A US federal advisory committee tasked with addressing challenges faced by the aviation industry has submitted its recommendations to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC), comprising a cross section of aviation stakeholders - airlines, airports, manufacturers, labour, academia, finance, consumer interests and general aviation - presented 23 recommendations to LaHood on how to ensure the strength, competitiveness and safety of aviation.
Among the recommendations are proposals that the federal government assist in funding NextGen equipage on aircraft, ensure greater transparency for consumers in airline pricing, expand the sources of safety data available to the FAA, and ensure that global airline alliances enhance the viability and competitiveness of the US aviation industry.
Other specific recommendations include: developing improved methods of predicting safety risks; incorporating safety standards into planning for NextGen, the FAA's overhaul of the national airspace system; improving links between airports and other forms of transportation; enhancing science and technology training for the future and current aviation workforce; and ensuring that aircraft operators are able to realize the benefits of NextGen as quickly as possible.
Additionally, the FAAC recommends reducing aviation's impact on the environment through use of sustainable fuels and improved aircraft technology, as well as accelerating the use of NextGen equipment to promote greater efficiency.
"This committee has provided a valuable service to all members of the aviation community with this blueprint for the industry," says LaHood in a statement. "As we move forward, these recommendations will provide valuable guidance for making the world's greatest aviation system even greater. I thank the members of the committee for their hard work and dedication, and I look forward to thoroughly reviewing the recommendations."
US airline lobbying group the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has applauded the FAAC's recommendations. "These important recommendations will help the US airline industry continue its economic recovery and remain a world leader. We look forward to working with the administration and the 112th Congress to ensure that the FAAC recommendations are implemented expeditiously," says the ATA.
The DOT says it will review the recommendations and develop a plan for their implementation. Members of the FAAC will be invited to attend periodic briefings to update the department on the progress in implementing their recommendations.