The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced on Thursday its executive leadership committees for 2023, with an eye toward guiding the conversations around policy, regulations, communications, and innovation.
GAMA serves as the membership group for OEMs globally focused on GA and its suppliers.
With the board of directors forming a portion of the leadership team, GAMA rotates its board chair position through its constituent members, in a deliberate fashion as the current board chair has previously served as vice chair, and the outgoing chair serves in an emeritus manner.
With this in mind, GAMA released the expected news that Eric Hinson, president and CEO of Simcom International, will serve as board chair for 2023, replacing outgoing chair Michael Amalfitano, president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets, who will now take the role of immediate past chair. Amalfitano served as chair of the Communications Committee before, as well.
Chuck Wiplinger, president and CEO of Wipaire, Inc., moves into the second-in-command position as vice chair for 2023. He served previously as head of the Policy and Legal Issues Committee and the Technical Policy Committee.
Committees and Leaders for 2023
From GAMA’s statement, here are the committee assignments for the coming year. Those in these leadership roles should be considered key points of contact for the industry as it faces a variety of critical policy and regulatory questions in 2023, including those surrounding sustainability—such as alternative fuels—and innovation—such as alternative propulsion—as well as safety, airworthiness, legal concerns, and EU issues.
Airworthiness and Maintenance Policy Committee
Chair: David Coleal, CEO of Incora
Focus: The committee works with authorities to promote appropriate regulations and policies for maintenance and repair stations. Previously, Coleal served as chair of the Environment Committee.
Chair: Maria Della Posta, president of Pratt & Whitney Canada
Focus: The committee works to promote the general aviation industry and its benefits to the global economy and air transportation system.
Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee (EPIC)
Chair: JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation
Focus: The committee works to create an environment conducive to efficient design, production, operation, integration, and maintenance of hybrid and electric propulsion aircraft, including eVTOLs.
Chair: Tony Lefebvre, CEO of Signature Aviation
Focus: The committee works to develop and represent the industry’s views on public policy affecting aviation related environmental issues worldwide, including CO2 emissions reductions, sustainable aviation fuels, supersonic aircraft, and updates to the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change.
European Leaders Steering Committee
Chair: David Van Den Langenbergh, chief industry affairs officer at Luxaviation Group
Focus: The committee engages with senior European politicians and policymakers to advocate for the interests of general aviation in Europe including regulatory changes, policy initiatives and communications strategies. Previously, Van Den Langenbergh served as chair of the Airworthiness and Maintenance Policy Committee.
Policy and Legal Issues Committee
Chair: John Calcagno, president and CEO of Piper Aircraft
Focus: The committee tracks, analyzes and responds to legal developments, litigation trends, and policies presenting business and legal risks or opportunities to general aviation manufacturers. This will be Calcagno’s first time serving on the Executive Committee; he has served on GAMA’s board of directors since 2021.
Flight Operations Policy Committee
Chair: Ron Draper, president and CEO of Textron Aviation
Focus: The committee works to ensure that an adequate air transportation infrastructure is available for general aviation and addresses impediments to operations of general aviation aircraft. This will be Draper’s first time serving on the Executive Committee; he has served on GAMA’s board of directors since 2020.
Safety and Accident Investigation Committee
Chair: Charlie Gregoire, president and COO of Redbird Flight
Focus: The committee works to analyze policies, industry standards and regulatory activities related to proactive safety improvements and aircraft accident investigation. This will be Gregoire’s first time serving on the Executive Committee; he has served on GAMA’s board of directors since 2015.
Security Issues Committee
Chair: Henry Brooks, president of power and controls at Collins Aerospace
Focus: The committee works to establish best practices for general aviation security and engages with government agencies on security policies and regulatory requirements.
Technical Policy Committee
Chair: Jeff Trang, vice president of engineering and flight operations at Airbus Helicopters
Focus: The committee works with authorities on continuous improvement of certification and validation processes and to develop and implement effective standards and technical policies pertaining to the design, certification, validation, and production of general aviation products and components.