For the 34th year, the FAA has reached out to aircraft owners and Part 135 operators to take the pulse of general aviation. What’s sad is that over the years, many of my friends lucky enough to own an airplane rarely took the time to complete the survey because, they whined, responding on paper and snail-mailing it was just too demanding. This year they have no excuse: aircraft owners and operators who received the postcard invitation or survey by mail can respond online. Do it now at www.aviationsurvey.org!
The survey is the only source of information on general aviation activities, from hours flown and the reason for flying to the type of aircraft flown and the flying conditions (day, night, VFR, IFR). The FAA is collecting data for 2011, so, said the FAA, “Owners who did not fly their aircraft in 2011, have sold it, or are awaiting repairs should also respond to the survey.” A N-number access scheme ensures non-owners and operators don’t skew the data. And the FAA emphasized that the “information will be used only for statistical purposes and will not be published or released in any form that would reveal an individual participant.”
Participation in the survey is voluntary, and with the online option removing that last little bit of hassle, why wouldn’t each of you not take a few minutes to help chart general aviation’s future? You see, after collating the data it uses this information to assess funding, infrastructure services, the affect of safety and regulatory changes, and to prepare safety stats and calculate GA accident rates. If we don’t care enough about general aviation to spend a few minutes filling out a survey, why should the FAA care any less than it does for the needs of GA? – Scott