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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedAirVenture: A place for policy
By Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside
There are almost as many reasons for coming to EAA AirVenture as there are attendees. Getting up close and personal with many different aircraft types is one reason; establishing new relationships with like-minded people and renewing old ones is another. Then there’s shopping, tire kicking, the daily air show, how-to seminars and many, many more opportunities to learn about and share this “thing” called aviation.

AirVenture is also an excellent place for general aviation organizations to meet and discuss their mutual interests and concerns in a much more relaxed and informal setting than is often possible. And that opportunity means some real progress might be made this week on several of the government-related issues EAA and others are working. Meeting behind the scenes in various venues throughout the week will be numerous

officials with EAA, the FAA, TSA, Customs and Border Protection, and other federal agencies, plus representatives from throughout general aviation’s alphabet soup of organizations, who are here to help shape current and future industry policies and regulations.

Fueling debate
The quest for alternatives to 100LL avgas serves as one example.

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this year reminded us it was looking at whether 100LL should be banned due to its lead content, EAA and others began earnestly pursuing solutions.

While most observers have known for years 100LL’s days were numbered, the EPA’s recent public statement—including a request for additional information on both the fuel’s environmental impact and workable alternatives—signaled to staff at EAA and other general aviation organizations the need to redouble their efforts to find the right solution from among efforts already underway.

Those efforts continue this week, with one focus ensuring the FAA plays a major role in developing alternatives.

Security & GA’s freedom to fly
Another area in which government policy toward general aviation will be the discussion topic is airport security.

On Monday, for example, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to make a major announcement at AirVenture regarding a new airport security awareness effort. Additional details on the TSA’s new program are expected at that time and will be discussed in greater detail during the week as EAA staff and agency personnel meet informally.

Similarly, a TSA sister agency—U.S. Customs and Border Protection—is again attending AirVenture to help EAA and its membership better understand border-crossing procedures.

Ensuring GA flying’s tomorrows
Of course, aviation safety is always a topic of keen interest to EAA and the FAA. In addition to updating each other on their latest safety-related concerns, the two organizations will continue their ongoing discussions regarding the light-sport aircraft industry’s impact, plus how to ensure the continued safe operations of experimental and amateur-built aircraft of all shapes and sizes.

As part of that effort, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood also will attend, with both planning to be on the grounds for extended visits.

With these and many other issues serving as topics for discussion among EAA, its members, other aviation organizations, and various federal agencies during the coming week, AirVenture promises to be both informative and productive.

Just as the week will inform, educate, stimulate, and reinvigorate attendees on general aviation’s latest and greatest, those involved with improving the safety, security, and flexibility of experimental and general aviation will have plenty to keep them busy.

It promises to be a productive week.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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