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Charting GA’s Future at EAA/FAA Summit
February 15, 2018 - Top FAA policymakers came to Oshkosh this week to meet with EAA officials and take action on ways to grow general aviation during the 14th annual EAA/FAA Recreational Aviation Summit. The meetings held at the EAA Aviation Center mark the only annual working gathering of FAA headquarters personnel at the headquarters of a GA association.
“Over the past five years, EAA and FAA have worked very hard to significantly change the playing field for GA aircraft and airmen certification,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. “We have a very strong relationship with the agency, and together we worked on the future of FAA certification intended to preserve and grow the general aviation community. We also discussed how the growing UAS industry will integrate into the national airspace system and how that integration might be both a challenge and beneficial to general aviation as well.”
Pelton along with EAA senior leadership and the government relations team participated, as well as representatives from the Homebuilt Aircraft Council, Vintage Aircraft Association, Warbirds of America, and International Aerobatic Club. The wide spectrum of involvement allowed the two-day session to cover many important GA issues.
FAA leaders also gave an overview of the agency’s ongoing reorganization along with key FAA initiatives and priorities. The FAA team annually anticipates the trip to Oshkosh as an important milestone in the workflow of the year, on par with its annual participation at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
“This is really about being safety advocates together,” said Brad Palmer, FAA manager of the General Aviation and Commercial Division. “We work hand-in-hand at reaching our safety goals and continuing to reduce the general aviation fatality rate. We each can’t do that alone, as we all have limited resources. But if we work together, we can come out on top.”
Evidence of the success of this government and industry collaboration for safety has been seen in the dramatic improvement the general aviation accident rate in recent years. EAA serves as the industry co-chair of the FAA’s General Aviation Joint Safety Committee.
Among the many issues addressed during the summit on Tuesday and Wednesday were streamlining innovative technology into today’s GA fleet, flight testing reform, BasicMed updates and implementation, warbird training and exemptions, and simplified design and production approvals for aircraft and equipment. More details on individual issues discussed during this week’s summit will appear in upcoming editions of e-Hotline and EAA Sport Aviation magazine, as well as other EAA communications.