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Thu, Oct 12, 2017

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta Makes Final NBAA Appearance

Urges Both Sides In ATC Privatization Debate To Engage In Conversation

In his final appearance before the NBAA as FAA administrator, Michael Huerta said that the debate over ATC privatization should be a conversation, and not just a recitation of talking points from both sides.

Huerta was among the speakers at the opening general session on Tuesday. On the topic of the AIRR Act and ATC privatization, he said that the system does need to be modernized, but at the same time Congress and the FAA must ensure that one of our nation’s most valuable assets – the air above our heads – remains available to all users.

"Now, NBAA has not exactly been shy about expressing its position on this red-hot issue. Then again, NBAA has never exactly been shy about expressing its positions on any issue that’s important to its membership," Huerta said.

"I want to encourage you and every other voice in this debate to carefully consider the many – and sometimes competing – viewpoints that are being expressed.

"We must not allow ourselves to dig in so deeply to our own position that the debate becomes a volley of talking points that we lob past one another. This should be a conversation, not a team sport.

"Disagreement can be a good thing when both sides listen to each other and agree to collaborate rather than draw lines in the sand.

"In fact, if I were asked which one, single word best sums up my approach to running the FAA, I would have to say it’s collaboration.

Huerta said that the very definition of what aviation is has changed dramatically in the last few years. "You are beginning to share the nation’s airspace with new typed of vehicles, ranging from small unmanned aircraft to what will soon become a burgeoning space tourism industry."

He said that everyone with a stake in the future of aviation must be included in that conversation, with a goal of providing the traveling public and all airspace users a "safe and efficient air traffic system that is second to none."

(Source: FAA Speech Text. Image from file)

FMI: Full Text

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