FAA Calls For GA Safety Improvements

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With the busy summer flying season upon us, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Tuesday met with leaders from EAA, AOPA, GAMA, NBAA and others in the general aviation community to discuss actions to enhance safety and reduce accidents. The GA fatal accident rate has remained flat over the past five years, Huerta noted. "We cannot become complacent about safety," he said. "Together, we must improve the safety culture to drive the GA fatal accident rate lower." The group agreed to set short-terms goals to raise awareness on the importance of basic airmanship and to promote a positive safety culture. Huerta also asked the aviation community to commit to several longer-term goals.

Huerta called on the aviation community to install life-saving equipment in older airplanes, such as angle-of-attack indicators, inflatable restraints, and two-axis autopilots; to improve data collection and analysis; and to improve airman certification testing and training. To meet these goals, the GA community and the FAA agreed to work together and move forward as quickly as possible on three key initiatives -- an overhaul of airman testing and training standards, an expedited rewrite of Part 23 that will make it faster and cheaper to install new technology in airplanes, and more industry-wide efforts to collect and analyze safety data. More details about the proposals are posted at the FAA web site.