The US Aviation Flag in Europe

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FAA International Presence

The Importance of European Aviation

faa-international-presenceHistorically, the FAA set the aviation standards for the world. Whether that’s true or not today is debatable, what is critical for the future of the US’ aviation standing, however, is that the FAA must be aware of, learn about and respond appropriately to what is happening globally. As the below articles make clear, there’s a lot happening in European Aviation and the FAA’s Catherine (Kate) M. Lang, Director of Europe, Africa and Middle East Region is the US aviation’s ears and eyes for this important region.

The FAA’s budget is tight and the Administrator must make wise decisions as to what to cut. Several of the International Offices have already been closed. In direct contrast, Europe is aggressively promoting its presence around the world, Congress seems to be understanding the implication of this effort to influence international aviation. There may be strategies to effectively deliver the US perspective. While the Caribbean may merit some attention, Europe cannot be neglected.

These three stories demonstrate the need to know what is happening on the Continent and why Kate Lang and her team are important:

  1. faa-international-presenceEASA blocked from tapping en route charges—

    While the directive has to do with costing of en route charges, the issue
    of how to allocate costs for air traffic services may well be a major issue should Secretary-designate Chao elect to move forward with an ATC privatization proposal. It should be instructive to closely follow the EASA decisional processes on this complex issue.
  1. GAMA Welcomes Major Step Toward New EASA Mandate Will Update And Modernize The Agency’s ‘Basic Regulation’The UK’s departure from the EU may have been caused by the increasing pressure from the pan European body to regulate aviation within sovereign boundaries. This proposal will more precisely define EASA’s powers. As GAMA notes, it may create better standards for aircraft certification, but there have been moments in which individual CAAs and EASA have disagreed. How the new EASA charter will resolve such future legitimate conflicts merit Kate Lang’s team’s close scrutiny.

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  1. Lufthansa Technik and GE Have Chosen Poland as the Location for Their New InvestmentA major US company with a major European partner at Legnica Special Economic Zone (LSEZ) in Poland. The US unions and the advocates for an emerging “America First” position will want to see exactly how this facility is regulated, the competence of the workers and the quality of their work. Such assessments will require surveillance by Ms. Lang and her team.

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A new Administration should carefully assess the value of the FAA’s international presence. These challenges should demonstrate that having smart eyes and ears around the world does add to America’s aviation influence and secondarily sales of US products.

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