FAA's Huerta Talks 3rd Class Medical

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A Senate committee is preparing to vote on FAA Administrator nominee Michael Huerta, who met with AVweb Wednesday at AirVenture and commented on third-class medicals, drones, ADS-B and more. Historically, the administrator's comments in these sessions are friendly, but cordial and carefully worded, as a matter of course. They generally do not reveal much about pending regulation, but they can provide a sense of the person behind the title ... if only a small one. If confirmed as Administrator, Huerta will officially take the office with a lot on his plate.

Our conversation was recorded; click here to listen.

Recent reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have been critical of multiple programs related to the FAA. The GAO says NextGen is late and roughly $4.2 billion over budget; and weaknesses in the Alien Flight Student Program have allowed individuals to progress through flight training after entering the country illegally. Most recently, the GAO has found issues with non-punitive reporting of safety concerns among air traffic controllers. And then there are recommendations from the NTSB -- notably, recommendations for testing experimental aircraft.