The FAA’s Time Warp

(click on image to view blogpost at AVweb.com)

(click on image to view blogpost at AVweb.com)

The first major event of the new year for general aviation is going on right now, the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo. It is happening on January 14th-17th, at the airport in Sebring, [KSEF] in the heart of Florida. The first expo was in 2004.

This is a big event for those who enjoy recreational flying. A chance to do some flying (to Florida, in the middle of winter!), meet up with old friends, learn about new products, and listen to a few speakers. It is also a chance to discuss aviation politics.

A blog by Mary Grady at AVweb.com generated some interesting reader comments. Ms. Grady expressed concerns about how sluggish and ineffective FAA has been for decades, and how this is hurting general aviation. Here are four of the comments posted after her blog…

“Check any aviation magazine of the past couple decades and you will see the same discussions we see today, 3rd class medical reform, unleaded avgas, easier certification for GA. It never changes. These issues have been ongoing since the 80’s at least. Will it ever change? Probably not. No bureaucracy will purposefully and voluntarily give up any of it’s rules or regulations. It will add more layers on top of existing layers and create situations where you must have A to get to point B but you cannot get A without the paperwork obtained at point B. The FAA is supposed to be there to support and further aviation but ends up merely restricting it and the front line troops who work so hard are impeded by confusing rules from the head office.”
“Sadly, the FAA today is doing to GA what Detroit did to itself in the 1970s. It is making American GA irrelevant. Once that “Mission Accomplished” banner gets hung in OKC, there will be no way to recover – ever.
Remember the old “doomsday clock,” back during the Cold War? Lately I’m reminded of it by every action – or instance of inaction – taken by the Agency. Pass the Prozac!”
“Time warp indeed. Why are the simple details of 3rd Class medical reform that Commissioner Michael Huerta told everyone about at Airventure still “top secret” some six months later? People need to know this stuff in order to get on with life. It’s totally ridiculous and childish to treat this information like it’s the nuclear defense codes.”
“So long as the FAA (and I have my own, unprintable words for that acronym) can just ignore mandates from congress with impunity, nothing will change (well, not for the better). Reducing regulations and making things simpler is not in their DNA so you aren’t going to see the changes we want here unless someone at the FAA fears losing their job over it and congress has not shown any backbone in enforcing their laws.
They jumped on the ill-concieved changes to ATP and First officer qualifications so that demonstrates they CAN do something fast if they feel like it. In that case it ADDED to the onerousness of regulations so they liked it.
Congress mandated action on the 3rd class medical and the FAA just gave them the finger and said they couldn’t get to it. If we look at the FAA as a corporation and congress as the BOD, in what private sector company could the CEO and other officers blatantly ignore directions from the BOD and expect to keep their jobs?”

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