The 5th General Aviation Safety Summit was held last week in Washington, D.C., and it brought some good news to the industry. While the numbers aren’t final just yet, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects 2017 to be the safest year yet.
In a release published by the FAA, officials are pleased with where general aviation safety is headed and are working together with industry to meaningfully address safety. So far they have seen a noticeable difference and are collaborating to make GA even safer.
“We’re still finalizing the numbers, but it looks like 2017 will end up being our safest year yet,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a speech at the Summit. The fatal accident rate has declined below one per 100,000 flight hours.
Safety is an issue that needs to be approached from many angles, including regulatory, technological, and educational. Safety measures implemented through the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) have been credited for the decrease in accidents. GAJSC’s Fly Safe Campaign, an educational campaign launched back in 2015, has reached millions on social media promoting drone safety and information on how to avoid loss of control accidents.
Part 23 rule was also finalized and is aimed at helping to decrease the time to get safety-enhancing technologies for small airplanes to the marketplace. The committee, along with industry experts, have also updated pilot training directives to include risk management through the Airman Certification Standards.
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While the committee has seen success in decreasing general aviation accidents, Huerta feels there is more that can be done.
Huerta stated, “As long as general aviation accidents keep occurring, we must stay vigilant and keep finding new ways to advance our shared safety mission”.
As an industry, we need to remain vigilant and keep finding new ways to advance our shared safety mission. The GA community has been willing to roll up their sleeves and ask, “How can we fix this – together?” With that kind of attitude, I know we can tackle anything that comes our way – and get ever closer to the day when general aviation fatalities are a thing of the past.