GREETINGS! First, Here is an update from Washington, D.C. The FAA's Five-Year Plan for reducing the general aviation fatal accident rate is now two years old. Far past its formative stage, the plan has grown legs which are now firmly planted in the GA Community. Behind the architecture of the plan stands Mel Cintron, FAA's General Aviation and Commercial Division Manager. His goal is anything but simple: to transform GA safety and reduce fatal accidents to an unprecedented low level. However, significant progress has been made as the plan nears its halfway point.
"The plan was not easy to get started", says Cintron. "Initially, many were skeptical of the agency's plan took some time before the GA community gained trust with it." However, after forgoing ahead, Cintron is seeing definite signs of progress. Several aviation associations, type club coalitions, and academia officials are engaged with the plan and are providing healthy dialogue about greatly-needed accident mitigation strategies.
"The efforts of the GA community are, and will continue to be, instrumental to the success of this plan and the reduction of the GA accident rate, " says Cintron. The plan also benefits from the efforts of several different offices within the FAA such as Aircraft Certification, Airports, Accident Investigation and Prevention, and the Small Aircraft and Rotorcraft Directorates.
In 2010, there were 268 fatal GA accidents, resulting in 454 deaths. The latest NTSB statistics indicate a slight reduction in fatalities for 2011, to 444; a small but sure sign of improvement.
"The GA accident rate has remained pretty static over the past several years, but I know we can do better," says Cintron. "The solution is a joint solution. Everybody has to be involved for us to move the needle with GA safety." Cintron adds that the plan's success is also reliant on having a non-regulatory strategic approach.
Secondly, The initial part of the five-year plan involved an in-depth analysis of the leading causes and contributing factors of GA accidents. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) identified these risks by adapting the highly-successful Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) model used to improve air carrier accident rates.
Safety communication is also a crucial facet of the plan. The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) has championed efforts to introduce a creative component to airmen training and education, especially with its annual Safety Standdown events and videos that have focused on several of the top GA accident causal factors. The Pilot Proficiency Program, or WINGS program, is another core educational component of the FAASTeam, offering ongoing remedial training for GA pilots. Recently, a WINGS Industry Advisory Committee was formed to look at ways the program can be improved. (Check www.faasafety.gov/ for the latest updates.)
96th General Assembly, 2nd Session
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HB 1431 5/2/2012 Placed on Informal Calendar
5331L.01P - Extends the expiration of the provisions regarding the sales tax exemption on the sale of aviation jet fuel and authorizes the City of Columbia to impose a transient guest tax
HCS HB 1476 5/2/2012 Public Hearing Held (S)
5253H.04P - Establishes the Freight Forwarders Incentive Act to encourage foreign trade through the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
SCS HB 1504 7/10/2012 Delivered to Secretary of State (G)
5509S.03T - Changes the laws regarding sales taxes
HB 1909 7/12/2012 Delivered to Secretary of State (G)
6173L.01T - Changes the laws regarding aircraft fuel, liens on aircraft, and anemometer towers
SCS SB 491 4/5/2012 SCS Reported Do Pass (S)
4459S.03C - Modifies provisions pertaining to agriculture
SCS SB 566 7/12/2012 Vetoed by Governor (G)
4598S.05T - Requires owners of dogs and cats under suspicion of carrying rabies to provide documentation of vaccination or else surrender the animal
SB 597 1/26/2012 Second Read and Referred: Jobs, Economic Development, and Local Government (S)
4509S.02I - Changes the governance of the St. Louis International Airport
CCR CCS HCS SCS SB 631 7/9/2012 Approved by Governor (G)
5053S.05T - Exempts persons who purchase less than 50,000 bushels of grain a year from needing a grain dealer license
SCS SB 666 3/26/2012 Senate Substitute Offered (S)
4032S.08C - Modifies provisions relating to the Large Carnivore Act and creates the Nonhuman Primate Act
HCS SB 701 5/17/2012 Senate Requests House to Recede (S)
5487L.05C - Allows certain motor vehicles to drive on public highways with dyed fuel during states of emergencies
HCS SCS SB 726 5/17/2012 Senate Conference Committee Appointed (S)
5514H.04C - Modifies provisions relating to mortgage loan brokers making loans on manufactured homes
SB 740 2/2/2012 Introduced and First Read (S)
5685S.01I - Extends the aviation jet fuel sales and use tax exemption and expands the use of the Aviation Trust Fund
CCR CCS HCS SS SB 769 7/10/2012 Approved by Governor (G)
5671S.09T - Requires safety marking on certain anemometer towers
SB 822 2/22/2012 Introduced and First Read (S)
5940S.01I - Modifies a reference to the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority
SB 841 2/27/2012 Introduced and First Read (S)
6002S.01I - Allows farmers to sell up to 100 gallons of raw milk or cream per day at farmers markets
SB 850 2/28/2012 Introduced and First Read (S)
5713S.01I - Prohibits sterilization and disposition of seized or confiscated animals until the outcome of charges against the animals' owner have been determined
SB 861 2/29/2012 Introduced and First Read (S)
6044S.01I - Creates the Task Force on Government Continuity
SCR 23 2/15/2012 Introduced and First Read (S)
5833S.01I - Urges Congress to further address the issue of allowing the interstate sale of state-inspected meat and poultry
Note: Here's your web site address for Texas Legislation: www.texas.gov.
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.
Note: Here's your web site address for Illinois Legislation: www.illinois.gov.
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.
All other states should follow this same format, to search your specific state's aviation and airport bills.
Remember, that as members of USPA, MPA, TPA, TXAA, NMPA, NPA, IPA, EAA, AOPA, or other pilot associations of which you may be a member, we have a powerful voice, in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of taxpayers and pilots carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., as well as at the state and local level.
We need to learn how to use our voices, and speak up for general aviation.
So Let's not forget to exercise our privileges, and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation."
Larry G. Harmon
E-mail address: MPALHARMON228@aol.com
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