available upon request.
Centers of Excellence designation: Centers are evaluated during the last year of each research Phase. Cooperative agreements are renewed upon successful completion of each previous Phase throughout the 10-year term.
100 Assistance Consideration
101 Formula and Matching Requirements
Does this program have a statutory formula and/or administrative rule reference in the CFR?:
Does this program have matching requirements?:
Select the Percentage Below:
Other Matching Requirements Information:
This program has no statutory formula. Matching Funds Requirements - 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.
Does this program have MOE requirements AND total allocations over $100 million (current FY)?:
102 Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
What period of time is the assistance normally available? Is there a restriction placed on the time permitted to spend the money awarded?:
The FAA intends to support a Center of Excellence in three- to five-year increments over a period of 10 years. Each Center undergoes a reassessment within the final year of each cooperative agreement Phase. Research is reviewed semi-annually. Budgets and research projects are defined, evaluated and 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 contributions are available.
How is the assistance awarded and/or released?:
Enter Additional Information Below:
Following the announcement of the selected team, a cooperative agreement is negotiated with each university core member. Grant awards are issued as amendments to the initial cooperative agreement(s) following submission of technical proposals and individual evaluations.
110 Post Assistance Requirements
Are reports required by the funding agency?:
Are program reports required?:
Please describe the program reports required:
COE status and technical reports are required on a quarterly basis. Technical reporting requirements are specified in Attachment H of OMB Circular No. A-110 and Attachment I to OMB Circular No. A-102; Financial reporting requirements are specified in Attachment G of OMB Circular No. A-110 and Attachment H of OMB Circular No. A-102. Semi-annual reports are required 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 major technical conference is required by the end of each cooperative agreement period as part of close-out activities and serves to highlight research results and discuss plans for the next 3-year phase. The technical symposium is designed to satisfy legislative requirements to highlight COE outcomes and disseminate information by the end of the final 10-year period of performance.
Are cash reports required?:
Are progress reports required?:
Please describe the progress reports required:
The annual review focuses on the relevance, merit and direction of research efforts in the designated area, and negotiation of projects and budgets for the next year. A symposium is required by the end of the 10-year period as part of close-out activities and serves to highlight research results. The symposium is designed to satisfy legislative requirements to disseminate information.
Are expenditure reports required?:
Please describe the expenditure reports required:
Financial reporting requirements as per Attachment G of OMB Circular No. A-110 and Attachment H of OMB Circular No. A-102.
Is performance monitoring required?:
Please describe performance monitoring required:
A symposium is required by the end of the 10-year period as part of close-out activities and serves to highlight research results. The symposium is designed to satisfy legislative requirements to disseminate information.
Are audits required for this program?:
Does OMB Circular No. A-133 apply to this program?:
What audit procedures have been mandated for the program?:
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.
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.
120 Financial Information
121 Account Identification:
Is this a Recovery and Reinvestment Act Obligation?:
Is this obligation for salaries and expenses?:
Current Fiscal Year:
Past Fiscal Year:
Budget Fiscal Year:
2015 / Projection $10,400,000
123 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, and may be augmented by tasks funded through IDIQ contract awards.
124 TAFS Codes - Unique Treasury Appropriation Fund Symbols :
Treasury Dept Code:
Allocation Transfer Agency:
Treasury Account Main Code:
Treasury Dept Code:
Allocation Transfer Agency:
Treasury Account Main Code:
130 Program Accomplishments:
Please describe program accomplishments:
Current Fiscal Year:
Past Fiscal Year:
Amount awarded $1,933,421 (October 2013 through May 2014).
Budget Fiscal Year:
140 Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature:
Please describe 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 are made available. A Notice of Solicitation Availability will be announced on Grants.gov.
150 Information Contacts
151 Regional or Local Office:
152 Headquarters Office:
Select an Existing or New Contact:
FAA Centers for Excellence Program Director
Patricia Watts, Ph.D.
Centers of Excellence Program Office
FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, Bldg 300, L28
Atlantic City International Airport, New Jersey 08405
160 Related Programs:
170 Examples of Funded Projects:
Please describe funded projects:
Past Fiscal Year:
FAA currently supports the following COE topic areas: Commercial Space Transportation, General Aviation, Aviation Noise & Emissions Mitigation, Airliner Cabin/Intermodal Research, Advanced Materials.
Current Fiscal Year:
Budget Fiscal Year:
180 Criteria for Selecting Proposals:
Please describe 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.
190 Functional Codes:
EDUCATION/GH - Higher Education - General
300 Subject Terms: