Posted on March 24th, 2011
Using the highly successful Commercial Aviation Safety Team as a template, the FAA announced yesterday that it will kick off a country-wide series of 98 safety standdowns on April 2 at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-in and Expo in Lakeland, Fla., to reduce the general aviation fatal accident rate by 10 percent over a 10-year period. Over the next five years, the agency will use a non-regulatory, proactive strategy by focusing on education and outreach. The GA accident rate for 2010 was 1.14 accidents per 100,000 hours flown, including 268 fatal accidents with 457 fatalities. While these accidents were down 8 percent from fiscal year 2009, over the past several years the GA accident rate has remained static. According to the FAA, significant work is needed to further improve the GA safety record. “We have to work collaboratively across the community,” said Mel Cintron, manager of the FAA’s general aviation and commercial division, at a briefing at FAA headquarters. The recently revived GA Joint Steering Committee, which combines the expertise of many key decision makers from the FAA, various government agencies and several GA associations, will be the primary mechanism for government/industry cooperation, communication and coordination.