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.



4411 Bee Ridge Rd. #274
Sarasota, Florida 34233

Public Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking
Advisory Committee, EXCOM
Cc Ray LaHood, DOT Secretary
Calvin Scovil, DOT Inspector General (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

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 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.