Ali Bahrami, FAA associate administrator for aviation safety, opened NATA’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Business Aviation Conference praising the industry’s collaborative efforts to increase safety and addressed recent criticism of the FAA’s Compliance Philosophy.
Under the Compliance Philosophy, the FAA focuses on compliance through non-enforcement methods for correcting unintentional violations. According to Bahrami, the FAA’s enforcement actions have decreased by 70 percent while voluntary reporting has increased. The agency has also seen a 46 percent increase in actions to correct deficiencies. “These numbers don't lie and I think that given where we are today, we have an amazing record for commercial and general aviation in terms of safety,” Bahrami said. “I believe this is the right thing to do and we are going to continue to stay on course."
However, he added, the FAA has faced a misconception that by taking that approach to compliance, the agency is not doing enough to enhance safety. The agency wants to ensure the public that its initiatives are successfully ensuring the safety of those working within the aviation industry. “The perception that we're not doing enough, or we should be doing more, is actually incorrect," Bahrami said. "We are doing a lot more. But we're doing it based on risk-based decision-making and data-driven approaches and support from certificate holders and folks like yourself.”
He also addressed compliance issues related to the coming ADS-B mandate. “The good news is that the latest numbers show we have about 40,000 aircraft qualified with ADS-B capabilities,” said Bahrami. “That's obviously not enough. We will continue to push and work with the community to achieve the goal that we have.”
With 18 months until the deadline, he said, approximately 30 percent of Part 121 operators are currently compliant with the mandate. As a way to ensure more operators will be compliant by the deadline, FAA representatives have touched base with the CEOs of these remaining companies to work on implementation.