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July 30, 2009

House Approves $1.5 Million for Red Hook Small Business

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved $1.5 million in funding for a Red Hook small business to develop a safer and more effective way to drop cargo needed for military operations.  The funding was included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Department Appropriations Act.  Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) said the funds will support a Brooklyn manufacturer and allow the high-tech company to expand and hire more workers.

“The innovative thinking of small business owners is helping lead our nation toward economic recovery.  I am pleased to support a New York manufacturer in its efforts to develop a product that helps keep our troops abroad safe, while creating new job opportunities locally,” said Velázquez, who chairs the U.S. House Committee on Small Business.

Atair Aerospace works with state-of-the-art parachute designs and tracking systems to modernize military and government logistics.  The company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Red Hook, employing a staff of 24, including seven U.S. veterans.  The funding approved by the House will help the company complete development and field test its “Onyx Precision Guided Airdropped Equipment.”  These GPS-guided parachute systems will be used by the U.S. Army for airdrops of medical supplies and other cargo.  The product will be able to drop cargo at altitudes up to 35,000 feet, at speeds up to 165 MPH, and with a precision of 75 meters.  Using precision airdrop helps to free up military personnel, trucks, and helicopters by reducing the number of convoys and helicopter drops. 

“As Chairwoman of the Small Business Committee, I understand how difficult it can be for firms to access the resources needed to develop new products and grow their businesses,” Velázquez added.  “These funds will assist a growing firm develop cutting-edge technologies right here in Brooklyn.” 

The FY2010 Defense Appropriations bill passed the House by a vote of 400 to 30.  The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for approval. 

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