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AOPA hosts high-ranking FAA officialAOPA hosts high-ranking FAA official

AOPA hosts high-ranking FAA official

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FAA's Nick Sabatini and ASF Exec. Dir.
Bruce Landsberg discussed the many joint
ASF/FAA efforts to improve GA safety.
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Phil Boyer (foreground) shows FAA's
Nicholas Sabatini the modern cockpit
of the Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes aircraft.
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FAA Assoc. Admin. Nicholas Sabatini, AOPA
Pres. Phil Boyer, AOPA Sr. VP Andy Cebula

June 4, 2004 - FAA Associate Administrator for Regulation and Certification Nicholas Sabatini spent much of Friday at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., getting an insider's look at general aviation.

"Nick Sabatini is an important member of the FAA leadership," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, who personally led the FAA official's tour of AOPA. "The work he oversees affects GA at almost every level - from pilots' and mechanics' certificates, medicals, right up through the airworthiness of our aircraft."

Sabatini saw firsthand the many services AOPA offers GA pilots day-in, day-out through the AOPA Pilot Information Center, the Medical Certification staff, and the Membership Services Hotline. "We wanted him to understand that when AOPA represents GA pilots, we really do talk to them and get a real feel for what's important to them every single day," said Boyer.

During Sabatini's visit, Boyer showed him the AOPA Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes better-than-new Twin Comanche, which has in its panel many of the newest innovations available to GA pilots today that enhance aviation safety.

Boyer also explained how AOPA's reach means that the association can conduct statistically valid polls and research to back up its positions, such as the data AOPA provided to both the FAA and the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy about the effects of the charity/sightseeing rule.

With aviation security such a concern for official Washington, Boyer showed Sabatini two of AOPA's most effective tools for keeping pilots informed about temporary flight restrictions - the scrolling red bar at the very top of the AOPA Online home page, which lists Presidential TFRs and links to the specific notams, and Real-Time Flight Planner, the member-benefit flight planner that has graphical depictions of TFRs, both active and soon-to-be active.

Sabatini also met with Bruce Landsberg, the executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Landsberg explained the many safety programs, including interactive online safety courses and in-person safety seminars that the foundation offers free to all pilots - not just AOPA members. Landsberg pointed out that many of the programs were developed in direct consultation with the FAA.

As associate administrator for regulation and certification, Sabatini oversees the development of regulations; the certification, production approval, and continued airworthiness of aircraft; and the certification of pilots, mechanics, and others in safety-related positions. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate with single-engine land, multiengine land, and rotorcraft/helicopter ratings, numerous type-specific ratings, and flight and ground instructor certificates. Prior to joining the FAA, he was a pilot for the U.S. Customs Service and the New York City Police Department.

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