The Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC) today forwarded its final recommendations to improve the competitiveness and viability of the aviation industry to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Recommendations ranged from improving education programs to making NextGen more affordable for GA.
In April 2010, LaHood announced the formation of the FAAC. Over the past nine months, committee members have held numerous meetings across the country to debate and review a number of ideas to improve the safety, competitiveness, environmental performance, workforce practices, and infrastructure development of the aviation industry.
“The decision to create this advisory panel was a positive indication that Secretary LaHood values stakeholder input in shaping the future of our nation’s air transportation industry,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “As our industry recovers from tough economic times, we look forward to working with him to implement the FAAC’s key recommendations, especially those central to economic prosperity and job creation in the aviation industry.”
The 19 members of the committee represented a spectrum of aviation stakeholders. Two of these members sit on GAMA’s board of directors: Cindy Egnotovich, segment president, nacelles and interior systems of Goodrich Corp., and Jack Pelton, chairman, president, and CEO of Cessna Aircraft Co. Pelton was also selected to lead the Financing Subcommittee.
As members of the FAAC, both Egnotovich and Pelton championed some of the key recommendations of the FAAC. Egnotovich pushed to further government and industry efforts to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs and make them a top tier initiative for the Department. As a member of the Environment Subcommittee, she also played a key role in pushing for the permanent extension of research and development tax credits to speed engine and airframe developments, lowering industry carbon emissions as well as promoting U.S. aviation as a first user of sustainable alternative fuels.
As chair of the Financing Subcommittee, Pelton worked across a wide range of industry stakeholders to build support for recommendations to improve the airport and air traffic infrastructure in the United States. One recommendation focused on accelerating benefits of NextGen by equipping commercial and general aviation aircraft through a public/private partnership. Another asks LaHood to push the FAA to deliver the operational capabilities, procedures, and approvals necessary for operators, the government, and the travelling public to realize NextGen benefits as quickly as possible. Pelton also served on the Competition Subcommittee whose recommendations addressed improving the competitiveness of the aviation industry and targeted the secretary’s appointment to the President Obama’s export promotion cabinet as a way to encourage U.S. manufacturing exports.
Additionally, both Egnotovich and Pelton supported the Aviation Safety Subcommittee recommendation that DOT make a renewed effort to identify potential new sources of data for safety decisions, including those from general aviation. They also expressed that it was imperative for general aviation to receive the same protections offered to the commercial segment for data that is submitted voluntarily and review needed protections for the entire industry in light of the development of safety management systems.
For more information: DOT.gov