FAA administrator on safety, avgas, and the value of GA

July 29, 2010 by Craig Fuller
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt talked about the role and importance of general aviation during a "Meet the Administrator" session at AirVenture.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt talked about the role and importance of general aviation during a talk at EAA AirVenture.

One of the best things about coming to events like EAA AirVenture and AOPA’s Aviation Summit is the opportunity for the general aviation community to hear directly from top-level officials, like FAA Administrator Randy Babbit. Just as important, it’s a chance for those officials to hear from GA pilots and owners.

I had the chance to speak with Administrator Babbitt yesterday during a lunch meeting, and today we took part in a town hall style meeting featuring the FAA administrator along with many leading members of his management team. Even Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood dropped by to deliver the message that he considers general aviation “absolutely essential.”

Over the course of the meeting, Administrator Babbitt talked about many of the issues that are in the forefront for AOPA and the general aviation community at large and thanked the AOPA Air Safety Foundation for its work on improving safety. In addition to safety, he talked about the value of general aviation, NextGen, and the transition away from leaded avgas.

Administrator Babbitt expressed his committment to working with the aviation community to find a solution for replacing leaded fuel–a solution that, in his words, “works for all piston aircraft…old, new, and even those not yet built.”

Equally heartening was his assertion that user fees are not on the horizon, despite the continuing uncertainty over the future of FAA funding.

It’s good to know that top officials are acutely aware of our concerns and, as always, I look forward to working closely with them to ensure that general aviation’s needs remain top-of-mind as we tackle these issues and pursue new opportunities.

  • Brian Hall


    Please tell anyone who will listen, that the FAA needs to re-institute some sort of mandatory FAM training for ALL air traffic controllers. This training was available when I started with the FAA in 1981. I learned invaluable lessons about aircraft and procedures involved from the other side of the microphone.

    I am a veteran en route air traffic controller with over 28 years of experience, an instrument rated pilot, and an individual who cares about the future of the FAA. To continue to make our system the safest in the world, we need this training.

    Please share this with anyone who will listen.

    Brian Hall
    Denver ARTCC, Lonmont CO

  • Doug Loikith

    The FAA really needs more focus on ground and taxiway safety procedures for private pilots at smaller, non-towerd airports.