ANN April 1st Special
Edition: FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced
at a news conference Thursday that the agency's emphasis on safety
and professionalism by pilots had dramatically improved the safety
record of GA. In 2008, there were 275 fatal general aviation
accidents in the United States, resulting in 495 fatalities.
However, preliminary data for 2009 indicated that there were just
220 fatal GA accidents, a decline of 20%.
"At the current rate, we expect to eliminate all general
aviation accidents in the next five years," said Administrator
Babbitt. He attributed the success to FAA safety programs along
with "complementary programs run by our partners at TSA designed to
create a completely safe environment in the U.S."
Responding to questions, the Administrator was asked whether a
slower economy in 2009, which resulted in general aviation pilots
flying 20% fewer hour than the year before, might have been a
factor in the 20% improvement in the fatal accident rate.
Administrator Babbitt replied "We'll get back to you on that."