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FAA Officials Visit Headquarters
January 22, 2007 - FAA officials visited Oshkosh this week for extensive discussions on a wide variety of aviation topics during the 2007 FAA-EAA Recreational Aviation Summit. More than a dozen senior FAA staff members, led by Director of Aircraft Certification John Hickey and Director of Flight Standards Jim Ballough, met with EAA and NAFI officials and representatives from several facets of the organization. "This is really the roll-up-your-sleeves meeting where we determine what we need to work on," Ballough said. "This is the way to get the issues on the table and chart the course." NAFI Executive Director Rusty Sachs attended sessions of the two-day conference.

The purpose of the annual meeting is to identify and resolve specific issues that enhance affordability, reduce complexity, and protect precious freedoms for those pursuing their passion for recreational flight.

EAA President Tom Poberezny said, "We highly value our working relationship with the FAA. EAA's differentiated approach of proactive advocacy, not reactive, seeks to address issues before they become problems."

The meeting yielded a 30-item action agenda covering numerous areas including sport pilot training; experimental/amateur-built aircraft; flight safety and flight training; warbirds; aerobatic practice and competition boxes; air show policies; vintage and aging aircraft issues; and air tour operations. The group also discussed arrangements for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007.

One indication of the vast effectiveness of the working relationship between EAA and FAA has been over the years is the remarkable stability of FAA's homebuilt regulations. "In the five decades, we've seen no major changes, and that could not be possible were it not for our unique working relationship with the FAA," Poberezny said. Hickey added, "I truly value the relationship between EAA and FAA. With a nurtured relationship there is nothing we can't accomplish working toward the same goal."

"Every year that we do this, it goes more smoothly," Poberezny said. "It's not that the issues have gotten any easier, but we come in better prepared and better able to address the issues. This has been a very positive, very constructive session-well worth the time and effort we've put into it."