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Fri, Aug 19, 2011

Embry-Riddle President & CEO Addresses Wichita Aero Club

Highlights Industry Concerns And Successes At August Business Luncheon

The members of the aircraft community, including many Embry-Riddle alumni, gathered at the monthly Wichita Aero Club luncheon on Tuesday to hear from guest speaker Dr. John P. Johnson (pictured), president and CEO of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Johnson shared many short stories to chronicle the success of Embry-Riddle students, and voiced concerns on industry issues ranging from the need for more pilots and more safe and secure airspace.

Dr. Johnson focused significant attention on the importance of establishing a satellite-based air traffic control system in the near future. For more than six years, Embry-Riddle has been testing Automatic Dependent Surveillance-B (ADS-B) satellite technology which allows pilots to detect all traffic located within their airspace. The FAA employed Embry-Riddle to test the equipment on all 100 aircraft in its fleet, and Dr. Johnson is pleased with the results.

“It is something that is absolutely vital to the future safety and security of air traffic,” he said. “With ADS-B, you can get more airplanes in less space and make operations more efficient.”

According to Dr. Johnson, another issue facing the industry is the shortage of more than 400,000 pilots. While Embry-Riddle is turning out highly-educated pilots as fast as possible, other parts of the world are lacking. Dr. Johnson expressed the need for more multi-crew pilot license (MPL) programs in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Embry-Riddle is currently partnering with Boeing to help create these programs.

The ERAU President ended Tuesday’s luncheon by stating that our nation and the industry have a lot to look forward to. With the highest GDP and an aviation industry that is the best in the world, Dr. Johnson promised that the U.S. will continue to move forward. “When you look at the data, you see a great nation that is unparalleled on this planet,” he said.

The Wichita Aero Club’s next luncheon features Dr. Peggy Chabrian, President of Women in Aviation.

FMI: www.wichitaaeroclub.org

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