Opinion: U.S. Needs New National Aviation Commission

Bill Shea, an aerospace lecturer and former FAA Associate Administrator for Airports in l981-85, told the State Aviation Journal that the U.S. needs a new National Aviation Commission (NAC). The FAA would report to the NAC, with the NAC reporting directly to the president due to the importance of U.S. aviation nationally and globally.

Shea went on to say that the FAA should be moved out from under the USDOT (too busy with surface modes) and report to a new stand-alone NAC. The NAC would be responsible for strategic national and global aviation planning, policy and would promote U.S aviation around the world.

“The U.S. aviation system has always been the best in the world,” noted Shea, “But today, we see some decline. We must maintain a strong aviation program.  The growth and demand ahead for global air travel will be extraordinary and the U.S. must be prepared.”

Shea said the U.S. needs at least three new international airports and noted that there are some abandoned and low-use military sites and a few large regional GA airports as well a few ocean/lake sites that could be candidates.

The U.S. also needs a new airliner manufacturer. “Recall when Lockheed, Douglas, and Convair built some of the world’s great airliners. There’s only Boeing left! Foreign interests continue to evaluate U.S. airline service. New aviation planning methodologies are needed now,” concluded Shea.