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Sen. Brown: Aerospace testing capabilities too great to ignore

Andy Ouriel • Apr 11, 2012 at 9:00 AM

If it gets built, they will come. But they might have to build it themselves.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said a runway at NASA Plum Brook remains a top priority, but he shares retired Gen. David Stringer’s view that if the government doesn’t provide the $40 million it will cost, private industry will see the value and invest in the future at Plum Brook.

“We will work together on all of this and work especially with a private company,” said Brown, who visited NASA Plum Brook on Monday morning. “There will be interest from private companies, we hope, sooner rather than later.”

Brown hasn’t thrown in the towel on getting the federal government to pony up the funding for a runway, but the enormous value of the space testing equipment at Plum Brook will prove very attractive to aerospace companies and make private  investment worth it, he said.

After touring the station, Brown pledged to about 20 local officials who accompanied him that he’d remain a strong advocate for the facility. He said he would not slow down the fight for federal funding for station upgrades, but he also intended to seek out partnerships so either private or public companies can test equipment in the station.

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