Flight Safety Foundation Awards Dinner – Acceptance Remarks

Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs and Environment Laurence S. Wildgoose (January 1, 2021 - present)

Thank you, Sasha [Johnson]. And good evening, everyone. 

It’s a pleasure to be here and accept this award on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and our industry partners.

I would like to thank the Flight Safety Foundation, its CEO, Dr. Hassan Shahidi, and the foundation’s board of governors for recognizing the FAA for this prestigious award.

November just happens to be Aviation History Month, and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the nearly eight decades that the Flight Safety Foundation has positioned itself to identify global safety issues, set priorities and serve as a catalyst to address concerns through data collection, information sharing, education, and advocacy.

Jerome “Jerry” Lederer, who became known as Mr. Aviation Safety, championed the sharing of critical safety information between industry and government. And today, I’m happy to report that we’re seeing an unprecedented amount of information sharing.

For more than 25 years, InfoShare participants from numerous segments of aviation meet twice a year to voluntarily discuss safety issues.

InfoShare gives members a chance to identify safety risks and share data analysis, insights and successful mitigation strategies. We must continue to build on these efforts.

Within the FAA, we’re evolving toward using predictive analytics … machine learning … and artificial intelligence … to yield quality, consistent streams of safety data.

In a normal year, we face safety challenges, but add to that the seesaw of travel demand, sustained uncertainty, and a highly transmissible virus … you have greater risk overall.

And I can tell you that the FAA is focused on addressing the challenges in an ever-more dynamic aerospace industry. 

Take a look at the rise in new entrants. Drones and commercial space operations continue to move at a rapid pace. And we’re seeing more Advanced Air Mobility and electric aircraft on the horizon.

We have to make sure that new entrants are brought into a proactive safety culture that is learning and just. And that these new operations are safely integrated into the airspace system in which they can operate safely together.

We do not take safety for granted. We know it is something that is cherished and something that we must constantly work to achieve.

As we continue to celebrate Aviation History Month, let’s remain vigilant in sharing best practices. We want to know about the safety risk and challenges you’re seeing. This will help fuel our respective global safety efforts.

Thank you again for this award and thank you to each of you for your commitment to keeping our aerospace system safe.

It’s something I cherish, and I know you do too.