AEA Discusses Safety Issues with FAA Administrator

LEE'S SUMMIT, MO., May 15, 2013 -- On Monday, May 13, Aircraft Electronics Association President Paula Derks met with Michael Huerta, Federal Aviation Administration Administrator, to share safety initiatives along with other trade associations. Other associations represented at the meeting in Washington, D.C., included the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Experimental Aircraft Association; General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Helicopter Association International; International Council of Air Shows; National Agricultural Aviation Association; National Air Transportation Association; National Business Aviation Association; and the United States Parachute Association. In addition, a representative from the National Transportation Safety Board participated in the discussion.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to reconfirm affirmation of the continued commitment to general aviation safety by all parties, and the recognition of the improvement and the industry's dedication in the past and continued future efforts.

The meeting objectives included recognizing that the general aviation accident rate has significantly improved during the last 20 years because of industry and FAA efforts, with these efforts continuing; recognition of the significant amount of work that has already been undertaken and is ongoing; with recent trends a concern, safety is an ongoing effort that requires a global and long-term view; and agreement on the support needed from the FAA in the "key areas" that associations will continue to address.

"Safety has always been a large part of the AEA's mission," Derks said. "In my remarks to Administrator Huerta, I shared many of the AEA's safety initiatives, including our SMS (safety management systems) program and our extensive list of training courses offered to members. The AEA conducts more than 100 hours of technical training courses annually at various international locations, which brings together original equipment manufacturers and avionics technicians.

"Realizing the budget constraints the FAA is currently facing, the AEA simply asks the FAA to recognize the value of our training programs by encouraging and allowing the FAA's aviation safety inspectors in the field to attend these valuable training courses. Aviation safety inspectors are responsible for approving and signing off important installations, and there is no better opportunity to learn about these new systems and integration than at the same venue as avionics technicians. The AEA stands ready to work alongside this coalition and the FAA to roll up our sleeves and work on keeping the U.S. aviation system safer than ever."

 Following the meeting, the FAA released a fact sheet on general aviation safety. According to the fact sheet released on Tuesday, May 14, "Reducing GA fatalities is a top priority of the Federal Aviation Administration, and the FAA's goal is to reduce the GA fatal accident rate by 10 percent over a 10-year period (2009-2018)... Similar to commercial aviation, the FAA is focused on reducing general aviation accidents by using a primarily non-regulatory, proactive, and data-driven strategy to get results."

Click here to read the FAA's fact sheet in its entirety, which includes the FAA's top 10 leading causes of fatal general aviation accidents from 2001 to 2011.

  Founded in 1957, the Aircraft Electronics Association represents more than 1,300 member companies in 43 countries, including government-certified international repair stations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft. The AEA membership also includes manufacturers of avionics equipment, instrument repair facilities, instrument manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, test equipment manufacturers, major distributors, engineers and educational institutions.

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