The FAA has a Chief Counsel, arriving without fanfare, but competence and a lot of work

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It is good to welcome new members of the FAA senior management team. Google’s search machine was perceptive enough to determine that there is a new Chief Counsel, Reginald Govan; for neither the DoT nor the FAA websites include any notice of this Presidential appointment. We welcome Mr. Govan whose academic, clerkship and work experience are impressive.

The new addition to Administrator Huerta’s team has some serious challenges. He and his lawyers have to cross all the T’s and dot the I’s on the NextGen contracts. At a recent House hearing, a witness made it clear that significant delay in issuance of the streamlined Part 23 certification standards was being delayed due to legal review. A year ago, the FAA’s rationale was challenged on the basis of an inadequate record. Another major FAA matter, the UAS regulatory scheme and the related privacy issues, will consume a lot of his attention. His office has a major role in rewriting the FAA Reauthorization legislation, due to expire October, 2015; so his fresh look might bring some of the Transformational ideas for which Chairman Shuster has called.

Clearly, the new Chief Legal Officer of the FAA will be busy.

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