This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for two new joint initiatives, NextGen and Wildlife Hazards.
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt signed the MOUs on behalf of FAA and NASAO Chairman Victor Bird of Oklahoma signed for the states, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Through the NextGen initiative, FAA and NASAO explores methods of engaging the states in the promotion, facilitation and implementation of the NextGen system. Collaboration is consistent with the tenets of the NextGen Implementation Plan, NAS Enterprise Architecture and the NextGen Implementation Task Force. This includes forging community-wide consensus on the recommended NextGen operational improvements to be implemented during the transition stage, now – 2018, as well as maintaining a focus on maximizing NextGen benefits and facilitating development of the business case for industry investment.  (Photo – Victor Bird) 

The Wildlife Hazards initiative explores methods of engaging the states to work with their respective general aviation airports to increase wildlife strike reporting and data gathering, and to ultimately implement an effective and uniform wildlife strike reporting and data gathering process. FAA and NASAO’s goal of this MOU is to substantially increase wildlife strike reporting and to ultimately have resultant databases that are accurate and transparent to the public. FAA and NASAO will collaborate with all segments of the general aviation community that may be in a position to contribute positively to this initiative. This collaboration will result in a larger and more accurate data bank used to better shape wildlife mitigation efforts and aid the agency in effectively applying its resources towards mitigation.
"NASAO is proud to have this strong relationship with FAA since 1996. We appreciate Administrator Randy Babbitt signing this important agreement and special liaison FAA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Barry Cooper for coordinating the effort," said Victor Bird. "We look forward to working with FAA on these issues now and into the future as both wildlife hazards and NextGen are long term projects."
NASAO and FAA first established a working relationship in 1996 to develop a forum for achieving mutual aviation goals. Through this collaborative relationship the organizations have successfully promoted and increased national awareness for aviation issues.