Nov. 3, 2022

Safety, security, sustainability, innovation and talent development: those were the key priorities Ed Bolen, NBAA president and CEO, laid out as fundamental to the future of aviation during a panel at the FAA’s Annual Global Leadership Meeting.

Speaking in Washington, DC, Bolen reaffirmed business aviation’s commitment to working with the FAA and other aviation leaders in addressing these critical issues and noted the global reliance on the FAA’s leadership on these and other industry priorities.

The annual meeting, which gathered hundreds of government officials and aviation stakeholders, also focused on how international collaboration is critical to tacking these issues.

“It’s going to be very critical for the industry to work collaboratively,” said Peter Cerda, regional vice president of the International Air Transport Association. “We need the Europeans and the Americans to be aligned in how we work with our partners in different countries, to make sure that safety continues to be at the forefront and a priority.”

Melanie Boteler, director of information and technology and deputy chief information officer at the FAA, noted that international collaboration must also extend to cybersecurity.

“It is really important that we work together in unison to address cybersecurity as a global concern, thus helping the industry maintain the safety and the efficiencies that are critical to our mission,” Boteler explained.

Speakers also noted that a key component for the aviation industry will be to ensure the regulatory framework can keep innovations moving forward.

NBAA’s Bolen applauded the White House for hosting a recent summit on advanced air mobility (AAM) and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), noting that the event demonstrated the many benefits the technologies will provide in U.S. and around the world.

“I applaud the White House for stepping forward and effectively saying AAM is a good thing,” Bolen said. “It’s going to create jobs, it’s going to increase access, it’s going to be affordable. This is going to be good for our country, and it’s going to be good for the world.”

Peter Prowitt, chief operating officer of the Aerospace Industries Association, agreed with Bolen, stating, “What’s special about this moment in time are the innovations – not just the evolutionary, but the revolutionary changes we’re going to see in technology.”

Bolen also noted that for the U.S. to stay competitive and remain a leader, workforce development will be a critical piece of aviation’s future.

“The rest of the world knows aerospace is a great industry and they want it,” added Bolen. “This is an opportunity for us to lead by example, create a pathway, and attract the best and brightest to the U.S.”

Bolen and the other panelists concluded the session on an optimistic note, agreeing that innovation and collaboration among government and industry stakeholders will ensure that aviation remains strong, even in the face of unforeseen challenges.

“The United States has been fortunate since the time of the Wright brothers to be the world leader in all aspects of aviation and aerospace,” Bolen said. “That’s a good place to be, but we can’t rest on our laurels. Working together on shared priorities, as a united industry, we will remain the world’s leader five, 10 and 25 years from now.”