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Thu, Oct 12, 2017

FAA Regulator Explains The Future Of Flight Standards

Speaker John Duncan Focused On Reorganization Of The Flight Standards Office

John Duncan, executive director of the FAA’s Flight Standards Service, was the featured presenter at NBAA’s always-popular Meet the Regulators session at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). Duncan’s discussion focused primarily on the recent reorganization of the Flight Standards Divisions, an initiative known as the Future of Flight Standards (FFS).

The FFS initiative is in part the result of the Consistency and Standardization Aviation Rulemaking Committee. The changes are meant to encourage accountability and consistency within Flight Standards, as well as improve internal change management processes.

“Inspectors have to act like a team and be interdependent,” said Duncan. “They also have to be able to think critically, and we have to put decision-making authority at the right place in the organization.”

Duncan believes the reorganization will meet these goals. FFS replaces the geographic regional level of Flight Standards with four functional offices – an Air Carrier office, a General Aviation office, a Standards office and a Foundational Business office.

“We needed an organizational structure that facilitated the culture change,” said Duncan. “This was not about changing the boxes on the organizational chart. This reorganization will help us be the consistent and agile organization we need to be.”

Duncan emphasized existing Flight Standards District Offices remain unchanged so individual relationships between the industry and local inspectors are not directly impacted. However, if local resources are unable to adequately address the issue, stakeholders may raise issues with the new Rapid Response Team in order to be directed to the right subject matter expert on a particular topic.

Duncan also addressed questions about the use of minimum equipment lists (MELs) by Part 91 operators when flying in EASA countries, where MEL requirements differ slightly from FAA requirements. Duncan hopes to resolve the MEL concerns with EASA before the end of 2017.

“The Meet the Regulators session remains one of the most popular education sessions at NBAA-BACE,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs and moderator of the session. “It is a unique opportunity for NBAA-BACE attendees to hear directly from the top regulators and ask questions.”

(Image provided with NBAA-BACE news release)

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.nbaa.org

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