Efforts to “change the culture within the Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards District Offices [FSDOs]” as part of an FAA overhaul are working, John Duncan, deputy associate administrator for the Office of Aviation Safety, said late last week at the Flight Safety Foundation’s 64th annual Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS) in Denver. “We’ve recognized we need to work with the [business aviation] community,” Duncan told attendees of BASS, which is held in partnership with NBAA. “We’re all on the same team.”
Duncan cited the consolidation of FSDOs’ functions as one success. Now, “One executive is responsible” for interpreting regulations that previously could be subject to eight opinions. “We intend to have a consistent outcome in that way,” he said.
The new Compliance Program policies that encourage cooperation have replaced “the way the FAA has behaved in the past...using punitive measures to try to beat you into submission,” he added.
Duncan acknowledged the FAA’s own commitment to safety and procedures have come under question in the wake of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max losses, and that it now faces multiple investigations. “We welcome them,” he said of the inquiries. “Part of the challenge that you can probably see in the press is a lack of understanding of exactly how we manage risks.”