2011 will be an amazing year for General Aviation. The following is the first in a series of absurd (unless they come to fruition) predictions. The quotes are manufactured (by me) and the only thing standing in the way of making these a reality is the cajones to make it so.
Growth is coming
In February, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, citing wholesale statistics from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, will decide to make the requirements for obtaining a pilot’s certificate dramatically easier. Babbitt, connecting the dots, sees a direct correlation between the 8,800 Class A motor-homes and the 634 single-engine piston aircraft delivered between January and September 2010.
“Class A motor-homes are expensive. A new unit might start at $100,000 and, like airplanes, the sky is the limit,” said Babbitt during a made-up telephone interview just before the end of 2010. “This is proof there is discretionary money in the economy. We just have to make learning to fly easier and faster so we can tap into this market.” Expect to hear an FAA initiative to reduce the number of regulations pertaining to recreational flying by 65%-75%.
“After all, an informal survey in a December 1, 2010 AOPA eBrief newsletter showed 78% of all respondents fly for recreation,” Babbitt continued. “If these people are interested in flying on clear and calm days, for fun, then the FAA, and the industry, must chop down the many impediments that get in the way of learning to fly. As long as a motor-home built on a Peterbuilt semi-truck chassis is marked ‘Not for Hire’ anyone with a checkbook and a drivers license can operate one.”
While we won’t be able to make it that easy to own and operate an aircraft, we should strive to make learning to fly on severe clear days as easy as possible.
Not long after the FAA announces its initiative, expect to see an industry-wide branding effort, similar to Go RVing.
Agree? Disagree? Have your own absurd predication? Post your comments below.