Budget Squabbles Likely To Slow Certifications

 - March 4, 2013, 12:45 PM

U.S. government budget sequestration is expected to be a significant issue for the FAA going forward, according to John Duncan, deputy director of Flight Standards. Speaking at the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Safety Symposium on February 27, he said the agency has had to look where cuts could be achieved without compromising safety. “We had to look at cuts in a number of areas,” Duncan told the group. “We had to look at cuts in contracting…we are cutting probably three quarters of our contract budget right now.” In addition to attrition of employees, who will not be replaced, he said the FAA would have to furlough staff at all levels of responsibility one day per pay period. Duncan said there are close to 100 applications in the type certification queue, and that number will grow. However, the primary focus is and will continue to be operational safety. “So we will continue to do the surveillance and oversight that we need to do because that’s where we are primarily obligated,” he explained. “The things that are going to slow down are certifications.”