Now is the time for all Aviation to come to the aid of ODA[1]

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Congress opposed to Organization Delegation Authorization 

GAMA defends the safety process

All good aviators need to support the concept locally!!!

Congress, in its papal infallibility (instead of speaking ex cathedra, the Members vote “ex collis[2]”), has decided that Organization Delegation Authorization (ODA) is WRONG. From “it’s self-certification” to “it was responsible for the Max 8 tragedies” to “let the FAA hire all of the experts needed”, Senators and Representatives have decided that ODA must be changed. House T&I Chairman DeFazio (D, OR) has been the primary oracle for altering this option:

“But attempts to change the system are likely. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said Thursday that his committee’s investigation has revealed multiple points at which the certification process failed and that he intends to propose legislative fixes.

‘I want to be very clear: 346 people died because the system failed,’ DeFazio said. ‘Despite the wishes of industry, it would be the height of irresponsibility to leave the ODA system as is and just hope for the best the next time. Not addressing the failures head-on would be a grave mistake and that will not happen on my watch.'”Chairman DeFazio

[1] This adaptation of a stirring quote is not from a great general or political leader! Rather, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party” is a phrase first proposed as a typing drill by instructor Charles E. Weller; its use is recounted in his book The Early History of the Typewriter, p. 21 

[1] From the hill, not good Latin idiom, but clearer

Here are some thoughts on the challenges which this Congressionally approved authority faces:

What FAA Delegation Does—How And Why? 2019 #2

63 Years Of Boeing-Style Delegation – A Short History

New York Times Article- Is It Time To Reconsider The Boeing ODA?

A Proposal To Respond To The ODA Perception Mess—B737 Max8–2019 #6

A Proposal To End The B737 Max8 Recertification Loop

UL As An Historical Model For Replacing ODA If Congress Stops That Authority-Comments On The Negroni Commentary

What FAA Must Do About The Boeing ODA?

Global Aircraft Certification Collision Course?

FAA ODA Handbook

With that background, great credit to Messrs. Ron Draper and Pete Bunce for articulating a rationale for why ODA should continue. It is critical that every aviation professional should convey the same message to your elected federal officials early and often. Especially the affirmative value of the expertise applied to certification by this delegation.

As technology continues to escalate its innovations, these new materials, structures, wings, batteries, avionics, etc. will exceed the ability of government to mirror these leading edge advances. The ability of aircraft manufacturers to bring these safety improvements to fruition will be retarded by the differential between the speed of the private sector and the inherently delayed governmental response.

future aviation technology










Delegation Perceptions Remain Key Industry Concern

by Kerry Lynch

– February 21, 2020, 1:29 PM


Business aviation leaders remain concerned about rhetoric and perceptions surrounding the use of delegation authority in product certifications and are stressing the need to impress upon Congress that sweeping changes would hamper, rather than improve safety.

GAMA logo

At the annual General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) State of the Industry gathering on February 19, GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce highlighted the many new traditional and non-traditional aircraft in the pipeline. “We have all of these companies working on new types of vehicles; it is literally going to change our world and it’s going to happen faster than people realize,” Bunce said. “When you look at the money that’s coming into the industry right now…this is not what we’ve seen in our industry in the last couple of decades.”

GAMA now and future aircraft

But this is what makes the certification process so important, he added. In the aftermath of the Boeing Max crashes, certification has become a focus on Capitol Hill and in the general public. Bunce is concerned about misreporting or misunderstanding of the process

When people start talking about self-certification, they have no idea about how intricately and integrally involved the FAA is in each step of the process,” he stressed, highlighting a chart that GAMA [see above] created to help explain that process when industry executives meet with lawmakers. “You cannot take a complex system like certification and make it into an elevator speech—in an hour you are just scratching the surface.” The chart is one of the ways GAMA is hoping to ward off any attempts at wholesale changes, he said, stressing the need to get the message out about the importance of the delegation process.

“If we don’t delegate to experts that are out there in the industry and are overseen by the FAA, we are not able to refresh our products and make them safer,” Bunce said. “If we draw this process out longer and have longer cycles between new products in the system, it is not as safe.”

Manpower Concernsgama ron and pete_InPixio

Textron Aviation president and CEO Ron Draper, who spoke on a panel at the GAMA event, was even more pointed, saying, “Without that level of cooperation and back and forth [through delegation], product development would grind to a halt in the industry. It simply would not happen—there’s not enough manpower.”

Draper also hoped to dispel the myth that the use of organization designation authorization (ODA) represents an abdication of the FAA’s responsibilities or the relaxation of oversight. He cited Textron Aviation’s recent experience with the certification of the Citation Longitude, saying, “The certification process with the FAA on this jet was the most rigorous certification process on any airplane that we’ve done in our history, and we’ve done quite a few airplanes.”

The word “delegation” is a misnomer, Draper suggested. “Those that are outside the industry and point to this as a problem don’t understand the whole certification process. It’s not really a delegation,” he said. “The entire process is managed and controlled by the FAA.”

The FAA provides approval for everything beginning from the certification plan at the start of the process up through meeting standards for every individual system, Draper said. “Sometimes on a system, they retain all approval in a traditional certification process; Sometimes they say this is the fourth time you’ve done this hydraulic system and it’s not changed from the last one—you still have to do all of the testing and show us the reports, but we let you do that work. So, the FAA orchestrates this like a conductor.”

Calling the system “very, very rigorous,” Draper said the data bears out the safety of the system. “It just gets safer and safer.” He agreed that there’s always room for improvement. “A productive dialog and debate on improving this absolutely should be had,” he said, but any movement to throw out the process and start over “would be a mistake.”

While the FAA has stressed the need for the system and talk of eliminating it altogether seem to be quieter, for now, key lawmakers have remained vocal about the need for changes.

The time is critical. It’s an election year and phrases like “it’s self-certification” will capture the attention of media and through their dissemination of that characterization to the public. 2020 also means that all 435 Representatives’, 35 Senators’ (list)and the President’s office are in elections. That means that you, as a private citizen and an aviation professional, are likely to be heard by the candidates.

With 471 seats and likely the number of candidates, that translates to a lot of important opinions which need to be informed. While today’s politicians have ridiculously full calendars, they also have large professional staffs and volunteers who are there to LISTEN. You can impact the outcome of this issue by calling these contacts to share your knowledge of the safety value of ODAs. PLEASE DO.

Now is the time for all Aviation to come to the aid of ODA

Pete Bunce sharing the value of ODA :

Pete Bunce talking to the press











[1] This adaptation of a stirring quote is not from a great general or political leader! Rather, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party” is a phrase first proposed as a typing drill by instructor Charles E. Weller; its use is recounted in his book The Early History of the Typewriter, p. 21

[2] From the hill, not good Latin idiom, but clearer

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