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Washington, DC, Feb. 7, 2023 – In testimony before a congressional hearing on funding reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today outlined business aviation’s legacy of safety leadership and detailed specific ways to ensure safety remains the north star guiding the industry’s future.
“Since the dawn of flight, safety has been integral to everything we do, on the ground and in the air,” Bolen stated before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today. “Because of this continued, comprehensive focus on innovative approaches to safety, aviation is the safest mode of transportation, and the U.S. stands as the global leader in aviation safety.
“Safety is not a destination,” Bolen emphasized, “it is a journey and a practice that requires vigilance and a supportive culture to thrive.”
Bolen pointed to multiple areas in which business aviation has led the way on aviation safety, including the development of pioneering technologies such as GPS and airborne collision avoidance systems, as well as in collaboration with the FAA on its Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) initiative and in the development of the International Standard for Business Aviation Operations, or IS-BAO.
These and a multitude of other efforts have formed the basis for a comprehensive approach to safety that spans several decades, Bolen continued, with proven results. “That said, the aviation landscape is continually evolving, and the industry’s approach to safety must evolve with it,” he added.
Bolen detailed a number of emerging concerns on the horizon for which safety must remain paramount, including the need to protect the flight privacy of passengers and crew, develop new policies that are better aligned with advances in airframe construction and technologies and building a next-generation aviation workforce.
Safety must also be front-and-center with the integration of upcoming advanced air mobility (AAM) and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft into the National Airspace System (NAS). “We have the potential to continue to lead the next phase in the evolution in aviation with AAM, but competition with other nations to be first is fierce and rapidly advancing,” Bolen stated.
Bolen outlined three guiding principles for the upcoming FAA reauthorization debate to aid in defining this continually dynamic and evolving aviation landscape.
These include strengthening and enhancing critical FAA systems; implementing strategic solutions to bolster the workforce and attract and retain the next generation of skilled aviation professionals across the industry; and mitigation of safety and security threats that emerged following the deployment of automatic dependent surveillance broadcast, or ADS-B.
“Our industry looks forward to continued engagement as we develop policy solutions that strengthen our unrivaled National Airspace System, sustain vigilance across the industry on safety and maintain the role of the United States as the world leader in aerospace,” Bolen concluded. “We look forward to a robust discussion about aviation safety.”
Current funding authorization for the FAA expires Sept. 30.
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 company and professional members and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at nbaa.org.
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