FAA Administrator Jane Garvey praised both AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation today as she addressed AOPA members during an AOPA Expo 2000 general session.
"The Air Safety Foundation leaves no stone unturned and works hard for all pilots," she said, honoring the foundation's fiftieth anniversary. "The results are phenomenal."
Garvey said this is the safest year yet for GA, with fatal accidents down nine percent over the same period last year. "In large part, that's due to the proactive stance of AOPA and ASF." Garvey specifically mentioned the two organizations' work on preventing runway incursions, including making airport taxi diagrams available on the AOPA Web site.
Garvey quoted the late Max Karant (founder of AOPA Pilot magazine), who said, "The system must be designed to serve all users, not just a select few." Garvey said, "That's correct, and that's fair."
AOPA President Phil Boyer noted that thanks to the efforts of AOPA members, the FAA had received a $7 billion "allowance increase." That's because members had contacted Congress to urge passage of AIR-21. "We'll accept your thanks," Boyer joked to Garvey. AIR-21 includes a 62-percent increase in funding for GA airports.
The FAA administrator said that the FAA would be relying on AOPA's Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteers to help monitor that that money was being spent properly.
She also said that the FAA would be working with AOPA to develop a program to tell communities about the value of their local airports.
Garvey called AOPA a "major player" in the airworthiness directive (AD) coordination process, which involves the association, type clubs, and other knowledgeable industry sources in developing ADs.
She promised that the FAA would continue to work to streamline its certification efforts. Noting that the agency has reduced its medical certification backlog from 70,000 to 13,000, she said, "Our goal should be same-day service. A backlog of one is too many."
October 21, 2000