Huerta Speaks During Opening Of NBAA-BACE

HuertaPicture via NBAA

Some Parts Of FAA Administrator Huerta’s Speech During Opening Ceremonies Of NBAA-BACE 2017 In Las Vegas, NV

HuertaOct. 10, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV – Thanking Ed Bolen for introducing him during the NBAA-BACE 2017 Event, Administrator Huerta took time to welcome and acknowledge U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, Congresswoman Dina Titus, who represents Nevada’s 1st Congressional District, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt and a true pioneer in American aviation – Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell. Administrator Huerta also mentioned and honored those who helped in the aftermath of the tragic events our country witnessed during the Mandalay Bay Hotel shooting- rampage which left 500+ wounded and nearly 60 dead.

We took the time to highlight relevant parts of Huerta’s speech which allow our readers to derive their own opinions or feelings about #TheFutureOfAviation and where the ship is headed, considering that Huerta’s replacement is currently uncertain. His term ends in January 2018.

There Was Less Need For Associations In The Past

Looking out at this crowd, it’s an understatement to say the National Business Aviation Association has come a long way from its first formal meeting, almost exactly 70 years ago, in Room 101 of the Biltmore Hotel in New York City. Back then, in 1947, the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Authority first began testing radar precision landing equipment at airports in Washington and Chicago. And the NBAA had 19 member companies.

General And Business Aviation Have Stepped Up – Big Time!

Today, when I look at any kind of general aviation aircraft, I find myself thinking about the tremendous role GA operators played in the recent relief efforts for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and Maria. In the days immediately following the storms, when vehicles couldn’t access hard-hit areas, GA pilots quickly swooped in to deliver countless tons of life-saving water and other supplies to storm victims. Many private individuals and corporations sent their jets to not only deliver supplies, but they also helped relocate many people whose homes were rendered uninhabitable. That’s the kind of contribution that cannot be quantified in hard numbers alone. It’s a shining example of the true American spirit.

The 800 Pound Gorilla In The Room – ADS-B

But there’s also the deployment of satellite navigation. ADS-B equipage. And the streamlining of the aircraft and aviation products certification process. To name just a few. Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge that there’s an 800-pound gorilla in this room. And that gorilla is the future of aviation in this country. Since I joined the FAA, the government has been shut down twice, we have weathered the sequester, and we’ve grappled with financial uncertainty resulting from some two dozen short-term re-authorization extensions. That is not how the world’s best aviation system should be run. Today, a debate is raging in Washington about how the FAA should be structured and funded. It is a conversation that is long overdue, and one in which all of those with a stake in the future of aviation must be included.

A Need To Modernize With A Gentle Call To Order In Debate

“We look forward to a re-authorization that helps the FAA build on its unparalleled safety record and continues modernizing our air traffic control system. We also must ensure that one of our nation’s most valuable assets – the air above our heads – remains available to all users. Now, NBAA has not exactly been shy about expressing its position on this red-hot issue. Then again, NBAA has never exactly been shy about expressing its positions on any issue that’s important to its membership. I want to encourage you and every other voice in this debate to carefully consider the many – and sometimes competing – viewpoints that are being expressed. We must not allow ourselves to dig in so deeply to our own position that the debate becomes a volley of talking points that we lob past one another. This should be a conversation, not a team sport. Disagreement can be a good thing when both sides listen to each other and agree to collaborate rather than draw lines in the sand. In fact, if I were asked which one, single word best sums up my approach to running the FAA, I would have to say it’s collaboration.”

Shedding The Image Of Aviation Police – Compliance Philosophy

“It’s no secret that in the past, many people in the agency saw themselves as the aviation police, and those we regulated often regarded us with suspicion. But over the years, the way we see our role – and the way we approach regulation – has dramatically evolved. Make no mistake – we’re still the regulator, and our top priority will always be ensuring that the world’s most complex airspace system remains the world’s safest airspace system. But we came to recognize that a collaborative approach–an approach based on trust, respect and a shared commitment to putting safety first – is necessary for us to achieve a safer and more efficient system. That’s what our new Compliance Philosophy is all about. Compliance Philosophy recognizes that to find and fix safety problems, there has to be an open and transparent exchange of information and data between the FAA and industry. We don’t want operators who might inadvertently make a mistake to hide it because they have a fear of being punished. It recognizes everyone has an ownership stake in safety.”

Accusing General Aviation Of Lethargy In ADS-B Equipage

It isn’t just in safety that NBAA has been a crucial partner. You’ve also been a strong advocate for getting operators to equip their aircraft with ADS-B by the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline. As you know, all aircraft flying in controlled airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out by that date. The deadline was set during President George W. Bush’s administration, and it is not going to change. But no matter how many times we say that, too many GA aircraft owners are delaying taking their planes in for these upgrades. Only about 30,000 are currently in compliance, while a much larger number will need to get equipped to operate in most controlled airspace. ADS-B is essential to the future of American aviation. It gives us a much safer and more accurate picture of our airspace. Manufacturers are offering units for as little as $2,000. There is every reason to equip, and no reason not to. The NBAA has provided invaluable support in pushing this message out to aircraft owners. The FAA can’t do this on our own, and I thank you for your efforts to date–and for what I know will be your continuing efforts as the deadline looms even closer.

Aircraft Certification Reform – A More Flexible FAA

Now, collaboration isn’t just something we engage in on the safety side of the equation. Over the years, aircraft and technology manufacturers expressed frustration with how the FAA certified new products. They complained that our rigid certification process was stifling innovation. We considered their concerns, and realized they made a valid point. The creativity of the brilliant minds that work in this field required the FAA to take a more flexible approach toward certifying new products. So we rewrote our airworthiness standards for smaller general aviation aircraft. We’re no longer telling manufacturers how to build these aircraft. What we’re doing now is defining the safety goals we want to achieve and giving industry the leeway to come up with innovative solutions. Our new rule went into effect in August. It’s a powerful shot of adrenaline into the massive general aviation sector, which contributes about $80 billion and 400,000 jobs to our national economy. It’s also going to speed the rate at which important safety technologies fly from the drawing board into aircraft cockpits and flight control systems.

History & Future Of Aviation Are Side By Side

Aviation has always been about seizing new opportunities and pushing the envelope just a little farther. It’s also one of the few industries, if you think about it, where you can see history and the future sitting side-by-side on the same airport ramp. I’ve seen simple fabric-covered Piper Cubs parked next to the latest all-composite trainers packed with electronics to rival the Space Shuttle. Or a World War II-era Beechcraft Staggerwing – once the epitome of luxurious business travel – sharing a hangar with a modern jet that can fly so high you can see the curvature of the earth. When we talk about aviation being the lifeblood of the economy, we’re not talking only about airports and aircraft, fuel trucks and tow-tugs. We’re talking about people. People like you. Thank you for your time today, and thank you for your partnership.” See the full speech here.

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