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As his term at the Federal Aviation Administration comes to an end early next year, FAA administrator Michael Huerta spoke on Nov. 14 at the Aero Club in Washington, D.C.
With a perspective spanning more than seven years at the agency, his remarks focused on the importance of building partnerships with stakeholders to continue advancing America’s global leadership on aviation.
“The only way forward was to foster a more constructive relationship with the aviation community,” Huerta said. “The result is the safest, largest, most complex, and most efficient air transportation system the world has ever known. And it’s something we accomplished together.”
Under Huerta’s leadership, the FAA worked closely with industry and a variety of advisory committees to prioritize the rollout of airspace modernization technologies like data communications and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).
The agency also streamlined how it certifies new small general aviation aircraft, incorporated risk management into its oversight work, and completed its first regulations for the use of small unmanned aircraft.
Huerta recognized that incorporating new stakeholders, like drone users and technology companies, into the FAA’s decision-making processes will be essential to continue making progress in the future.
“Our aviation family is only going to keep expanding. Our table has to grow with it,” he said. “We need to hear from a broad range of voices if we’re going to get things right.”
Huerta also encouraged the entire aviation community to engage in transparent and frank discussions about how to best position our nation’s aviation system to meet the demands of the future.
“The sky above our heads is one of this nation’s most valuable assets. We must protect it, and help it thrive,” Huerta said. “We’ve got some tough questions to answer. But I’m confident we’re prepared to face them head on.”