Nov. 19, 2014

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen will be a featured panelist at a Dec. 9 Washington, DC forum, sponsored by the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), to discuss FAA reauthorization and the future of the aviation system.

Bolen will discuss the primary challenge of NextGen modernization, and other FAA reform initiatives, as well as, how to achieve transformation goals without compromising the flexibility and access characteristics that contribute to the U.S. “staying the world’s best aviation system.”

Speaking on behalf of the interests of business aviation at various forums – including the FAA Forecasting Conference, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit and other events – is essential to the advocacy that NBAA conducts, Bolen said.

“We will continue to support discussion of all the options and careful consideration at every step in implementing the NextGen concepts that have widespread support across the aviation industry, including the many safety, situational awareness and capacity improvements that the transition to NextGen will provide,” he said.

At an ALPA panel event on NextGen implementation held in August in Washington, Bolen said, “All of these NextGen concepts had widespread support, but as we have moved toward development and implementation, we’ve begun to recognize that this is no easy task.” Read more of Bolen’s remarks from the August panel discussion on airspace modernization.

He addressed concerns raised by others in the industry about the FAA’s current operational and regulatory responsibilities for the National Airspace System – and suggestions that the U.S. adopt a privatized model – by reiterating general aviation’s significant contributions to the economy in terms of jobs, trade, and support for businesses of all sizes and communities nationwide.

“The business aviation community believes in looking at all of the [aviation system management] alternatives,” he said at the August 2014 event, “but we also are very mindful of the importance of preserving the system’s opportunities and flexibility. For business aviation, this means access – access to airports and airspace is essential. For communities that depend on general aviation airports, [that means] business and economic opportunity, essential air transportation and humanitarian lift.

“I hear from operators – particularly as business aviation has become more international over the past decade or so – that the U.S. is still the easiest, most efficient and best system in the world to operate in,” said Bolen.

Bolen also noted that the “FAA’s funding stream has been stable over the past 15 years, despite some incredibly turbulent times.”

The FAA should be encouraged to continue with its consolidation plans, including accelerating the process of streamlining certification procedures and other regulatory and operational processes that impact the entire aviation industry, said Bolen.

Michael Robbins, ALPA managing director for government and public affairs, will moderate the ALPA panel discussion. Bolen will be joined on the panel by Rich Swayze, FAA assistant administrator for policy, international affairs and environment; David Grizzle, CEO of Dazzle Partners, LLC; Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association; and Todd Hauptli, president and CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Learn more about the upcoming ALPA event.