Pete Bunce is another in a trend of GAMA’s hiring of excellent CEO’s. His leadership has contributed to one of the most innovative FAA NPRMs, the rewrite of Part 23. The association’s chief executive officer again demonstrates an ability to think outside the box by his hiring of Lauren Haertlein. What will she contribute to reducing the years it has taken to certificate GA aircraft to a process which facilitates the safe growth of this vital segment of US aviation?
What about the selection of an associate, who has practiced FDA law at the prestigious law firm, Arnold & Porter, is so noteworthy? Superficially, one might question filling the position of Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs with a lawyer who is not practicing aviation law. Again, at a less insightful level, her resume indicates that she’s a licensed pilot; so she knows aviation.
Digging deeper and examining what FDA law is about reveals Mr. Bunce’s wisdom.
First, Food & Drug law applies highly technical information to a regulatory scheme. Her academic credentials include undergraduate studies of politics and biology; her work at Duke was learning law and bioethics. That shows a person who is able to understand those technical and arcane topics.
Second and most relevantly to GAMA’s Part 23 rewrite (in particular to the regulatory command and creativity of Jens Hennig) efforts, one of the hallmarks of the FDA is its efforts at innovation, and further it has been an agency working at streamlining its labyrinthine approval processes. Those lessons will provide Ms. Haertlein great insights as to how the FAA fortress of rules and regulations might be brought reduced.
Congratulations to Pete Bunce for hiring someone who is likely to find new ways for the FAA to regulate the certification of GA aircraft and do so without an inordinate number of words to be written, drawings to be submitted, boxes checked and other steps which do not benefit aviation safety.