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FAA ready for 2015

FAA ready for 2015

The Federal Aviation Administration’s enduring mission is to ensure that the United States has the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.  In 2014, we’ve taken many steps to accomplish this result.  I’d like to highlight three particular efforts. 

Air ambulance in Tennessee

First, the FAA issued a rule that requires helicopter operators, including air ambulances, to have stricter flight rules and procedures, improved communications, training, and additional on-board safety equipment. This rule will help reduce safety risk involved in helicopter operations and help pilots make good safety decisions through the use of better training, procedures, and equipment.  The rule represents the most significant improvements to helicopter safety in decades and responds to government and industry concerns over continued risk in helicopter operations. 

Second, the FAA continues to modernize the airspace system by implementing NextGen – our major initiative to make flying more efficient and greener, while ensuring that all safety needs are met.  NextGen includes our Metroplex initiative, an effort to reduce air traffic congestion in the nation’s busiest metropolitan areas.  As part of our Metroplex initiative, we implemented scores of new satellite-based air traffic procedures in several major cities, including Houston, North Texas and Washington D.C.  These procedures are helping to increase on-time arrival, and reduce fuel consumption and emissions, results that are benefiting the airlines, the passenger, and the environment.  For instance, in the North Texas area, we implemented 80 new satellite-based air traffic procedures.  We project that airspace users will save 4.1 million gallons of fuel each year, resulting in a savings of 41,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and $10.3 million dollars.

NextGen allows multiple aircraft approach

Third, the FAA continues to make strides toward safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the nation’s airspace system.  Unmanned aircraft are a burgeoning technology, and the application of the technology is limited only by our imagination.  The FAA has chosen six unmanned aircraft test sites that are now operational.  The research conducted at these sites will help inform the FAA as we move forward with integration.  In addition, the FAA has begun a process for approving commercial unmanned aircraft operations in low-risk situations such as moviemaking, agricultural research and utility surveying.  Unmanned aircraft often provides a safer alternative to work that can be very high risk in manned aircraft.  The agency hopes to issue a rule for public comment very soon on small unmanned aircraft.

These three accomplishments are just a few of the many projects we’ve been focused on in 2014.  In the coming year, we look forward to continuing these efforts to ensure the safety and efficiency of aviation for our nation. 

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Comments

I assume that there in no reply from the FAA on Third Class Medical reform comments because they are hoping it will go away. Those of us who have been grounded for a period of time for no good reason will not likely let our elected officials forget it.

A complete disregard for GA pilots. Nothing on 3rd class reform? I know that the 3rd class medical has done nothing but hurt safety. So many pilots not going to doctors for fear of losing their ticket. If Huerta was so concerned about health and safety he'd get this done. Who's working for who here? Ignoring the #1 issue to pilots is a downright slap in the face to those he is paid to serve!

Third class medical reform. I agree, this is taking too much time! Congress has agreed it is not effecting safety. Now change the rule and support GA pilots.

I've not seen an answer from our employee's on delay for 3rd class medical reform. Come on I paid my taxes, and you got paid

Look at all the comments about 3rd class medical reform....Here's another one! How many hundreds of thousands of voices (300k+ just in AOPA) will it take for our government to make the desires of the American people a priority? Not a word about it in the 2015 agenda? Ready for 2015 my foot......

Is there a site we can follow progress on 3rd class medical reform? What is the current status?

Like the rest of our Government, the FAA is an over paid, under worked department that could care less what what the GA community needs. Maybe if the folks in charge were elected individuals and pay was based on performance things would be different. I finally got my 1st 3rd class med after nearly seven months of going around with the FAA. I was so disgusted that I decided not to continue with pilot training. That will save me 8 to 10 thousand dollars in training and any money I would have spent after receiving a private pilot license.

Where do you follow progress on the 3rd class medical reform on this site? Unable to see anything on it.

It seems clear the FAA has great antipathy to easing third class medical requirements. Because these people are not elected office holders but appointed bureaucrats, it is quite difficult to persuade them to change. Perhaps it is time to pull out all the chocks and go full throttle with the Congress. The recent election cycle has placed control over both houses into the hands of one party. If the Republicans care about this issue, if they are truly responsive to their constituents, they can solve the problem legislatively. Laws are always stronger than bureaucratic rules anyway.

I would like to know where the 3rd class medical issue is on his agenda.

The NxtGen projects continue to be mired in controversy because the FAA refuses to address a serious environmental problem with them known "noise focusing". It has to date produced inaccurate environmental assessments which appear to mask the problem because their assessments lack the precision necessary to realistically portray the noise produced by NextGen air procedures. The result is that people exposed to new NexGen procedures in almost all major cities such as Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles object violently to the new noise focused on them. These violent objections lead to the NextGen projects stalling in most of these cities. Rather than an achievement NextGen is a serious failing for the FAA.

Wouldn't it be nice if the FAA could add that they timely addressed the AOPA/ EAA petition to bring third class medicals into the 21st century and took the time to study reasonable equipment/ safety matters to allow older aircraft to reasonably upgrade equipment without the absurd costs of testing to TSO standards.

Amazing. The 3 highlights this Obama minion offers are one unnecessary harassment of pilots and 2 projects which would actually help pilots but are years behind and show almost no progress. The FAA is no more our friend than the rest of this corrupt government.

Good job! Need to get "Pilot Protection Act" (Drivers Lic Medical) moving before Congress does. Thanks!

Why the continued delay of 3rd class medical reform for public comment?

where is med reform
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