August 1, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Each year since 2005, FAA staff have come to
Oshkosh in the dead of winter to sit down with EAA staff and division
heads to tackle some of the thorniest challenges facing sport
The two-day “EAA/FAA Winter Summit” gives
participants a chance to meet face-to-face and share their expertise and
ideas on a wide range of issues of concern to EAA members.
The Winter Summit is a serious, nuts-and-bolts
working session with a worthy list of accomplishments.
Participants identify issues that need to be
addressed, discuss possible solutions, and assign action items.
Most of the same EAA and FAA participants in
the Winter Summit met again Friday morning at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to
review action items and report on work in progress.
The Summit brings EAA and FAA staff members
together to identify issues and set priorities, Poberezny explained.
AirVenture brings grass roots general aviation into process, through
meetings between FAA officials and the aviation community, all over the
convention grounds all during the week.
“The Winter Summit and the follow-up
briefing at AirVenture are just part of the process that goes on 365 days
a year,” said EAA President Tom Poberezny. “It’s one product of the
strong working relationship between the FAA and EAA and more importantly,
[between the FAA and] the people we represent—EAA members, who are an
important part of the aviation community.”
It is just one of the many face-to-face
meetings between FAA and EAA that take place throughout each year in
Oshkosh, Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., and other places.
FAA participants in the Winter Summit include
the heads of all the EAA divisions and affiliates, and of such FAA
branches as Flight Standards, Aircraft Certification, the Small Airplane
Directorate, Light Sport Aircraft, Airworthiness Certification, and
Operations and Safety Programs.
Their participation at the Summit, and their
week-long presence here at AirVenture are significant measures of EAA’s
stature and credibility within the agency. “EAA’s 160,000 members give
sport aviation an effective voice,” said David Oord, EAA government
relations specialist, “and EAA’s long-standing commitment to
collaborative problem solving gives us credibility within the FAA.”
This year’s Winter Summit was held in
February and, like previous EAA/ FAA summits, it covered a wide range of
challenges, opportunities, and other concerns. A few of the topics
Flight training in amateur-built or
Updating written tests for pilot
Warbird operating rules
Proposed changes in the Amateur-Built
Alternate aviation fuels
Electric aircraft engines and the
eventual need for certification standards.
“We really appreciate the FAA’s
willingness to come here,” said Poberezny, “and the FAA officials tell
us they enjoy coming to Oshkosh, in large measure because of how much we
can accomplish here, working together.”
“For EAA and EAA members,” he added,
“the value of the annual Summit is far, far more than the time we spend
For a more detailed report on the 2009
EAA/FAA Winter Summit, visit www.eaa.org.