Huerta’s Final Oshkosh Speech Focuses On The Future
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.