FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker visited the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly In and Expo in Lakeland, FL this week as part of the agency’s ongoing partnership with the general aviation community to improve safety. Whitaker announced the FAA’s Got Data? initiative to give the private sector better access the FAA’s aeronautical data.
Speaking at a listening session on Thursday with General Aviation (GA) manufacturers and pilots, Whitaker said that “our goal is to help industry be in a position to create innovative products and technologies that improve safety and efficiency.”
During today’s Meet the FAA session, Whitaker discussed the revolutionary technology called ADS-B and encouraged pilots to equip well ahead of the January 1, 2020 deadline. ADS-B is one of NextGen’s most important safety technologies, and the FAA is working closely with the Equip 2020 team to get it into more general aviation aircraft. ADS-B gives a general aviation pilot a view that’s similar to what a commercial jetliner pilot can see with the Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System. Whitaker, a pilot, told the crowd, “don’t wait until the last minute to equip. Prices on ADS-B equipment have fallen as low as $1500. The time to equip is now.”
The initiative includes data such as airports, navigation aids, fixes, obstacles, holding, approaches, and Temporary Flight Restriction information. The agency also seeks to identify additional data resources that may be needed by the GA community. Take the online survey to help the FAA get better data into GA cockpits.
The United States has the largest and most diverse GA community in the world. While the fatal accident rate is beginning to decline, too many lives are still being lost. Last year, 384 people died in 238 general aviation accidents. By working together, government and industry are making a difference to improve GA safety.