Speech – Rising to Meet the Challenge

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Asheville, NC

Remarks as Delivered

Good morning, Paul, and thanks for that kind introduction. Its good to be here in Ashevillealthough I suppose its good to be anywhere thats not D.C.

I joke about that, but its actually true, and not just because D.C. is a fishbowl. Its good to get outside the beltway because its important to meet with the folks on the front lines. Ive always believed that safety is not the product of a PowerPoint or a report. Safety is what happens when the people in the fieldall of us togethermake it the basis for what we say and do, how we act.

Normally I wouldnt do this, but heres todays takeawaywhich will come as no surprise to many of you: safety is a shared responsibility. Each one of us has a role. Its not only the pilot or the mechanic or the inspectorits all of us. If were not pulling in the same direction, safety is at a standstill. And theres little disagreement amongst all of us: safety has got to be at the top of the list, the top priority in everything we do.

The recent groundings of the 737 and the Cirrus have brought safety to the forefront. As I speak to you today, the Boeing 737 Max remains grounded as the investigations continue.

But we are still left with an unspeakable tragedy, and with it, a push to do something. As is often the case with human suffering, theres a real pull to take immediate action. But as we know, thats not always the best way to address the actual cause of the problem. With respect to the 737 Max, the FAA waited until we had data that linked the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents before we grounded the U.S. fleet. And when we had the data, we acted within a few hours.

The facts are these: It took five years to certify the 737 Max. Boeing applied for certification in January 2012. The certification was completed in March 2017. During those five years, FAA safety engineers and test pilots put in 110,000 hours of work, and they flew or supported 297 test flights.

That said, the 737 Max wont fly in the U.S. again until our safety analysis says its safe to do so.

Turning to the Cirrus 50, when we issued the emergency Airworthiness Directive, it was prompted by reports of a systemic problem with AOA sensors. Accidents didnt trigger the decision to ground the Cirrus 50, data did thats how the system is supposed to work. Cirrus has developed an FAA-approved corrective action. It also revised emergency procedures in the flight manual.

These arent the same AOA sensors used on the 737, and the situations are unrelated, but I note that this isnt about taking action, its about taking correct action at the appropriate time. We have one agenda and one agenda only: safety.

I joked before about getting out of D.C. to see whats happening in the field. At the FAA, I get to see quite a bit of the National Airspace System like general aviation operations.

General aviation aircraft comprise a majority of the U.S. civil aviation fleet. And as important as the commercial and military sectors are, the GA community also performs a variety of critical functions. Personal transportation, flight instruction, law enforcement, agricultural operations, humanitarian reliefthe list is extensive. Its an impressive resume, and the data tell us GA safety is on the upswing. Working with the GA community, we set the goal of reducing the fatal accident rate to no more than 1.0 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours by FY 2018.

When we need somebody to step up, GA always does. The preliminary data show weyouexceeded that goal. The actual FY 2018 result may be closer 0.84.

I know the Insurance industry knows this fact quite well, so I know you recognize thats a huge success. To accomplish our safety improvement goals, the FAA and industry work collaboratively through the General Aviation Joint Steering Committeethe GAJSC.

The GAJSC will analyze data from accidents and incidents to identify risks and develop safety enhancements to mitigate those risks. The GAJSC was formed in the likeness of the CAST.As most of you would no doubt surmise, the GAJSC identified loss of control in-flight as the leading cause in fatal GA accidents.

The group has also analyzed and developed mitigations for non-fuel related engine failures. The GAJSC will soon finish its Controlled Flight into Terrain analysis. Theres actually good news here: CFIT accidents have declined. Youll hear a lot more from Pete about technology driven innovations in cockpit displays in a moment, but they have played a vital role helping to reduce CFIT. The team is evaluating additional steps we can take to further reduce this risk because we all know CFIT events have a low survivability rate.

The GAJSC partnership works.It really works. Since 2012, the GAJSCs three working groups have identified root causes associated with both loss of control and engine failure accidents. From this work, 40 safety enhancements have been adopted, aimed at addressing these causal factors. Another 10 CFIT related safety enhancements will begin to be decided on by the GAJSC this month.

Id like to give credit where credits due. The insurance community has had representatives on the GAJSC, the Safety Analysis Team of the GAJSC and its working groups. Im hoping that Jim Anderson, the senior VP at Starr Aviation, is here.Are you here, Jim? Thanks for serving as a representative.

GAs involvement goes well beyond the GAJSC. This audience is no stranger to the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing programASIAS. The ASIAS team consists of aviation industry and the FAA working together to collect and analyze data, actively searching for systemic risks.

The ASIAS team includes 88 business/corporate members. There are 12 flight training universities and institutions as well as additional light GA operators who participate in ASIAS. These groups have contributed more than 1 million flight hours of digital flight data to ASIAS.

Thats what partnership does. I truly believe that data sharing is the way forward to advance safety. You are all off to a very good start. We need to build on your success by expanding participation.

Youve been right there with the commercial and military sectors in helping us to put a safety culture in place. he safety culture has literally transformed what this audience would have labeled uninsurable and made it insurable. The safety culture has a ripple effectthrough aviation, through society. Safety spurs efficiencyand efficiency bolsters the bottom line.

It stands to reason: whats more efficient is more profitable, more affordable. And with affordability comes the potential for expansion: more aircraft, more routes, more destinations. That strengthens the economy. Safety is the domino that sets a lot of things in motion, and theyre all the right things. Thats why safety needs to be the first step.

As you know, the safety culture demands that safety be infused into all of our processes from top to bottomin a continuous loop. When you think about where aviation has gone in a little more than a century, its hard to argue the point. Weve gone from barnstorming to a safety record that is the envy of all modes of transportation. The automotive industry has asked us for insights.

Even the energy and health care industries have come to us to ask the question, How did you achieve this level of safety?Ill tell you this much: we didnt do it alone.I think the answer is that government doesnt have all the answers. Thats what the Part 23 rewrite was all about. We set the desired performance standardwe, the regulators, ensure the standard is met and kept. But we leave the business of how that standard is met (and, quite often, exceeded), up to the operators, manufacturers, and maintainers. We removed the prescriptive requirements that had been at the heart of Part 23and we replaced them with end-state criteria.

My colleague Dr. Mike Romanowski will talk about part 23 in more depth after me, but, for far too long, aviation moseyed along with very little change in basic design. But thanks to the innovators that are among us, that changed, and it changed for the better. The question for FAA quickly became, How can we keep up with this and maintain safety?

Performance based regulations are the answer.

And I think wed be naive not to consider that performance-based safety regulations are capable of leading to safety levels beyond what FAA requires.The onus is on the manufacturer to demonstrate compliance with FAA design standards. The manufacturer does the testing and collects the data.

This is the heart of performance-based regulation. The company decides how to comply with the performance standards. The government does not enter the picture with a specific fix in mind.And because of that, theres always the possibility that the designers performance solution raises the bar even higher than what Uncle Sam had in mind. By exceeding government requirements, the performance based regulations might very well be changing how we consider risk in the aviation industry itself.

Id like to come full circle now in a way that youre probably not expecting. None of this will matter much if we dont have workforce in place to make it happen. This isnt complex science: how do we attract new talent? How do we make sure we select the right people for the job? Those questions are by no means new, and theyre certainly not exclusive to our industry.

The numbers tell quite a story. Four decades after deregulation, were closing in on a billion passengers, domestic and international. IATA says that passengers will double by 2036. One forecast says we will need 117,000 more pilotsin North America alone. Its also said well need three-quarters of a million new technicians over the next 20 years.

At the same time, the number of private pilots holding active airmen certificates has decreased by about a third in the last decade. Looking through the same lens, commercial pilots decreased 21 percent. The military isnt the source it used to be, because it doesnt turn out as many pilots as it used to. College programs dont have enough instructorsbecause theyre taking jobs with the airlines. The scenario for mechanics and technicians is no better.

The suggestions about how to solve this run the gamut. There were recommendations to increase pay and improve working conditions to attract more people to the profession. Other experts suggest subsidizing and overseeing pilot training in ab initio programs.

For its part, industry is addressing funding options and improvements to make loans more accessible for pilot training. And a number of carriers are actively engaging their local communities so that the next generation is aware of and interested in aviation as a profession.

At the FAA, overcoming this challenge and bringing new, well trained, people into the aviation system is a high priority for me. We are working internally to double down on our STEM outreach efforts. Were increasing our partnerships with industry, academia and other government agencies.

We must ensure that we are able to fill critical aviation jobs in the future with people who have the right skills to keep our system operating at the highest levels of safety.

Wherever you stand on this, one thing is for sure. Unless and until each one of us takes an active and personal stand on getting kids interested in STEM, we will find the pipeline can and will run dry. Were in a battle with Silicon Valley for talent, and were losing. Smart kids arent sitting around waiting for us to intrigue them.

This is not the time for this industry to sit on its hands. This is a timethe timefor each of us to engage kids and schools at all levels. Start with primary grades. Thats where it started with me. Success or failure sits squarely on our own shoulders. We need to make the workforce of tomorrow a priority, and we need to do it today.

Thank you.

Speech – Aero Club of Washington Luncheon

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Washington, DC

Thank you, Margaret.

Ive attended many Aero Club luncheons over the years. So, its a bit surreal to be looking at all of you from this side of the podium.

Ive had a lot of those moments this year. Being back at the agency its humbling. It hit me when I was at Udvar Hazy a few weeks ago. Aviation has such an amazing legacy.

I saw the Blackbird 1960s technology with analog dials and Mach 4 capability.

I saw the Concorde, and the Space Shuttle. And the iconic Boeing 707. Theyre just a few of aviations monuments.

A few of those birds were the brainchild of Kelly Johnson, and there are more than a handful of others who owed a debt of gratitude to the founder of Skunk Works.

He used to have a saying Be quick, be quiet, and be on time. Sounds like an airline mission statement, but Im pretty sure he was talking to his engineers.

And, I think we can all agree. We are right on time for something big.

We find ourselves on the cusp of the third great era of aviation: the age of autonomous and unmanned aircraft.

The jet age was just as consequential. But in many ways, it was simpler. The skies werent as crowded as they are today.

Now, were looking at a future where thousands of airliners still crisscross the globe. But theyre joined by huge commercial rockets and a million drones.

Im not sure we appreciate how much of a seismic change its going to be for all of us.

Government and industry have spent the last few decades honing the system. We carved out our roles, and figured out how to work together.

But for aviation to continueto thrive the system we have today must get better.

We dont want to becaught flat-footed this time around. We want to be ready for the next era of aviation.Especiallysince we almost missed the boatwith the first.

This is what guys like me arent supposed to talk about.The original sin government committed against this industry.

The Wrightsmay have been bicycle repairmen, but they were no strangers to the pen. They wrote letter after letter after letterall sent to an address not far from where were sitting right now.

They told Washington what they had. They explained that theyd conquered the impossible. And Uncle Sam shrugged.

Thank you for your interest, Mr. Wright, but we at the War Department have already invested in our own flight experimentwith Samuel Langley.

That was a solid planright up until the moment Mr. Langleys project crashed into the Potomac.

Conclusion? If the government couldnt solve this problem then it couldnt be solved. Until, of course, it was.

That was an early and important lesson that still applies today: Innovation fuels aviation, and innovation rarely comes from the federal government.

And theres an important corollary to that lesson: Bureaucrats shouldnt tell innovators what they cant do. See? Its right there…page 27, section 3, paragraph 1, subpart b in the footnote.

Weve had too many of those exchanges in the past. But, thats changing. And thats thanks, in part, to a lot of whats in a 400 page piece of legislation.

Weve got a new five-year authorization the longest the FAA has had in more than 35 years. It doesnt have everything we asked for. No bill ever does. But its full of a lot of good things.

We have a mandate to accelerate our momentum on unmanned aircraft. It clears the way to remote identification standards. It supports us moving forward on long-awaited rules for drone operations over people and at night.

And we will be coordinating closely with our federal law enforcement partners in the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice who have new authority to counter the malicious use of UAS.

Congress didnt stop there. The new law authorizes an increase in commercial space funding to the tune of 236 percent over the next five years. Well also be creating an Office of Spaceports.

It even sets us up for the return of supersonic aircraft. Thats something most of us thought wed never see again. And those aircraft advancements will be aided by a reformed certification system that helps manufacturers press ideas into metal faster.

Theres plenty more where that comes from. In fact, theres so much more…were using a 30-page spreadsheet to track hundreds of deliverables were responsible for over the next five years.

But we still want more legislatively. We need more. We need funding reform.

This isnt about more money. We collect plenty to keep the system running. What we need is stability and predictability. It would also be nice to have the flexibility to spend that money how and where and when we need to.

That may be asking a lot, but something has to give. Were in our 47th continuing resolution in the last 11 years.

The FAA hasnt started a fiscal year with a full appropriation since 1997. Think about that for a second. We support two-thirds of the worlds airspace nearly a billion passengers and 5 percent of the GDP.

Thats your bottom line. Thats Americas bottom line. And its just no way to run the largest, most complex air navigation system in the world.

President Trump gets that. Hes a businessman. And hes bringing those same principles to this Administration. He told us to get rid of rules that have outlived their usefulness.

You dont have to tell us twice. Under Secretary Chaos leadership, DOT leads the federal government in cutting outdated, burdensome and unnecessary regulations. And the FAA has been the largest contributor to the Departments success in this area.

Were answering the Presidents call to cut two regulations for every new one. At the same time, were busy creating a new and improved regulatory framework for drones and commercial space transportation.

This year alone, weve taken deregulatory actions that should save $65 million annually.

But this isnt just about saving dollars. Its about saving time. About making it easier for people to operate in our system.

These are our commercial space launch and reentry licensing regs today.

Soon, theyll look like this.

Weve got momentum on this, and believe me when I tell you, were just getting started.

These streamlining efforts go well beyond rulemaking. Were using technology to clear out many of the pain points in our system. The delays the inefficiencies the bottlenecks.

The Northeast Corridor brings the system to its knees. Its a petri dish for delays due to weather, construction and volume. About a third of all delays in the system originate in the Northeast Corridor.

So I want you to know we know how important this artery is to our nation and what happens when its clogged. Thats why were adding Performance Based Navigation procedures, and prioritizing initial trajectory-based operations that will reduce congestion in the region.

But were not just about this side of the country. Were rolling out technologies and procedures all across the NAS with more on the way.

Were standing up Data Comm En Route Services in Memphis, Indianapolis and Kansas City that should be operational before the end of this year.

The ADS-B mandate is about fourteen months from taking effect. We dont want you to find yourself on the wrong side of that, stuck in the hangar on New Years. We re-launched the incentive program, and more of you are getting equipped every day.

Were also gearing up for the Terminal Flight Data Manager, which will improve controllers situational awareness. Well begin rolling out those capabilities in 2020.

Of course, individual programs have deadlines, but overall system improvement doesnt. We dont have a hard stop on safety or efficiency.

Thats what these things are doing in the cockpit and on the ground and in the tower. The systems not slowing down, so we have to do our best to keep up.

The fact is, if the FAA is going to achieve its mission, safety and innovation cant be at odds. I truly believe that innovation is the future of safety.

Government shouldnt be a stop signal for great ideas. It should be a springboard. Moving map displays. Remote towers. Artificial intelligence. Theyre game-changers. And we need to support them.

When Secretary Chao launched the UAS Integration Pilot Program, she was all in. She was talking about drones, but that attitude applies to everything were doing.

The President, the Vice President, and the Secretary have given us the green light to think outside the box. The stars dont always line up like that. And we need to take advantage. I think we already are but we can do more.

I want to create an innovation incubator inside the FAA. Itll separate out early innovation from real-time operations, so that good ideas dont die on the vine.

Well give people the freedom to tackle tough questions, and the time to figure out how a new technology can be incorporated into the NAS.

If it works, were off to the races. If not, we havent wasted much time.

Well measure success by our ability to disrupt the status quo and break down obstacles so that new ideas can be transformed into concrete actions without disturbing current operations.

And let me just say this isnt just about being a better service provider and regulator. Its about maintaining our position as a global leader.

I think we take this for granted sometimes. In the international community, we used to say, Speak softly and carry a big market share.

We cant do that anymore, because times have changed. The rest of the world is catching up.

Complacency will kill us. Especially if you consider the sheer volume of innovative ideas coming at our agency on an almost daily basis.

Next year, go to InterDrone or the Consumer Electronics Show. Ill be there. I dont just want to see what theyre doingI need to see it. Because theyre figuring out solutions to challenges we havent even thought of yet.

We need to support these innovatorslet them know theyve got a seat at our table. We can’t afford to alienate them.

Because, the fact is were staring down a workforce crisis. I know theres been some debate about this. But, while we discuss the why, the what is moving right along. If you look at the facts look at the numbers they paint a clear picture.

The number of pilots holding active airmen certificates has decreased by nearly 30% since the 80s. Maintenance isnt exempt, either. Our technical workforce is aging at the same time our pipeline is running dry.

Were competing with Silicon Valley for talent. And were losing. If we dont turn this around, and I mean soon, were going to have empty flight decks. Not unmanned empty.

Thats why Secretary Chao, Air Force Secretary Wilson and I held an aviation workforce summit a few months ago.

We brought together stakeholders from government, industry, and academia to start talking about the pipelines, pathways, and partnerships we need to get young people excited about careers in aviation again.

Because thats gotta be part of the solution. We all have to roll up our sleeves if this is going to work. Each of us must take a personal and direct role in spreading the aviation bug. I caught it in elementary school.

Its a little ironic that aviation has a mojo crisis right now. I mean what kid wouldnt want to pilot a drone, or a space craft or your own jet pack?

This workforce dilemma were going to solve it. Like we do everything else with collaboration, calls to action, or just plain elbow grease.

But mark my words: there is a solution, and we will find it. Because thats what we do. Look at our monuments.

When Im at Udvar Hazy…I love going to Udvar-Hazy…I see our past. But I also think about our future.

Where are the next Wright Brothers? Would we even recognize them if they knocked on our door? Or worse…if they knocked, would we know to answer? The War Department didnt.

Wheres our next Kelly Johnson? We cant presume hes in this room having lunch with us. He, or she, might be working a booth at ComicCon. Or tooling away in a garage with the next Steve Wozniak.

Weve got to stop and think and ask the question, what are the monuments this next generation is going to build?

I dont know. But Im excited to find out.

Be quick: Respond to innovation.

Be quiet: Keep your head down and do the work, unhindered by unnecessary rules.

Be on time: Recognize this moment were in and what it requires of us.

This is a new and exciting erafor new entrants, for innovation, for aviation. Lets make it memorable.

Thank you.

Speech – NBAA Remarks

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Orlando, FL

Good morning, and thanks, Ed. I know youre interested in technology, so heres a nugget for you. Google has an alert feature thats pretty handy. You enter a word, and every time that words pops up in the news, you get an email.

If you enter FAA, you get updates about the Federal Aviation Administration. And the Federal Arbitration Act. The Fine Arts Association. The Angolan Armed Forces. You can imagine what those news clips look like.

And not to be shortchanged, the Florida Aquaculture Association.

I must warn you, if youre going to try this, get ready for updates on the National Bass Anglers Association.

Worthless trivia aside, in this room, theres little doubt about what FAA and business aviation stand for. We stand for safety. Weve stood for safety from day one.

The good news here is that you can be counted on to step up at each and every turn.

With the help of the NBAA and the other General Aviation Joint Steering Committee members, the FAA has really started to broaden the scope of our data collection system.

Weve always needed GA information in the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program ASIAS and now thanks to youwere getting the valuable safety data we need.

When we began building GA operations into ASIAS, there were just two business operators. They stepped forward to be the first to bring their data into the program.

Today, we have 82 corporate and business operators who actively participate in ASIAS. There are upwards of 1,600 jet and several hundred piston aircraft generating data in use today by the GA membership in ASIAS.

Thats a look behind the curtain that for a long time, we werent very optimistic about getting. But that was then, this is now. Business aviation has stepped up, and youve made it possible for us to raise the safety bar. Again.

Youve been active in our efforts to modernize as well. We appreciate your involvement on the NextGen advisory committee. Youve helped make next generation plans become a reality for this generation.

Youve been a lead advocate for the modernization of the NAS, allowing us to lay a forward-looking foundation. The business aviation community is pursuing the same goals we areaccess, efficiency and flexibility and, of course, safety.

But its just as important to note that for modernization to be a success, we need airspace users to be invested in aircraft avionics for communication, navigation and surveillance.

All of our avionics decisions were made after careful consultation with the aviation industry.

With the help of the NextGen Advisory Committee, were trying to tackle the Northeast Corridorbecause, quite frankly, its been tackling us for far too long.

We know that theres no new runway on anyones horizon. Weve capitalized on the natural progression of air traffic control. From procedural separation in the 50s based on knowing where we thought the aircraft was.

To surveillance controlwhere we know where the aircraft is. And for about the last 10 years, weve been focused on time-basedor trajectory based traffic management. Air traffic control based on where we know the aircraft will be.

This is where air traffic control needs to be.

You know, I was at FAA back when we signed the original ADS-B contract with ITT, and when we first started drafting the ADS-B Out NPRM.

Since then, weve heard two narratives: 1. NextGens great, FAA has been delivering billions of dollars in benefits. And then theres the other: NextGen is over-budget, delayedof no benefit at all.

I think the reality is somewhere in the middle. One thing is for sure: Despite considerable obstacles, that Ill talk about in a few minutes, FAA has done a great job, and business aviation has always embraced advances. Youre early adopters. Always have been.

Theres this notion that modernization has a start and a stop, as if innovators say, well, thats enough for now. Lets take a break.

The FAA has never looked at it that way; industry certainly doesnt. We continue to build, to streamline, to modify, to advance.

Modernization is more a journey than a destination.

But, if weve learned anything from our efforts the past few decades its that government doesnt have all the answers.

Were putting the specs out there with the expectation that industry will come up with solutions. We were never meant to be the only innovator. Our role as the regulator is safety.

My vision is that we give the innovator as free a reign as possible. We set the conditions for a safe and efficient NAS. How you get there is up to you. Thats the definition of a performance-based regulatory culture. We set the safety bar high very high. And you continue to go over it.

Business aviation has always been very helpful when it comes to supporting modernization especially as adopters of new technology. So, we need you to keep moving forward with us.

When the bill was signed, I think just about everybody breathed a sigh of relief. The first 5-year FAA bill since 1982. On that afternoon, we said that the Reauthorization delivers a safer, more secure and efficient aviation system to the traveling public that it fuels economic growth and competitiveness. And it does.

This leads directly to a discussion of the FAA Reauthorization bill the President signed a few weeks ago.

The bill creates a stronger infrastructure and does a lot to maintain American leadership in aviation. Its a bi-partisan bill, and aviationheck, everyone needs a little bipartisan thinking.

Weve already started working on the key provisions.

Of course, while the bill gives us the authority to exist the next five years, it doesnt give us the money to keep the lights on. So, while we get a respite from living under one short-term extension after another, were not out of the woods on funding.

In the last 11 years, the FAA has had to operate under 45 mini-appropriations cycles, some lasting only a few days; 28 Authorization cycles; Sequestration; Two government shutdowns; And a partridge in a pear tree.

Lookeach of you has a budget. Each of you makes sure that youre looking as far down the road as possible.

I cant do that. Im in a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul scenario, a never-ending loop in which the vagaries of the political winds hamstring our chances of planning with certaintyreal, actual certainty, of what we plan to do in the long term.

If I asked you to buy into a business that ran on a continuing resolution, youd walk away.

Being for innovation and against a stable funding stream is like being pro-light bulb and anti-electricity.

Were trying to run a $16 billion operation with 45,000 employeeswith a budget system thats just like living check to check. This scenario will not go away. It will not resolve itself.

When your budget is a political football, it just gets way too easy to punt.And thats just whats been happening for years.

Weve shown that we can transform the NAS albeit with one hand tied behind our backs.Now its time to do the same with funding. Ed, we need your help on this. The one certainty here is that what were doing now just doesnt cut it.

My sense of urgency is fueled by three words: commercial, space and drones.

America witnessed its first passenger on a commercial spacecraft. These arent barnstormers. Theyre new entrants. Theyre investors, and they are here, in no uncertain terms, to stay.

They have no plans to make money on a zero-g carnival ride. Theyre looking long-term, and space, for them, anyway, isnt so much the final frontier as it is a helluva place to set up shop.

Theres a raised eyebrow about commercial space, and Id like to disabuse you of that notion. Its unsafe. Its too risky. We need more regulations. What about people and property on the ground? Its too expensive. Passengers would be putting their lives into someone elses hands.

For the record, thats what people used to say about us. But aviation evolved, and so will commercial space. We would be foolish to dismiss this as novelty.

Were learning the same lesson with unmanned aircraft. What started as a toy is now an economic juggernaut. This thing went from aisle 4 at Toys R Us to a pretty pricey business strategybut who am I to speak for Amazon, Google, Uber and Walmart?

We must find a path for these new entrants to be safely integrated into the NAS. The FAA will not create a segregated traffic management system. Thats not going to work.

We went from balloons to pistons to jets and rotorcraft. And were going to evolve again to accommodate commercial spacecraft, drones, and whatevers next. And believe me when I tell you, Ive come to realize that whats next comes around the corner a whole lot faster than it used to.

Personally, Ive flown: MD-80, B767/757, and Cessna Citation on the civilian side. On the military side: C-21 (Lear 35), C-141B, T-37/T-38. Becoming a registered drone pilot is next on my list.

Like I said, they are here to stay. Weve got to learn about them just as much as we want them to learn about us.

Before I close, Id like to leave you with a thought about the future. Weve discussed future workforce, future aircraft and future funding.

But I think each of these takes a backseat to the future of safety. The future of safety lies in analyzing data submitted through voluntary safety programs.

To those operators who participate in ASIAS today, thank you. Youre laying the groundwork for the safety of the next generation. I encourage you to share your experiences with operators who are a little gun-shy. The more data we have to learn about the system the better we can manage and improve the system.

Sharing safety issues, trends and lessons learned is critical to learning what may be emerging to become the next risk in the system. We wont be able to identify these without you and without all of us working together.

When it comes to safety, the corporate community is a leader and I admire what you have accomplished and the high bar you have set. I want to see that across our entire community and our new entrants. And Id like to see you step up wherever possible to make that point for me.

Weve covered a lot of ground, but as Ed and I have said on many occasions, weve got to move forward together. Our system is dynamic and constantly evolving. I firmly believe that collaboration is the only way forward.

Through cooperation, through voluntary data sharing, well be able to uncover risks. Well be able to mitigate them before they become a catastrophe.

The good news for all of us is that I know that we can count on NBAA to step up for safety. Thats what youre known for.

Thank you.

Speech – Aviation Workforce Symposium Opening Remarks

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Arlington, VA

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the Aviation Workforce Symposium.

Its great to see the variety and caliber of the stakeholders here today, and I want to thank you for taking the time to join us.

The aviation community has always come together to tackle its most pressing challenges.

Today, we need to do it again.

Air travel in the United States and around the world is growing rapidly with no signs of slowing down.

Last year, IATA forecast that the number of air passengers traveling will nearly double by 2036.

The Boeing Pilot Outlook projects this growth will require 117,000 new pilots in North America alone.

But at a time when we need to see interest in aviation careers going up, the data is trending in the opposite direction.

The number of private pilots holding active airmen certificates has decreased by 27 percent in the last ten years. The number of commercial pilots in the same period has decreased by 21 percent.

The military which used to be one of the best sources for new hires isnt turning out as many new pilots as it used to. And college aviation programs dont have enough instructors to teach new students, because theyre taking jobs with the airlines as soon as they log enough time.

Meanwhile, the huge bubble of B-scale airline hires in the 80s of which I was one is up for retirement in the next 5 to 10 years. And the average age of an Airline Transport Pilot certificate-holder has climbed to 50.

I know this paints a sobering picture.

But there needs to be a common understanding of the gravity and urgency of this situation.

We have a diminishing supply of qualified pilots, mechanics, and technicians.

Thats why were here today to focus on solutions.

Were going to discuss how we can make aviation careers attractive and open to all Americans who have the skill to succeed in this profession.

But aptitude and innate talent can only get you so far.

Were also going to discuss how we can improve training, so that a new pilot can be transformed into the safe, experienced professional the traveling public deserves and expects on the flight deck.

And were going to look at how new and existing partnerships between the airlines, government, and academia can support all of these efforts.

Of course, ensuring an adequate pilot supply doesnt strictly fall under the FAAs jurisdiction.

But it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our aviation system and that the pilots flying within it receive the best training and are held to the highest standards.

Were not going to compromise on this.

So as we approach todays discussion, we need to remember that its not going to be enough to just maintain our current level of safety.

We need to actively improve on it.

So weve got a lot on our plates to discuss.

I know there are a lot of strong opinions in the room.

And Im really looking forward to hearing from each and every one of you.

Weve got the best of the best here with us today, serving as panelists, moderators even just sitting in the audience.

And with all of this collective expertise, I know well be able to come up with some actionable ideas that will ensure America maintains a robust pilot supply that also happens to be the safest and best-trained in the world.

Thank you.

Speech – A Success Story in the Making

Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell
Las Vegas, NV

Good morning, everybody.

I know what youre thinking: Oh, jeezthe regulators here. Hes probably going to tell us hes here to help.

You laugh. But I get it theres a certain degree of skepticism when the fed shows up at an event like this.

I dont know that I blame you. After all, the old government philosophy of If it aint broke, lets fix it anyway is the ultimate buzzkill.

Well thats not who I am. And thats absolutely not what the Department of Transportation or this Administration is all about.

Believe it or not, we all want the same thing. We all know unmanned aircraft arent a novelty some expensive toy that needs to be accommodated. And were ready for the day when drones are a fully integrated, everyday player in our nations airspace.

So how do we make that happen safely and faster?

Wellto start with, we all need to acknowledge: Remotely piloted aircraft are a disruptive technology.

In this room, thats almost always a good thing, right? Drones are reinventing industries creating new ones. Theyre going to do for aviation what the internet did for information.

Ive been a pilot most of my life. But when I look around at some of the things youre working on here at InterDrone the possibilities blow me away.

But as exciting as this all is it can also make people nervous.

Safety security access privacyThe public has very real and justified questions about these aircraft. And their concerns cant just be swept under the rug.

If we want this technology to take hold, weve got to take these questions head on.

Opinions about drones are still being formed. Thats in our favor. And we can make the most of that opportunity by being responsive.

The recent event in Venezuela reminds us: All it takes is one bad actor one unfortunate incident And this industry could be grounded before it ever really takes off.

Thats not hyperbole. Sky-high expectations are just part of the world youre operating in.

The national airspace system doesnt have room for error. When something goes wrong up there, it shakes peoples confidence down here. And the entire industry feels the impact.

Fortunately, incidents like that are extremely rare. Airplanes are safer and more resilient than at any point in history. The people operating in the system take safety so seriously that they self-report mistakes. And that voluntary data reporting allows us to root out areas of risk in the system long before incidents occur.

The result? Aviation is the gold standard. The safest form of transportation in the world. Thats not a position were about to take a step back on.

Ive heard this argument a few times: Back in Orville and Wilburs era, people were willing to risk their lives for the birth of a new form of transportation. Now that were on the cusp of aviations next great era, shouldnt we be willing to accept some of the same risks in the name of progress?

Folks, theres a really simple answer to that question: No.

Manned aviation already learned those lessons. We paid that price. Were not going to do it again. And the public wouldnt let us, anyway.

Now, this insistence on safety isnt some limitation on unmanned aircraft. On the contrary its a leg up.

Because youre not starting from scratch, like the Wright brothers. The FAA has spent six decades working with airlines, manufacturers, and countless others to get where we are now. And were ready to use everything weve learned so that the drone industry can reach its full potential as quickly as possible.

Let me tell you a quick story.

A TV company was using a drone to film exteriors out in Louisville, Kentucky a couple weeks ago. And they just so happened to set up in the parking lot of the FAAs local Flight Standards office.

Our folks naturally got curious about the drone flying in their parking lot, and struck up a conversation with the production manager. Turns out, an uncertified pilot was flying an unregistered drone.

So what do you think the inspector didconfiscate the drone? Issue a fine?

No. Our guys didnt write them a ticket, or start talking about fines. They sat down with them, and helped register their drone right there in the FAAs conference room. Walked them through the rules and next steps.

The crew couldnt believe it. That we wanted to help them get back to filming the right way as quickly as possible.

You knowif theres one thing I want you to take away from this conference, its this: the FAA is open for business.

For folks who are committed to doing the right thing were not your adversary. Were as invested in integrating unmanned aircraft into the system as you are.

Innovation is one of Secretary Chaos top priorities for the Department of Transportation. And were building flexible, responsive regulatory processes that can keep up with all your creativity while ensuring safety isnt compromised.

Weve automated how drone operators get permission to fly in controlled airspace.

Were laying the groundwork for a comprehensive Unmanned Traffic Management System.

Weve authorized low-risk small drone flights, and created a performance-based waiver and exemption process to allow more advanced operations.

And Secretary Chao recently launched the UAS Integration Pilot Program to let us work with local governments and private industry to figure out how best to expand unmanned operations beyond whats allowed by current regulations.

Thats a Cabinet-level official whos leaning in, and saying Lets move our efforts into the fast lane.

The first test under the pilot program happened a few weeks ago in Blacksburg, Virginia. A Project Wing drone delivered a popsicle to a two-year-old boy, just six minutes after the order was placed.

It was historic the first beyond visual line-of-sight residential drone delivery in the United States.It was the Mr. Watson, I want to see you for the 21st century.

But to Little Jack, it was just cool. In his words: Airplane brought me a Popsicle!

These are important steps forward steps that bring drones closer to just being a routine operator in our airspace.

But there are still critical hurdles that need to be cleared before thats a reality. And they are issues the FAA cannot tackle alone.

Everyones interested in drone operations at night and over people. But we need to address the concerns that our national security and law enforcement partners have first.

Chief among them: we and thats a collective we, not just the FAA have to be able to identify every drone in the airspace, and whos operating it. The National Airspace System is no place for hide-and-seek.

This is common sense stuff. No ones okay with the idea of people driving down the highway without a license in their pocket and a tag on their vehicle. Why should operating a drone be any different?

But right now, the FAAs hands are tied by a law that says we cannot require remote identification on model aircraft.

This isnt a sustainable situation. Until we can set remote ID requirements that will be universally applied to every drone until we can make sure everyone is following the same rules inside the system full integration just isnt possible.

Now, Congress knows this is an issue. And Im hopeful well see a legislative fix soon maybe even as part of the FAAs next reauthorization.

As soon as this gets resolved, rest assured: were ready to move forward as quickly as possible.

Thats not the only question hanging out there.

How are drones going to interact with each other? And with other users flying in the system?

How can we make sure unmanned aircraft dont interfere with critical infrastructure? Or emergency response efforts?

Remember dull, dirty, and dangerous? Drones shouldnt be impediments they should be first responders at events like the California wildfires. Thats what we should be working toward.

Im not going to stand up here and claim Ive got the answers. Im not a tech guy and the FAA is not a tech company.

Our business is safety. So when we look at an aircraft, we want to know two basic things: Is it reliable? And does it play nicely with others?

Thats it. Dont fall out of the sky, and dont crash into other aircraft. It sounds simple. But the execution can be a lot more complex. Especially when its an entirely new class of users coming into a system that already includes jumbo jets, helicopters, balloons, rockets, and everything in between.

The fact is, a lot of safety problems require technological solutions. And that means we need buy-in from all of you. The innovators. The inventers. The out-of-the-box thinkers.

Nobody knows how to tackle tough tech challenges better than the folks in this room. Thats what got you here. The advancements being highlighted this week are proof of that.

So heres my advice: If you share the FAAs goal of fully integrating drones into our airspace as soon as possible dont just make the business case for your products or operations. Start making the safety case, too. They go hand-in-hand.

And dont be afraid to take on the problems that are bigger than your individual companies. Go after the issues that are affecting the unmanned aircraft community as a whole and share what youre doing at events like this one.

I truly believe youre going to find the most success more quickly if you work together.

Some of you are already doing this. And its probably the single biggest lesson weve learned over the years in aviation.

If a company develops a new safety enhancement, they dont keep it to themselves. Or use it to sell more aircraft than the other guy. They share it with everybody else.

Over twenty years ago, the FAA actually put together a team specifically designed to share safety information, and then do something with the safety information thats being shared.

Its called CAST the Commercial Aviation Safety Team. Its a mix of safety professionals from industry and government a group of about a thousand that shares data and safety ideas.

In a world where its hard enough to get two people to agree on anything, this group is a stark exception to the rule.

CAST is responsible for implementing about 200 safety enhancements that are largely responsible for commercial aviations historic safety record.

One more thing you need to know about those safety enhancements: theyre voluntary. This industry doesnt wait for a rule, or a government mandate, or a call to action.

Safety is a race we run together, and CAST wants everyone in the system to finish in a tie for first. And that, I say with a certain amount of awe and not a little bit of pride, is what happens.

Thats why we went over nine years without a single fatality in commercial aviation. Safety is not a table for one.

And all of this is not just for the big guys the airlines, the manufacturers, who dominate the system. Its about general aviation just as well the private pilots. For them, we formed the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee for the same purpose.

In October 2016, we launched a similar effort designed just for this community the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team. Given the success weve seen with CAST, and the growing success were seeing with the general aviation community, I have no doubt that, in time, well see more of the same with you.

It sounds strange, maybe even a little weird, but the concept works, and the numbers prove it.

I know you guard your trade secrets and proprietary technologies, as well you should. Were not looking for the keys to the cabinet that holds your secret plans.

But we do want to know about safety mistakes that can end in tragedy.

Thats the thing about sharing this kind of information: we cant spot trends if the cards arent face up on the table.

What you think is a fluke a one in a million, an event thatll never happen again might very well be happening on this coast, that one, and at a number of cities in between. But we wont know that, and you wont know that, unless you share the information.

This is the reason for aviations unprecedented record. We dont compete on safety.

Thats the business were in. Now its your business, too. And Im really happy to welcome you into the fold.

For the last few years, at events like this, weve had a tendency to spend too much time reassuring each other.

Industry tells the FAA what drones are capable of, and that what youre doing isnt some kind of fad. And guys like me come here and tell you We get it. Were on top of the issue.

I think its time to end the therapy sessions.

Youve proven that unmanned aircraft are here to stay.

And I think I hope the FAA has proven that were 100 percent committed to making you a regular part of our national airspace.

Lookwere not strangers anymore. Were partners. In innovation and safety.

This is more than a work in progress. This is a success story in the making.I am confident of that. And you are giving me all the reasons in the world to keep it that way.

Thank you.