AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 37

PILOT BRIEFING
AOPA ACTION

|

Three wishes
Baker asks for greater FAA support
AOPA PRESIDENT MARK BAKER highlighted issues affecting
general aviation oversight, regulation, and certification during
testimony before the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee in November. Baker told committee members that the
general aviation industry is under stress made worse by outdated
and cumbersome FAA regulations and procedures.
"The regulatory and certification processes used today may
have been needed 30 or 40 years ago, but they simply cannot keep
pace with today's rapid changes and improvements in technology," Baker said. "Changing these processes in ways that lower
costs, reduce bureaucracy, and improve safety will help grow
general aviation. These should be our collective goals."
During his testimony, Baker cited three specific areas where
the general aviation community needs greater support and
responsiveness from the FAA: third class medical reform, aircraft certification, and the ADS-B Out mandate.

Baker also told the committee that the FAA's ADS-B mandate is too expensive and threatens to ground or limit the use of
many general aviation aircraft. Noting that more than 81,000 of
the 188,000 certified piston-powered aircraft on the FAA registry are worth $40,000 or less, and that
Baker said the highly prescriptive and inflexible nature those aircraft have a weighted average
value of $25,800, Baker said the minof FAA regulations has prevented safety advances from
imum $5,000 cost to install required
ADS-B Out equipment is beyond the
reaching the GA community.
reach of many aircraft owners.
Baker emphasized that funding the FAA through excise taxes
Baker told committee members that third class medical
reform is long overdue, especially given that the requested collected on fuel, rather than a user-fee system, has proven effichanges would simply expand an existing FAA standard safely cient and effective. He remarked that the FAA's nearly $16 billion
used by sport pilots for more than 10 years. He added that med- budget gives the agency sufficient resources to make needed
ical reform is a top priority for AOPA members and AOPA is changes in the way it oversees general aviation. The challenge
committed to continuing to work on a legislative solution in the facing the FAA, he said, is to use those resources to meet the
needs of stakeholders and improve efficiencies.
next session of Congress.
"We need the FAA to embrace a system that can keep up with
"While the FAA's desire to create a 'gold standard' for safety is
admirable, in practice it has had the opposite effect," Baker said. rapidly changing technology; that is comfortable with timely,
"Allowing products that offer incremental safety improvements economical, and incremental safety improvements; and that will
to reach the market more quickly would lower costs, simplify actually work to reduce risk today for hundreds of thousands of
flying, and ultimately improve safety for folks flying today and GA pilots," Baker said. "When pilots, industry, and the FAA work
together we see positive results for general aviation."
into the future."

BUILD THAT PLANE
FIRST, A TEAM at Oshkosh built an airplane in one week with hundreds of
AirVenture visitors taking a whack at a rivet, then a South African company
claimed it could build an airplane in four days. And it did. A Sling 4 was built and
flown in four days by 40 workers from The Airplane Factory at a South African
airshow. The team included workers who build the Sling 4 for a living, marketing staff, administrative staff, and even the caterers feeding the round-the-clock
team.
-AKM

www.aopa.org/pilot AOPA PILOT | 37


http://www.aopa.org/pilot

AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 7
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 37
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 40
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 45
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover4
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