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Honeywell Operators Discuss Issues with GAMA Exec

Honeywell Operators Discuss Issues with GAMA Exec

One of the best parts of my job with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is the opportunity to talk with knowledgeable and engaged professionals from every part of this great industry.

In June, I joined 45 business aircraft operators at the Honeywell Operator Conference in Washington, D.C., for a spirited discussion about key challenges and opportunities facing general aviation. We talked about the state of the industry and about several specific areas impacting our success today and in the future.

For example, we covered GAMA’s support of legislation to improve the certification and regulatory process at the FAA. We want to continue to make changes to spur innovation, improve aviation safety, support job growth, facilitate exports and strengthen the health of general aviation, which provides $219 billion in annual economic output. It was interesting to hear the perspective of Honeywell operators, who overwhelming favor these efforts.

The environment was another topic of great interest to Honeywell Operator Conference participants. Business and general aviation’s carbon footprint is relatively small, but everyone in our community embraces the need to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

GAMA supports a balanced approach that includes improvements in technology and operating procedures along with expanded use of alternative fuels and market-based measures if necessary, to build a strong, green infrastructure and supply chain across the industry.

These are exciting times for the business and general aviation industry as promising new technologies emerge that will make flying safer, more efficient and economical, and more convenient. Advancements in air traffic management, performance-based navigation, autonomous vehicles, urban air mobility and electric and hybrid-electric engines and systems are prime examples.

GAMA’s Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee (EPIC) is extremely involved in supporting member-companies’ efforts. EPIC has grown from just 11 to 80 members – including Honeywell – since 2015, which clearly demonstrates interest in this arena.

Nothing is more important to the future of aviation than the availability of smart, well-trained and highly motivated employees. Boeing projects that 804,000 new civil aviation pilots, 769,000 new maintenance technicians, and 914,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years.

GAMA members anticipate comparable shortages in other aviation-related specialties, including engineering and manufacturing, which could affect their ability to innovate and compete in future years. At the Honeywell Operator Conference, we had a lively discussion about the challenges facing the business and general aviation industry – including operators – when it comes to filling the employment pipeline and stimulating young people to explore potential careers in aviation.

Business and general aviation companies already employ more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. alone and that number is going nowhere but up in the years ahead. GAMA has a wide range of programs and initiatives aimed at finding and developing the next generation of business aviation enthusiasts and workers.

I want to thank the Customer Support team at Honeywell for inviting me to be part of the Honeywell Operator Conference in Washington and for giving me a chance to talk about GAMA and the Aero Club of Washington and hear from all the Honeywell operators and team members in attendance.

Paul Feldman is Vice President, Government Affairs, for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Prior to joining GAMA in 2008, he worked for APCO Worldwide, where he headed the company’s transport practice in Europe. Previously he was FAA Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in Brussels. He is also current president of the Aero Club of Washington.

Honeywell Operator Conferences provide a great opportunity for operators of Honeywell-equipped business aircraft to meet with company representatives and learn more about new products, maintenance, operations, service and support. Nine more conferences are scheduled worldwide in 2019. Join us to learn more about Honeywell products and services that are critical to your flight department.

Paul Feldman
President of Aero Club of Washington Board

Paul is currently President of the Aero Club of Washington Board and is also a member of the Greater Washington Aviation Open Board which benefits Veterans' Airlift Command and Corporate Angel Network.


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