FAA Releases Revised Flight Plan

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The FAA last week released its annual revision of its Flight Plan -- the agency's strategic plan for the next five years, originally published in 2003. The plan sets the agency's priorities -- increased safety, greater capacity, international leadership and organizational excellence. The revision reflects input gleaned from almost 1,000 comments and suggestions, about 80 percent of them from employees and the rest from various stakeholders, the FAA said. The plan also lists the FAA's achievements for 2004, which include reduced GA accidents, especially in Alaska; a reduction in serious runway incursions; certifying the first receiver for the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and its first "virtual" public meeting. "Our goal was to develop a tighter, more disciplined Flight Plan with improved performance targets, fewer initiatives, and a plan that is more responsive to the entire aerospace community," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. The FAA also listed as a major achievement its first "virtual" public rulemaking meeting, held in March in reference to the contentious air-tour rules -- an event that was met with a less than enthusiastic response from many in the GA world, who wanted to confront the rulemakers face to face. The FAA also congratulated itself that there were no injuries to the public during commercial space launch operations. Yup.