The U.S. Department of Transportation has selected officials representing a large swath of the aviation industry to make up its newly formed Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee (SOCAC). Born out of a directive in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, the 22-member panel takes on new importance as the FAA’s certification procedures have come under fire in the aftermath of the Boeing 737 Max crashes.
The SOCAC will advise the Secretary of Transportation on issues related to safety oversight and certification programs, including aircraft and flight standards processes, safety management systems oversight, risk-based oversight, and use of delegation. Announcing the committee’s membership, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said, “The committee’s input will help the department ensure that the FAA remains the world’s leader in aviation safety.”
The SOCAC comprises 20 voting members representing stakeholders and two non-voting FAA members. Members serve two-year terms. NBAA director William Ayer was named chair. In addition to the appointments of Ayer and NBAA director Shelly Lesikar deZevallos, the committee includes officials from the Modification and Replacement Parts Association, Pratt & Whitney, Aerospace Industries Association, Wing Aviation, Honeywell Aerospace, Delta Air Lines, Aeronautical Repair Station Association, Gulfstream Aerospace, GE Aviation, National Air Transportation Association, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, United Airlines, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Garmin, Bell/Textron Aviation, and Helicopter Association International.