In aviation the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) plays a large role in what one might learn when getting an education in aviation. So what exactly is the FAA, how did they come into being, and why are they even in force?
The Role of the FAA
The FAA was originally founded with The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 which established the agency under the name FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) as they are still known today. In 1967 the FAA became a part of the Department of Transportation.
The FAA has many roles in the safety of civil aviation including:
- Regulating civil aviation to promote safety
- Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology
- Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft
- Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics
- Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation
- Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation
What the FAA Does
As previously mentioned, the FAA plays many roles in the field of avionics, flight safety, and development of new techniques and laws. To touch on a few details of some of what they cover, let’s look at some of the responsibilities, the FAA handles.
Airspace and Air Traffic Management: This is the management of safe, efficient use of navigable airspace to keep all those in flight safe. They operate airport towers, air route traffic control centers, and flight service stations. The FAA is the force behind the rules that are in place and developing of new air traffic rules when needed. They also assign use of airspace and control air traffic. It’s a lot for this administration to handle but they do so efficiently and effectively keeping travelers safe.
Air Navigation Facilities: The FAA is responsible for the visual and electronic aids that assist in air navigation. They maintain, operate, and assure the quality of these facilities. The FAA is also responsible for sustaining other systems that support air navigation and air traffic control. Some examples include voice and data communication equipment, radar facilities, computer systems, and visual display equipment at flight service stations.
Civil Aviation Abroad: Promotion of aviation safety and encourage civil aviation abroad is important. The FAA works with foreign authorities, exchanging aeronautical information, and certify foreign repair shops, airmen, and mechanics. They also negotiate mutual airworthiness agreements with other countries and take part in international conferences all in an effort to maintain travel safety for this countries travelers and aviation employees.
Commercial Space Transportation: That’s right, you read correctly. Commercial…Space…transportation. The FAA regulates and encourages the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. They license commercial space launch facilities and private launches of space payloads on disposable launch vehicles.
Research, Engineering, and Development: The FAA is continuously looking for ways to improve the safety and systems of air navigation and air traffic control. They help develop better aircraft, engines, equipment, aviation systems, and procedures. They also do research on aeromedical practices. All of this is done in effort to make air travel safe for all involved.
Safety Regulation: The FAA issues and enforces regulations and minimum standards on aircraft manufacturing, operation, and maintenance. They also certify airmen and airports servicing air carriers.
The FAA plays many roles in the safety of those who fly, both as traveler or as employee of airlines. They manage the development of systems, equipment, and laws that govern the many areas of aviation. Always looking to develop better ways to create safe travel and air traffic management, the FAA will continue to work for everyone. Knowing that your role in aviation is important is a helpful tool to guiding the way to getting an education in aviation.
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