Manufacturers: FAA Could Land U.S. Behind

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It's not only vintage aircraft owners who are struggling with FAA paperwork. "Certification has now become a risk and threatens our business plan," Cessna CEO Jack Pelton told a congressional panel last week in Wichita. The lack of FAA support creates delays in getting new products to buyers and harms competitiveness in the global market, he said. He cited one example of a 90-day delay in certifying upgrades to a bizjet, and said other delays occurred when certification needs were put into a queue with no timeline for when they might be addressed. Raytheon CEO Jim Schuster agreed, saying such delays could cause the "loss of our technological leadership, international competitiveness and, ultimately, jobs." The panel, headed by U.S. Rep. John Mica, (R-Fla.), also heard about concerns with tort reform and product liability, training and recruiting workers and engineers, price increases in aluminum and steel, and funding for aviation research, according to The Wichita Eagle.