December 9, 2014
Huerta, FAA Administrator: Time to Set Priorities
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta delivered a direct keynote speech Tuesday, laying out the two main problems facing the agency. “First, there is a lack of predictability in our budgets due to short term extensions and continuing resolutions, and because of the constrained fiscal climate here in Washington,” Huerta said. “Second, we face challenges focusing on core priorities in light of the very diverse interests of all of our stakeholders.” While the administrator did not announce how to solve these issues, he knows that inaction will result in more instability and uncertainty. “It’s clear to me, however, that we will not succeed if we don’t set priorities,” Huerta said.
Huerta emphasized that the FAA wants to remain the global leader in aviation, saying it’s imperative that as the airline and aviation industry expands globally, “we want to make sure the entire global system is safe and that the United States continues to remain the gold standard for excellence in aviation.” He outlined several NextGen priorities that help keep the U.S. in that position, including satellite-based navigation and new air traffic procedures—routes that “eliminates the aviation equivalent of stop-and-go driving in traffic.”
“We need to think about the future and how we will modernize our system and make sure we position our airlines for success in an increasingly competitive global environment,” Huerta said. “I look forward to finding a solution with all of you in this room to ensure that we at the FAA, and you in industry, are in the position to continue to provide the safest and most efficient system we need in the years ahead. I don’t think any of us should settle for anything less.”