Aircraft Accidents and the FAA Re-Authorization Act Part 1

There seems to be a bru-ha-ha over the effects of the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2016, or simply the FAA Reauthorization Act or the AIRR Act (I hate these acronyms). We in the industry have our own views on what makes sense and what doesn’t as they apply to this Act. And don’t get me wrong, my views are not all that matters to me; I see great logic in some of the arguments brought forth so far. But then, this is my Blog, so …
I read in Ben Popper’s piece in The Verge, a technology and science circular, that Congress was set (as part of the AIRR Act) to simplify the process for companies to fly small drones. Indeed it will create a new sub-title: ‘Micro-UAS’. It is supposedly the brainchild of Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL), who is trying to push the new category. Now Congressman Davis has been on the Subcommittee for Aviation, as well as four other committees since January 2013 – three years. But what does he know about aviation, other than what he hears on committee?
This is when the government stands strongly in the way of safety. In the dawn of UAV certification, do we want someone who understands less about the topic than any other average Joe, making laws that he/she does not grasp the consequences of? Does it seem strange that a Congressman adopts a sappy title for a device that can possibly threaten aviation safety in order to pass a law that holds less water than a sieve, while amateurs get lost in a world populated by professionals trying to make a living? This is the greatest danger to aviation safety: incompetent law makers who push laws to satisfy a handful of constituents, while the industry may possibly suffer for their indifference.
This is why government cannot think for us.

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