FAA Administrator Focuses on the Caribbean

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta on Thursday outlined the agency’s Caribbean Initiative with media and international stakeholders.

“The Caribbean region is of critical importance to the United States,” Administrator Huerta said. “By working together, we are building a foundation of increased cooperation that will allow us to enhance safety and efficiency throughout a region that serves as a destination for so many travelers.”

Air traffic in the Caribbean is expected to grow rapidly – as much as five to six percent over the next two decades. The region is second only to the Middle East in terms of aviation growth. More than 17 percent of international flights departing from the United States are headed for destinations in the Caribbean. Many more flights transit Caribbean airspace between North and South America. This represents millions of passengers from all over the region and the world.

Through its Caribbean Initiative, the FAA’s technical experts work with their Caribbean partners and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to increase airport safety and certification in the region and to improve air traffic flow management through collaborative decision-making. The initiativealso supports the region’s implementation of ICAO.

The FAA is working with its Caribbean partners to share best practices for air traffic flow management and collaborative decision making. These efforts should improve air traffic performance and efficiency in the region. This year, the FAA has worked with ICAO, industry, and civil aviation authorities in the region to host aerodrome certification workshops in Kingston, Jamaica and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The workshop in Jamaica was held in English and involved 44 participants from eight countries. The workshop in the Dominican Republic was held in Spanish and involved 53 participants from six countries.

Next week, FAA representatives will participate in the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) Airline Leaders Forum in Mexico City. They will emphasize the importance of international cooperation to keep pace with aviation innovation and growth in the Latin American and Caribbean regions. For example, NextGen technologies are improving safety and efficiency and are reducing aviation’s impact on the environment. Controllers have been using a foundational NextGen technology known as ADS-B since 2010 to safely separate and manage aircraft flying over the Gulf of Mexico. Air traffic controllers can now handle ten times the amount of air traffic over the Gulf as they could previously.

The FAA is transforming how it prioritizes and targets resources to engage with the international aviation community to improve safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability through regulatory harmonization and partnerships. The FAA works through the world’s international safety organization, ICAO, to make flying safer.

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About: Wayne Farley

Wayne Farley is a safety evangelist who has 30 years of experience in the aviation industry with many of those years spent as an air traffic controller in aerodrome, approach and area facilities. He is an aviation enthusiast and maintains an active blog.

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