The FAA “completely understands the importance of general aviation,” Michael Huerta told a Senate committee Thursday, June 21, in his hearing for nomination to be FAA administrator. He has been acting administrator since the resignation of Randy Babbitt after his arrest for driving under the influence.
In his opening statement, Heurta asked the rhetorical question “how do you take the safest aviation system and make it safer? By making it smarter.” Most of his responses to questions from senators seemed to stress that position.
Several senators asked questions relating to general aviation, ranging from seeking assurance that despite Environmental Protection Agency concerns, avgas would continue to be available, to the importance of small general aviation airports.
NextGen also came up for discussion with several senators questioning its progress. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) commented that “we have been fiddling around with NextGen since before the turn of the century” and he would like to see faster action. Heurta stressed the importance of moving NextGen ahead quickly.
When asked about the President’s budget calling for a $100 flight fee on general aviation, Heurta responded that the administration was trying to find ways to “share the costs” of the aviation system.
Members of the committee generally indicated approval of Heurta’s nomination. In Washington, however, there is some speculation that the final voting could be delayed until after the Presidential election. Some believe the administrator’s fixed five-year term should not be enacted until it is determined what administration will be in power during that period.
For more information: FAA.gov
People who read this article also read articles on airparks, airshow, airshows, avgas, aviation fuel, aviation news, aircraft owner, avionics, buy a plane, FAA, fly-in, flying, general aviation, learn to fly, pilots, Light-Sport Aircraft, LSA, and Sport Pilot.