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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedEAA/FAA summit meeting yields results
By David Sakrison, EAA AirVenture Today

August 1, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin  - Each year since 2005, FAA staff have come to Oshkosh in the dead of winter to sit down with EAA staff and division heads to tackle some of the thorniest challenges facing sport aviation. 

The two-day “EAA/FAA Winter Summit” gives participants a chance to meet face-to-face and share their expertise and ideas on a wide range of issues of concern to EAA members. 

The Winter Summit is a serious, nuts-and-bolts working session with a worthy list of accomplishments. 

Participants identify issues that need to be addressed, discuss possible solutions, and assign action items. 

Most of the same EAA and FAA participants in the Winter Summit met again Friday morning at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to review action items and report on work in progress. 

The Summit brings EAA and FAA staff members together to identify issues and set priorities, Poberezny explained. AirVenture brings grass roots general aviation into process, through meetings between FAA officials and the aviation community, all over the convention grounds all during the week. 

“The Winter Summit and the follow-up briefing at AirVenture are just part of the process that goes on 365 days a year,” said EAA President Tom Poberezny. “It’s one product of the strong working relationship between the FAA and EAA and more importantly, [between the FAA and] the people we represent—EAA members, who are an important part of the aviation community.”

It is just one of the many face-to-face meetings between FAA and EAA that take place throughout each year in Oshkosh, Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., and other places.

FAA participants in the Winter Summit include the heads of all the EAA divisions and affiliates, and of such FAA branches as Flight Standards, Aircraft Certification, the Small Airplane Directorate, Light Sport Aircraft, Airworthiness Certification, and Operations and Safety Programs.

Their participation at the Summit, and their week-long presence here at AirVenture are significant measures of EAA’s stature and credibility within the agency. “EAA’s 160,000 members give sport aviation an effective voice,” said David Oord, EAA government relations specialist, “and EAA’s long-standing commitment to collaborative problem solving gives us credibility within the FAA.”

This year’s Winter Summit was held in February and, like previous EAA/ FAA summits, it covered a wide range of challenges, opportunities, and other concerns. A few of the topics discussed were:

  • Flight training in amateur-built or ultralight-type aircraft

  • Updating written tests for pilot ratings

  • Warbird operating rules

  • Proposed changes in the Amateur-Built 51% Rule

  • Alternate aviation fuels

  • Electric aircraft engines and the eventual need for certification standards.

“We really appreciate the FAA’s willingness to come here,” said Poberezny, “and the FAA officials tell us they enjoy coming to Oshkosh, in large measure because of how much we can accomplish here, working together.”

“For EAA and EAA members,” he added, “the value of the annual Summit is far, far more than the time we spend working together.”

For a more detailed report on the 2009 EAA/FAA Winter Summit, visit www.eaa.org.

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