As his term at the FAA comes to an end early next year, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told members of the Aero Club in Washington, D.C., the “only way forward” is to foster more “constructive relationships” in the aviation community.
“The result is the safest, largest, most complex, and most efficient air transportation system the world has ever known,” he said. “And it’s something we accomplished together.”
Under Huerta’s leadership, the FAA worked with the aviation industry and a variety of advisory committees to prioritize the rollout of airspace modernization technologies like Data Communications and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).
The agency also streamlined how it certifies new general aviation aircraft, incorporated risk management into its oversight work, and completed its first regulations for the use of small unmanned aircraft.
Huerta said he recognizes that incorporating new stakeholders, like drone users and technology companies, into the FAA’s decision-making processes will be essential to continue making progress in the future.
“Our aviation family is only going to keep expanding,” he said. “Our table has to grow with it. We need to hear from a broad range of voices if we’re going to get things right.”
Huerta also encouraged the entire aviation community to engage in transparent and frank discussions about how to best position our nation’s aviation system to meet the demands of the future.
“The sky above our heads is one of this nation’s most valuable assets,” he said. “We must protect it, and help it thrive. We’ve got some tough questions to answer. But I’m confident we’re prepared to face them head on.”