The Regional Airline Association has scheduled Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the exhibit hall Tuesday afternoon at the Nashville Convention Center, site of this year’s annual RAA convention. Happily for LaHood, by then he will have already endured the more challenging chore of answering to what might have proved to be a prickly group of regional airline executives during the convention’s general session.
LaHood’s appearance comes less than a week after the FAA issued a newly revised proposal to overhaul air carrier crew training. The supplemental NPRM, published May 11, attempts to answer concerns that the original NPRM, issued in January 2009, understated the rule’s economic effects on air carriers conducting training under voluntary, FAA-approved alternative programs, such as the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP), and underestimated the number of flight simulator periods required to meet flight crew member training and evaluation requirements. LaHood should find out by tomorrow at the latest whether or not the new proposed rule answers those concerns to the satisfaction of RAA delegates.
If not, RAA senior vice president Scott Foose will certainly hear about it during the convention’s flight training forum, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. Other events open to all attendees include today’s public relations committee session, Tuesday’s maintenance forum, Wednesday’s FAA review of guidelines for use of contract training facilities and Thursday’s RAA inflight and dispatch forums.