Top FAA Officials Visit Oshkosh for Annual EAA/FAA Recreational Aviation Summit Meetings
February 23, 2012 – The leaders of the FAA's Flight Standards and Aircraft Certification divisions and Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention traveled to Oshkosh for their annual conference with EAA's leaders and staff this week.
Safety, how to measure it, and how to improve it was, of course, the lead topic on the agenda. Much of the discussion focused on amateur-built aircraft operations and how the FAA and EAA can continue to work together to enhance safety without needlessly restricting the freedom to innovate that is key to amateur-built aircraft. The safety record of AB flying is at worst stable, but by several measures is improving. How to track safety trends in a reliable way, and show positive improvement in the record, is a primary objective for both the FAA and EAA in the coming year.
The FAA leaders also held lengthy discussions with EAA experts on how to streamline many areas of the operating and certification rules. The tradition of cooperation between the two groups goes all the way back to the beginning of EAA, as Founder Paul Poberezny reminded the group.
But issues on the table were not limited to AB aircraft. There was good news on creation of a new procedure for allowing logical field approvals of modification of certified airplanes, including vintage and antique aircraft. The warbirds were also represented and thorny issues involving their unique operations were worked through. And conventional certified airplanes were not neglected because so many aircraft, airman, and operational certification issues impact all types of general aviation flying.
"This annual meeting of FAA's leadership and EAA, here at Oshkosh, is highly valued by both organizations," said EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower. Added EAA Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs Sean Elliott, "In working with the FAA's top people, we look for, and find, solutions instead of making outright demands and all come out winners."
After almost two days of frank discussion and exchanging ideas on how to solve problems the FAA leaders headed back to Washington, but all promised to be back in July for AirVenture.