Reprinted from the Special NASAO Conference Edition of the State Aviation Journal.
Joe Pestka, Administrator of Aviation at the Missouri Department of Transportation, is the incoming NASAO Chairman. State Aviation Journal asked Pestka about the upcoming year.
“I’m proud and honored to be a part of the NASAO family,” said Pestka. “As Henry O (Ogrodinski, NASAO CEO and President) and others have said, NASAO is not an association but a family.”
SAJ: What are the top personal goals for NASAO in the next year?
Pestka: It is imperative for NASAO members to reach out to new members and to each other. I was welcomed into this family a number of years ago by Jack Ferns from New Hampshire and John Eagerton from Alabama. NASAO members will work together to meet the challenges we face on a day-to-day basis.
Randy Burdette (outgoing chairman) and Victor Bird (past chairman) have done a fantastic job leading NASAO over the past two years. I plan to work on a number of exciting initiatives that Randy and Vic put into place, including:
Implementing the NASAO strategic plan that includes investment, technology, and communication objectives; working closely with the FAA on a number of Memorandum of Understanding agreements that NASAO has signed with the agency; and continuing our participation in the FAA National Airport System Strategic Evaluation Task.
SAJ: What primary NASAO goals will you champion?
Pestka: I will continue to:
Work toward reauthorization of the long-term FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP).
Build upon the strong relationships NASAO has developed within the aviation industry, and,
Work on identified NASAO strategic plan objectives.
SAJ: What are the main challenges NASAO will face in the year ahead?
Pestka: One challenge is that airports of all sizes across the country must meet the needs of the airlines, general aviation, defense and security, postal and cargo delivery, emergency medical, and disaster relief services every day.
Another challenge NASAO faces is making prudent investments in our infrastructure while preparing for increases in demand. We have the opportunity today to strengthen our aviation network, modernize air traffic control through NextGen, and stimulate our economy through needed infrastructure projects, and promote aviation at the local, state, and Federal level.
Aviation professionals throughout the United States in the public and private sector have built the safest and most efficient aviation network in history. All Americans enjoy the benefits of our transportation system, which is one of the primary foundations of our economy.