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Chapter 5 Global Connectivity

Chapter 5 Global Connectivity

Global Connectivity Strategic Goal

Facilitate an international transportation system that promotes economic growth and development.


  1. Reduced barriers to trade in transportation goods and services.
  2. Safer, more efficient, and cost-effective movement of passengers and cargo throughout international and domestic transportation systems, including U.S. ports of entry, modal, and intermodal supply chains.
  3. Sustained international leadership in promoting U.S. transportation policies.
  4. Enhanced competitiveness of U.S. transport providers and manufacturers in the global marketplace.
  5. Harmonized and standardized regulatory and facilitation requirements in the international arena.
  6. Expanded opportunities for all businesses in the transportation sector, especially small, women-owned, and disadvantaged businesses.

Our transportation system is our lifeline to economic growth, freer trade, and greater cultural exchange. America’s continued economic prosperity depends on a strong and interconnected global transportation system. Toward this end, the Department will continue to liberalize aviation markets worldwide, expand the capacity and efficiency of our freight transportation system, improve intermodal linkages, and ensure efficient trade movements across borders. The following RD&T strategy represents the primary research topic in support of Global Connectivity:

Conduct and support research leading to harmonized international standards, improved cross-border collaboration, and global leadership for U.S. transportation providers. Supports all outcomes.

The following sections summarize the research areas and primary RD&T activities for advancing this strategy. Appendix C shows anticipated funding levels for FY 2006 through 2010.

Harmonize Transportation Standards And Support Leadership For U.S. Transportation Providers

Global Connectivity

  • Harmonize Standards and Support Leadership for U.S. Transportation Providers

Critical outcomes for the Department’s global connectivity goal are reduced barriers to trade in transportation goods and services, enhanced competitiveness of U.S. transportation providers and manufacturers, and harmonized and standardized international regulatory and facilitation requirements. Research in two primary areas will contribute to these outcomes and support the global connectivity RD&T strategy: international standards and coordination, and transportation industry development.

International Standards and Coordination

To achieve the global connectivity goal and outcomes, the Department incorporates support for harmonized international standards and decisionmaking, particularly with regard to transportation safety and environmental issues, within a number of RD&T activities. The primary RD&T programs that will support this area are described below. Program milestones are shown in Table 5-1.


Airport Technology Research. Supports the development of pavement design standards that airports throughout the world need to accommodate new large aircraft. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will use data from FAA’s National Pavement Test Facility to develop pavement standards for aircraft weighing in excess of a million pounds. This program will also support Safety RD&T Strategies 1 and 3 and Reduced Congestion RD&T Strategy 2.

Environment and Energy. Develops, applies, and disseminates knowledge and tools in support of harmonized emissions- and noise-related certification standards, operational procedures, and abatement technology. Through this program, FAA will continue to represent the United States on the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, which establishes and assesses the adequacy of international standards for aircraft noise and engine exhaust emissions. This program will also support Environmental RD&T Strategy 1.

Fire Research and Safety. Develops technologies, procedures, test methods, and criteria to prevent accidents caused by hidden in-flight fires and fuel tank explosions. The program will support international standards and cooperation in several areas, including fuel tank protection, fire and smoke detectors, halon replacement, lithium battery fire hazards, and improved material fire tests. This program will also support Safety RD&T Strategies 1, 2, and 3.


Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (Planning and Environment). Focuses on improving understanding of the complex relationship between surface transportation and the environment. In this research area, the program will focus on improving surface transportation decisionmaking and coordination across borders. This program will also support Safety RD&T Strategy 1; Reduced Congestion RD&T Strategies 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6; and Environmental RD&T Strategies 1 and 2.


Identify Practices and Technologies to Control Capital and Operating Costs (Improve Capital and Operating Efficiencies). Supports efforts to develop voluntary standards for public transportation. This program will also support Reduced Congestion RD&T Strategy 4.


International Coordination of Research. Supports agency efforts toward future harmonized test devices and procedures development. (This activity will be funded through other NHTSA RD&T programs.)


Navigation and Spectrum Policy. Supports the formulation of positioning, navigation, and spectrum policy and the civilian management and use of the Global Positioning System. This effort will examine potential applications of international space-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) systems and augmentations. This program will also support Safety RD&T Strategy 1 and Reduced Congestion RD&T Strategies 3 and 4.


Hazardous Materials Safety R&D. Provides the foundation for PHMSA’s hazardous material regulatory, enforcement, and emergency response actions. The program will conduct studies to support regulatory changes and provide the basis for adaptation of international standards. This program will also support Safety RD&T Strategy 1, Environmental RD&T Strategy 1, and Security RD&T Strategy 2.

Transportation Industry Development

Programs in this research area promote the export of U.S. transportation goods and services and international technology transfer. The following RD&T programs will support this area. Program milestones are in Table 5-2.


International Highway Transportation Outreach Program. Informs the U.S. highway community of technological innovations in foreign countries and promotes U.S. highway transportation expertise, goods, and services. This program, which supports all DOT strategic goals, will undertake activities to leverage international research and test global best practices and technological developments for adaptation and use in the United States, and will also conduct technology transfer and technical assistance activities to promote U.S. standards and industry, with special focus on key emerging markets and other areas of priority for U.S. foreign policy.


Improve the Capacity of the Transit Industry and Workforce (Improve Capital and Operating Efficiencies). Conducts research to advance the U.S. transit industry. The program will conduct technology transfer activities with foreign countries; support trade missions, market research, and other trade-related activities; and continue training and information diffusion programs in Latin America and Africa to develop U.S. transit exports. This program will also support Reduced Congestion RD&T Strategy 6.


Aviation and International Policy. Conducts policy research to support DOT’s role in promoting the U.S. aviation industry. Among other efforts, the program will develop a methodology for quantifying the economic impacts of air transportation; examine the operating and competitive structures of the air cargo industry; analyze changes in airline labor contracts and their impact on industry cost structures; define the requirements for and develop the aviation data modernization system; and continue the Office of the Secretary’s Project on the Future of the Airline Industry. This program will also support Reduced Congestion RD&T Strategies 4 and 5.