The United States has the largest and most diverse GA community in the world, with more than 220,000 aircraft — including amateur-built aircraft, rotorcraft, balloons, and highly sophisticated turbojets.
The FAA and the GA community are working together to put the right technologies, regulations, and education initiatives in place to improve safety, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta reported at EAA AirVenture 2016 in Oshkosh.
“The passion that drives pilots to fly here, year after year, is the same passion that fuels so much of the work we do every day at the FAA,” said Huerta. “We’re committed to making general aviation safer and more efficient and we’re making a lot of progress. Collaboration between the FAA and industry is allowing the GA community to benefit from upgraded technology, lower costs, and higher levels of safety.”
By working together, the FAA and industry are transforming general aviation in a number of ways:
The FAA is offering a one-time $500 rebate to general aviation owners to help offset the cost of purchasing ADS-B Out equipment, or an integrated system that also includes ADS-B In. The agency will issue 20,000 rebates on a first-come, first-served basis beginning this fall to owners of U.S. registered, fixed-wing, and single-engine piston aircraft. According to Huerta, the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline will not change, so the time to buy ADS-B equipment is now.
The Got Data? External Data Access Initiative aims to improve the public’s access to FAA data. The initiative will spur innovation, provide better opportunities for the development of new applications and services, and ultimately, advance the safety and efficiency of the aviation industry.
The FAA also is working to meet a recent Congressional mandate to draft a rule within 180 days that will allow pilots to fly without a medical certificate if they have a driver’s license, held a medical certificate within the past 10 years, completed a medical education course, and have been physically examined by a state-licensed physician, Huerta reported.
The Part 23 proposed rule and Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE) policy are aimed at streamlining aircraft certification.
Part 23 would overhaul the airworthiness standards for small general aviation aircraft, which would speed the time it takes to move safety-enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace.
The recent NORSEE policy will encourage general aviation aircraft owners to voluntary install safety equipment on airplanes and helicopters that is not required by the agency’s regulations. It will reduce costs and streamline the installation equipment, such as traffic advisory systems, terrain awareness and warning systems; attitude indicators; fire extinguishing systems; and autopilot or stability augmentation systems.
New Airman Certification Standards provide pilots, instructors and evaluators with a single-source set of clear, logical standards that tell them what they need to know, consider and do to qualify and pass both the knowledge and practical tests for airman certification and ratings.
The GA Joint Steering Committee promotes safety technologies and best practices within the general aviation community and is working to reduce risk in general aviation. The FAA partners with GA to raise awareness about safety issues such as Loss of Control – the number one cause of fatal general aviation accidents – through the Fly Safe education campaign.
The FAA administrator also encouraged the general aviation community to spread a positive safety culture to the newest members of the community who operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Pilots and aircraft owners can share important UAS information with their friends and family on flying unmanned aircraft for fun or work.