Huerta’s Final Oshkosh Speech Focuses On The Future

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FAA Administrator Michael Huerta addressed the crowd at EAA AirVenture on Thursday, at Theater in the Woods, and reminded aircraft owners that time is running out to get equipped for ADS-B. “All aircraft flying in controlled airspace are going to need ADS-B by January 1, 2020,” he said. “That deadline hasn’t changed, and won’t change.” As many as 160,000 airplanes need to get equipped, and only 26,000 are currently in compliance, he said. The FAA still has 12,000 incentives, worth $500 each, to give away by Sept. 18. “I didn’t think we’d have a problem giving away free money,” Huerta said. “Please: Don’t leave this money on the table ... It’s time to call your repair shop, make installation plans, and pick out your equipment.”

Huerta also addressed the FAA’s problems with funding. Since he joined the FAA seven years ago, Huerta said, the agency has endured the uncertainty of 23 short-term reauthorization extensions. “That’s no way to run the best aviation system in the world,” he said. He added that the debate taking place in Washington now about the FAA’s funding structure is “long overdue.” The country needs to have a “meaningful discussion about how we can improve the services we deliver today,” Huerta said, “while preparing for an increasingly complex and growing set of users in the future.” Huerta also encouraged pilots to take advantage of the FAA’s new BasicMed program for pilot medical certification. His term as administrator will end this year.

Comments (9)

People aren't claiming the ADS-B rebate because of all the hoops you have to jump through to claim it.

People are delaying installing the equipment as they wait for the cost to come down. And they're rightfully hesitant to install a piece of equipment that provides a full-time identifiable tracking device for the FAA to use at its leisure. Honestly, I don't blame them--the way the system is currently implemented, it has security and implementation holes big enough to drive an aircraft carrier through. Was there anyone on the FAA's staff who said "hey, what about...." or "what happens if..." or "hey, does anyone else think it's a bad idea to..."?

Posted by: Robert Gatlin-Martin | July 28, 2017 6:36 AM    Report this comment

The vast majority of non-equippages are NOT instances of waiting to comply. They are instances of decisions NOT to comply - ever. These are planes and pilots whose flying careers will end on December 31, 2019.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | July 28, 2017 7:36 AM    Report this comment

I think all pilots should squawk & talk, makes for a safer environment. and I know a lot of pilots are scared to talk to ATC, and I think that is the reason they are requiring ADSB. I just don't like the added expense. if you are flying within the regs you don't have anything to worry about.

Posted by: jim russell | July 28, 2017 9:27 AM    Report this comment

I fail to see the real need for this for GA. What is a transponder for then? Planes have had transponders for decades. Seems like it is just a reason to add a lot of cost and keep a bunch of small planes on the ground.

Posted by: Kenneth Lewis | July 28, 2017 1:47 PM    Report this comment

"His term as administrator will end this year".

Good riddance! He has been nothing but a worthless bureaucrat. Hopefully his replacement will be someone from outside the agency who has a track record of supporting GA. Maybe then the FAA will certify an ADS-B unit similiar to the blind mode C encoders that became required in the 90's. The only reason he says he is encouraging private pilots to take advantage of the BasicMed program is because Congress told him to. And now his support of ATC privatization deserves a push out the FAA office door!

Posted by: matthew wagner | July 28, 2017 7:39 PM    Report this comment

One of the reasons the FAA wants us to equip for ADS-B is to allow it to decommission the existing surveillance radar system. In controlled airspace, especially dense terminal airspace, this makes sense. The benefits/costs for ADS-B are far greater, in real dollars, then they were for the mode C transponders we equipped with decades ago. The key is for everyone who operates in controlled airspace to upgrade.

Mr. Huerta's problem isn't with us, it is with the airlines - something he never mentioned. It isn't clear how many private aircraft will equip by 2020, but we all know that they won't be operating in controlled airspace if they haven't. The story is different for the airlines. Last year the FAA granted them an exemption from equipping until 2025 (thank you Mr. Huerta). The lobbying organization Airlines for America (A4A) petitioned the FAA to grant the exemption and, astoundingly, the Agency fact sheet that explains the exemption states it was granted at A4A's request! The airlines' strategy seems to be to run out the clock on ADS-B by refusing to equip their current fleet. Over a 20-30 year span they will replace these non-compliant aircraft with new airframes that come ADS-B equipped from the factory (like us, Boeing and Airbus were given a mandate to produce ADS-B airplanes). This plan guarantees we will not see real benefits from ADS-B for a decade or two when all airspace users are finally equipped. Of course, if our airspace is privatized, I would expect one of the ATC Corporation's first actions to be the elimination of the ADS-B mandate for the airlines.

In the mean time I will be disappointed, but not surprised, if Mr. Huerta takes an executive position with an airline, or with A4A, after he leaves public service.

Posted by: kim hunter | July 28, 2017 8:45 PM    Report this comment

Interesting that that news has not been covered more by aviation publications. I knew the airlines had asked for a delay but was not aware that the FAA had granted a 5 year extension on equiping for ADS-B. Very interesting!!!

Posted by: matthew wagner | July 28, 2017 9:21 PM    Report this comment

Huerta will be gone soon. Seven years ago he did not know what G/A was. Huerta had no formal aviation experience. No one really knows if next/gen will work properly and there are big problems ahead. FAA Is behind schedule and over budget on the new system. I believe the next administrator appointed by President Trump will grant an extension for all aircraft until he know just what it will cost and all the corruption and waste is removed.........it's called draining the swamp. The new administrator will be someone with experience and he will move the FAA forward .......It will be a travesty if FAA ever forced the industry to accept a system that will not work!

Posted by: Richard Wyeroski | July 29, 2017 7:51 PM    Report this comment

Huerta will be gone soon. Seven years ago he did not know what G/A was. Huerta had no formal aviation experience. No one really knows if next/gen will work properly and there are big problems ahead. FAA Is behind schedule and over budget on the new system. I believe the next administrator appointed by President Trump will grant an extension for all aircraft until he know just what it will cost and all the corruption and waste is removed.........it's called draining the swamp. The new administrator will be someone with experience and he will move the FAA forward .......It will be a travesty if FAA ever forced the industry to accept a system that will not work!

Posted by: Richard Wyeroski | July 29, 2017 7:54 PM    Report this comment

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