Avionics News May 2022 - 31

and commercial aviation and in defense. It is imperative to
get regulators involved in the process as early as possible.
Amalfitano said there is a need not only to obtain a type
certificate but a production certificate and to establish an
operational protocol. There is going to be more regulatory work
needed to move novel aircraft forward as lots of innovation and
modern technology is reviewed by regulatory bodies. Amalfitano
said it will be like a second dawn of the jet age.
On a positive note, Eric Hinson, CEO of SimCom
International, made a point about FAA and industry
cooperation over the past two years. " During the pandemic,
we saw some tremendous flexibility out of the regulatory
organizations, certainly from the training perspective where
people no longer could travel to training centers. We set up
virtual ways that we could inspect simulators for their annual
requalification and so forth. This proved how dynamic the FAA
and industry could be in solving relatively near-term problems
that had to be resolved quickly. "
So there were some good things that came out of the
pandemic, because the industry and regulators learned how to
work in different ways. Meanwhile, the growing backlog of
work for regulators is becoming a significant issue.
" Policy and guidance backlog (for regulators) is
tremendously important to us, " Bunce said. He has brought this
issue up with Billy Nolen, the FAA associate administrator of
aviation safety who now serves as acting FAA administrator
following Steve Dickson's March 31 retirement. " The backlog
is increasing, and we weren't able to clear the backlog of
policy and guidance that allows us to do our jobs. We can't do
things and deliver products and new technologies and safetyenhancing
capability unless we have the policy and guidance
that allows us to do that. "
Bunce also said the amount of activity is starting to
overwhelm the people assigned to do the regulatory work at the
FAA, Transport Canada, the European Union Aviation Safety
Agency and the U.K.'s Civil Aviation Authority. GAMA will
focus on this issue to help avoid slowing the industry down.
Bunce said bilateral agreements are key, and the industry relies
on qualified experts in many of these organizations to keep the
work flowing.
Many airframe companies have continued to introduce new
models or derivatives of existing models since the pandemic hit,
but there haven't been as many new avionics systems introduced.
That's one reason the new product introduction session was
so highly anticipated at the 65th annual AEA International
Convention & Trade Show in New Orleans, March 28.
Pilot training is rebounding nicely according to Hinson.
The company provides training for jet, turboprop, piston
and regional airline aircraft including the Gulfstream G650,
Challenger 300/350, Phenom 300 and Pilatus PC-12NGx.
Hinson said this industry segment has come a long way from
18 months ago when revenues for his companies and ones like
it were cut in half.
There was a significant recovery in the second half of
2020, and he said pilot training demand in 2021 produced
exceptional results. Charter and fractional operator growth
has been supplemented by the aircraft owner and pilot market.
Boeing lowered its predicted global pilot hiring numbers down
from 804,000 over 20 years forecast in 2019 to 612,000 in
2021. The demand in any case remains strong despite uneven
global economic recovery from the pandemic.
The Boeing forecast demand for new aircraft technicians
didn't decline as much going down from 769,000 in 2019 to
626,000 in the 2021 estimate. Speakers at the GAMA state
of the industry press conference mentioned all of the work
that is going into the workforce issue that affects avionics
repair shops and the constant need for technicians. Workforce
development is a constant focus of the AEA and other general
aviation associations committed to keeping the planes flying.
Bunce noted the industry success in getting the American
Rescue Plan Act of 2021 enacted in March 2021. This created
the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection program. As
a result, the federal government has paid $673 million in
partnership with industry to 593 companies to preserve the
workforce as the pandemic was otherwise forcing layoffs.
At one point, Bunce displayed a map of America with dots
for all the airports and pointed out that the nation has the best
airport infrastructure in the world. This is mostly because so
many military training bases were built in the 1940s for World
War II.
" The United States is an aviation nation, " Bunce said. " This
is the infrastructure we have got to preserve, and it is under
attack by a lot of towns using a lot of excuses to try to close
down airports. We need to keep every single one of those
airports out there because what we do is so critical not only for
the economic vitality of this country. " He noted that users of
general aviation airports include EMS helicopters as well as
rescue, disaster relief and firefighting aircraft.
The industry vaulted a significant hurdle on the last day
of 2021 when everyone suddenly realized that Dec. 31
came on Friday, a federal holiday. Bunce said aircraft had
to be delivered, and the FAA agreed to keep the registry
open for OEMs to do so. Bunce also thanked Dickson,
the retiring FAA administrator, who was in the audience
for the efforts by FAA executive Chris Rocheleau and the
registry team for recording these aircraft. Rocheleau, FAA
deputy associate administrator for aviation safety, made
sure the work was completed on time. As a result, Bunce
said, " We delivered a quarter of a billion dollars of product
in the last few days of the year. " q
avionics news * may 2022 31

Avionics News May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News May 2022

Avionics News May 2022 - Intro
Avionics News May 2022 - Cover1
Avionics News May 2022 - Cover2
Avionics News May 2022 - 1
Avionics News May 2022 - 2
Avionics News May 2022 - 3
Avionics News May 2022 - 4
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Avionics News May 2022 - Cover3
Avionics News May 2022 - Cover4
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