July 29, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - Officials
from EAA, FAA, and the light-sport aircraft (LSA) industry gathered Monday
afternoon in the first official meeting of the new Light-Sport Joint
Safety Committee (LS-JSC), a joint government-industry initiative aimed at
improving the safety of light-sport aircraft and pilots, while preserving
the freedoms and privileges of light sport.
This initiative was first proposed at the
annual EAA/FAA Summit in February 2008. Its purpose, according to its
draft charter, is to create a vehicle for the FAA and the light-sport
community to cooperate, communicate, and coordinate efforts to identify
and address light-sport safety issues.
Co-chaired by EAA and the FAA, the committee
plans to include members from the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
(AOPA), Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA), the National
Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI—an EAA affiliate), and the
standards-setting body ASTM International; representatives from the
European LSA community are also in the plans.
The LS-JSC plans to meet twice annually to
review light-sport safety issues, and to propose actions and assign work
teams to address those issues. Additionally, the body plans a “check-in”
session at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh each year.
“The regulatory structure for light sport is
a unique government-industry partnership,” said Kim Smith, manager of
FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate. “We’re very excited about this
joint initiative to get a handle on light-sport safety issues and
solutions. I’m looking forward to everyone’s participation.”