General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Board Member and Sabreliner Aviation President and Innova Aerospace Executive Vice President of Corporate Development Greg Fedele testified on March 23 before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation Operations about the regulatory and certification processes at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and reforms to improve U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace for aviation products and manufacturing.
In his testimony, Fedele explained the incredibly competitive nature of the global aviation marketplace and how being first to market is essential for many of his company’s projects. Any unforeseen delay in the certification of a product can be devastating for a business.
“A good idea can be squandered if the implementation of that solution is not timely,” he said. “As one solution is being certified, others may enter the market, and for many different reasons get to market faster if their certification program is completed more efficiently.”
Citing inefficiencies with the FAA’s use of the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program, Fedele said manufacturers and the FAA have invested significant resources in establishing and qualifying ODA organizations, but the utilization of the ODA program has been inconsistent, adding significant delay and cost to certification programs.
“We look forward to working with the Committee on this important issue,” he told the Subcommittee, which is chaired by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). “If you can help us bring efficiencies through reform, the industry will respond with growth and improved safety technology.”
Discussing improvement of the efficiency and effectiveness of the certification process, Fedele said he believes risk analysis tools and techniques need to be incorporated to inform the level of involvement of the FAA’s limited resources. This will drive consistent decision making and eliminate redundant activities throughout the system.
“The demand for validations of the FAA Type Certification from other countries and turn times can be very long and costly,” said Fedele. “This is a high priority for the industry and a focus of the FAA and we would appreciate any support you can give us to address these challenges.”
Fedele stressed the importance of the development of the ODA scorecard, the implementation of the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) transformation initiative, and he expressed support for the certification title the Senate passed in 2016 as part of its FAA Reauthorization bill.
“This would help support FAA certification reform by addressing key issues I have discussed in my testimony – fully embracing the ODA authorization to the benefit of industry and the FAA, directing FAA engagement and leadership with other aviation authorities to help facilitate efficient validation and acceptance of FAA safety standards and product approvals globally, and ensuring an effective risk-based aviation safety system,” he said.
Fedele’s full testimony can be found at gama.aero.