March 7, 2013 | Deleted Users Posts Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP) March 7, 2013 Michael Huerta FAA Administrator 800 Independence Ave. SW Washington, DC 20591 Deborah Hersman NTSB Chairwoman 490 L’Enfant Plaza SW Washington, DC 20594 RE: Regulatory responses to 787 Battery Fiasco and Introduction of Drones into US airspace Dear Mr. Huerta and Ms Hersman: I am writing to follow up on a suggestion I made this week at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) that your agencies reach out to the aviation community proactively to ensure that the safety, security and economic vitality of US aviation is not compromised by the subject two developments. Specifically, we propose that the FAA task ARAC and an ARC consisting of non-industry stakeholders to advise the FAA and NTSB on what rulemaking should be considered in these two areas with reports to be submitted within six months. At this point there are more questions than answers, but the DOT clearly needs to cast a wide net to gather public as well as industry input as it develops new policies and rules in these important areas. Investigations by NTSB, the DOT Inspector General or Congressional committees as to what went wrong in the FAA testing and certification program re the 787 are also important and essential to prevent repeats. Questions that need answers include: What went wrong in the testing of 787 batteries prior to FAA approval that allowed this dangerously defective battery to be used? Did self-inspection and testing by Boeing and its subcontractors play a role? What should be done to remedy the inherent conflict of interest produced by manufacturer employees being used as de facto US government safety inspectors? The introduction of thousands drones into US airspace is biggest development in aviation in this century. Civil aviation has been used by terrorists to kill thousands of Americans and the introduction of drones on a large scale could pose a new hazard of enormous proportions. The use of drones in US airspace is also highly controversial for civil liberties as well as for safety, security and labor reasons. Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul spoke on the Senate floor all day and evening on this subject. Time Magazine ran a cover story last month, Rise of the Drones, and Congressional hearings are certain to follow. Our enclosed comments of 3/4/13 sets forth some of the broad policy and practical questions that need answers. We look forward to working with you on these issues in a cooperative and productive manner, and to your timely response to this tasking proposal. Sincerely, PAUL HUDSON PRESIDENT, FLYERSRIGHTS.ORG EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AVIATION CONSUMER ACTION PROJECT 4411 Bee Ridge Rd. #274 Sarasota, Florida 34233 800-662-1859 firstname.lastname@example.org Public Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, EXCOM Cc Ray LaHood, DOT Secretary Calvin Scovil, DOT Inspector General FlyersRights.org (fka the Coalition for an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights) was founded in 2007 as non-profit corporation to advocate for the rights and interests of airline passengers by Kate Hanni after she was stranded on the tarmac for many hours with 10,000 others. It organized a coalition that successfully advocated for the adoption of the 3 Hour Rule adopted by the DOT in 2009 that prohibits airlines from confining passengers on the tarmac for extended periods without returning to the terminal. In 2012, a passenger rights section it supported was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act that encouraged the DOT to issue further aviation consumer protections. With over 25,000 member-supporters it is the largest airline passenger organization in the U.S. It publishes a weekly newsletter, maintains a free emergency telephone hotline 1-877-FL YERS-6 to assist airline passengers and an anonymous tips hotline. It relies on individual donations and receives no funding from government or the airline industry. The Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP) was founded in 1971 as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation to act a voice for air travelers on national aviation issues, especially safety and airline passenger consumer rights. It is funded by contributions from individuals and foundation grants. It receives no funding and has no business relationships with the airline industry or any government agency. ACAP has been a principal advocate for truth in scheduling, lost baggage and bumping compensation, medical kits on airliners, realistic emergency evacuation testing, passenger cabin air standards, smoking ban, and airline competition. It organized a coalition after 9/11 to advocate for the establishment of the TSA and much stronger aviation security. Its activities include public education, publication of consumer guides and research reports, serving on national advisory committees (FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, F AA/TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Committee on Aviation Cabin Air Quality), representation of aviation consumer and the public interest in rulemaking and litigation activities, testifying before legislative bodies and national and international commissions. Paul Hudson has been executive director of ACAP since 1997 and president ofFlyersRights.org since 2012. He is a New York attorney who has advocated for airline passenger rights and interests in the Courts, before Congress, the Executive Branch and in the general and professional media since 1989.