Central Region Congressional Interest Newsletter - FY2017 - Spring

Message from Regional Administrator Joe Miniace

My staff and I are preparing for another busy and exciting Congressional outreach season! This year, we will continue to visit airports, military bases and meet with all of our Congressional offices to share updates from across the agency. Our goal is to continue to strengthen the relationship between the FAA and Congressional District offices, and aviation community stakeholders in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Our agenda for these meetings will include updates on NextGen, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), efforts to reduce aircraft noise, AIP grants and collaboration with educational institutions. As always, my staff and I are here whenever you need us, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Thanks and we will see you all soon!

Central UAS Outreach

The prevalence of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drones, and the growing number of UAS operators who have no previous aviation experience is a pretty extraordinary thing. Coupled with the abilities a UAS offers to businesses, along with the expansive marketing of these tools, non-commercial/hobby users and industries alike are clamoring to jump in and take off.

Within the Central Region, we employed a team approach to hosting in-person question and answer sessions with Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) in Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. As many know, FAA has comprehensive UAS information and specific tools designed for LEO use, and by hosting the LEO-specific outreach forums we provide officers with the chance to ask “what if” type scenario questions from a diverse FAA team of subject matter experts.

Our friends in law enforcement remind us there are only a few of them to manage thousands of potential issues, and UAS calls can be daunting – if they don’t understand their roles and responsibilities. So the next time they get that panicked “Hey what was that?” type call, they will be better positioned to respond.

Data Comm, the NextGen technology that enhances safety and reduces delays by dramatically improving the way air traffic controllers and pilots talk to each other, is up and running at five airports in the New York metropolitan area: JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Teterboro and Westchester. These airports were among the first to receive the critical system upgrade.

The Future of Flight Service

New national flight service functions will leverage automation to save time and enhance safety.

FAA Forecasts Continued Growth in Air Travel

The FAA released its annual Aerospace Forecast Report Fiscal Years 2017 to 2037, which projects sustained and continued growth in nearly every aspect of air transportation.

The FAA Aerospace Forecast 2017-37 is developed to support budget and planning needs of the FAA. The forecasts are developed using statistical models to explain and incorporate emerging trends of the different segments of the aviation industry. This year's document contains updated forecasts for US airline traffic and capacity, FAA workload, General Aviation activity and pilots, as well as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) fleet and remote pilots.

NextGen Arrives for UPS

UPS pilot Capt. Gregg Kastman describes the benefits his company is experiencing as a result of NextGen.

ADS-B 101

With the approaching January 1, 2020 deadline to equip with ADS-B Out, pilots and owners are looking for more information. Learn more about what it is, and how it will benefit the general aviation community.

True Stories of Air Traffic Control

Listen to a pilot’s grateful words after a recent close call in Fort Worth Center airspace.

U.S. Helicopter Accidents Decrease

The U.S. helicopter accident rate and the fatal helicopter accident rate have fallen for the third consecutive year, according to Federal Aviation Administration data.

FAA Issues General Aviation Medical Rule

The FAA has issued a final rule that allows general aviation pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements outlined in Congressional legislation. Beginning May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate.

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