NATA president addresses Hudson midair in hearing

September 16, 2009

National Air Transportation Association President James Coyne National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President James Coyne

National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President James Coyne expressed support for FAA and NTSB recommendations to improve safety in the Hudson River Class B exclusion zone before the Senate Commerce Committee's aviation subcommittee Sept. 15.

Representatives of the two agencies presented their recommendations for revising procedures and air traffic management in the airspace, and Coyne testified in favor of those recommendations at a hearing about aviation safety and the Aug. 8 Hudson River midair collision. Coyne also encouraged the adoption of new technologies for airspace management and outlined industry efforts to improve aviation safety.

“NATA appreciates the efforts of both the NTSB and the FAA to produce thoughtful and targeted airspace, ATC, and operational reforms to enhance the safety margin for operations within the Hudson River Class B exclusion,” Coyne said in his prepared testimony. He added that technologies such as ADS-B, which could enable more accurate transmission of information between aircraft and air traffic control, should be made readily available for general aviation aircraft.

Coyne, an active pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings and more than 30 years of experience flying, is also chair of the GA Serves America advisory council. He told the subcommittee about the commitment to safety of the operating community and efforts by NATA and other industry organizations to improve upon safety with training, tracking, and system safety programs.