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FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen Visits AirVenture

Sam Oleson

EAA

FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen discussed numerous topics, including the transition to unleaded avgas as well as MOSAIC, during the Meet the Administrator forum on Thursday morning at Theater in the Woods during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022.

With a 2030 deadline to complete the transition to unleaded avgas, Nolen acknowledged that the issue is among the top priorities for the FAA, and he is confident in the progress that’s been made so far.

“We believe we’re on track,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of STCs in the works around how we get there without lead and get to the point where we need to be. It’s a collaborative effort, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. … It will take all of us working together, and we’re never going to assume within the agency that we have all the answers.”

As for MOSAIC, or the Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates, which has been in the works for years, Nolen was optimistic that the finish line was in sight.

“We’re closing in on the finish line,” Nolen said of MOSAIC. “When you think of rules and processes, [the difficulty is] pretty soon people throw everything including the kitchen sink into the mix. Our goal is to make sure it’s doable, to never let good come at the expense of great. We have to be safe. The public demands it, and they should demand it.” The FAA expects an NPRM available for comment in August 2023.

While Nolen has been a pilot for four decades, it was his first visit to AirVenture, and he couldn’t have been more impressed with what he saw during his time in Oshkosh.

“This is a mecca. I know for many of you this is a pilgrimage to come here every year to see the best of the best of aviation — past, present, and future. I’ve been in aviation for more than four decades, and this is my first time at AirVenture. But it will not be my last time at AirVenture, I can promise you that. I’ve never seen anything like this. What a tribute to aviation.”

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