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MARPA Conference Agenda is Updated; FAA Confirms their Attendance

The MARPA Conference has added new speakers and expanded the expected offerings.

We are excited to announce that the FAA will be at the Conference.

Many may have heard that the entire U.S. government has cut back on travel to conferences as a consequence of the GSA scandal.  This has resulted in a significant amount of cancellations for federal employees across the entire government.  We had feared that this might impact the FAA’s participation in MARPA.  We are pleased to announce that it will not prevent the FAA from participating.

FAA participation in the MARPA conference is important to our members, to the Association, and to the FAA.  FAA speakers announce new programs and new policies during the general session and use the questions to help ensure that guidance addresses industry concerns and answers industry questions.  In the workshops FAA employees get an opportunity to work with members on compliance and safety issues, and we use the time at the conference to discuss pending and new programs designed to increase safety.  FAA employees also meet with multiple PMA company representatives at the Conference about important matters, which cuts down on other trips.  The FAA has always said that they appreciate this opportunity to advance safety issues with the industry.

The FAA is really putting its money where its mouth is, this year.  In an environment of travel-cutting and intense scrutiny of the value of government travel, the FAA will once again send employees to support the MARPA Conference.  We expect to welcome Dave Hempe (who manages all FAA Engineering policy), John Milewski (who manages FAA PMA Policy), and a representative from the FAA Engine and Propeller Directorate to join us this year, and we are making arrangements for other FAA employees to join us by teleconference. In addition, Fred Elliott from the Department of Commerce will be joining us to talk about opportunities for PMA-usage by non-US air carriers.

In order to make this happen, we spoke with FAA Associate Administrator Margaret (Peggy) Gilligan, FAA Aircraft Certification Director Dorenda Baker, FAA Aircraft Certification Deputy Director Frank Paskiewicz, and FAA Engineering Manager David Hempe.  They all expressed their support for MARPA, and they “went to  bat” for the PMA industry in order to secure permission for three FAA employees to travel to MARPA.

With the cutbacks in government travel to conferences, FAA attendance at industry conferences will become more rare and more difficult to get approved.  Please make sure to do the following when you are in Las Vegas:

  • Thank all of the government officials who are attending the conference for their support, and
  • Make use of the government officials who are attending the conference:
    • Get your questions answered
    • Let them know your concerns
    • Discover new ways to work with them to advance safety

The MARPA Technical Committee will be meeting during the Conference on Wednesday, October 2 at 2:30 pm (on the second floor of the Renaissance Hotel).  This committee helps to review FAA documents that are open for public comment, and it also helps to develop MARPA standards that support safety compliance.  If you are interested in becoming more active in the policy-making side of aviation, then please join us for this Committee meeting.

The updated MARPA Conference Agenda is available online.

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About Jason Dickstein

Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. He represents several aviation trade associations, including the Aviation Suppliers Association, the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association and the Modification and Replacement Parts Association.

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