March 4, 2021
In a March 3 Virtual Business Aviation Town Hall, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen welcomed FAA Administrator Steve Dickson to a discussion that covered a host of pressing issues facing the sector.
The Administrator made news by announcing the formation of a new executive council to help foster the development and safe integration into the aviation system of emerging Advanced Air Mobility technologies.
As reported in Politico, Dickson noted “the council will weigh in on certification processes for the aircraft in question, but also look more broadly at scaling such technology and integrating it into the national airspace. That will include setting and tracking objectives for the sector, developing an integration plan and making sure safety goals are met.”
Dickson and Bolen discussed other continuing industry priorities, including a shared commitment to continually reduce the aviation’s carbon footprint, including through efforts to promote the availability and use of sustainable aviation fuels.
The two also addressed the need to promote and grow a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. “We must have the benefit of multiple points of view within different sectors of the industry, interacting with each other,” Dickson noted.
Given the role of aviation safety as a core business aviation value, Dickson commended NBAA members for the adoption of safety management systems, and embracing “the power of data to reduce risk.” He noted that the number of NBAA companies in safety-data gathering systems – like the agency’s Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing initiative – continues to grow year over year.
Other topics covered in the session included the ongoing work toward a NextGen ATC system, and the Biden administration’s plans for investing in transportation infrastructure. In that regard, Bolen and Dickson both stressed the importance of collaboration between industry stakeholders, regulatory officials and congressional leaders. “We must continue to work together, collaborate and communicate to make sure we are working together with the entire global aviation community,” Dickson said.
As government and industry look to the horizon beyond the COVID-19 moment, Bolen commended the FAA for its work to ensure that aviation could not only survive the daunting challenges produced by the pandemic, but also to thrive in the years ahead. “I want to thank you and your team for your tremendous leadership,” he said.