FAA virtual Inclusive Language Summit set for tomorrow

The Federal Aviation Administration is set to host an Inclusive Language Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 10 to present and discuss recommendations around promoting the institution of inclusive language throughout the FAA.

“Replacing gender-based terms with new inclusive terminology is expected to create a more inclusive and accepting environment within the FAA and the aerospace industry as a whole,” according to a statement from the FAA.

And while the event is intended to encompass all aspects of the FAA, drones are going to play a big role in it. Many of the recommendations set to be discussed are those proposed by the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC is a group of stakeholders representing drone industry, research and academia, retail, and technology from organizations including Google sister company Wing, Amazon Prime Air and Skydio.

During a June 2021 DAC meeting, the group approved four recommendations to adopt gender-neutral language for the drone community, including swapping terms like “man-made” with “manufactured” or “fabricated”. The term “cockpit” would be replaced with “flight deck.”

A screenshot from the DAC slide deck in its June 2021 meeting.

Those points will likely be discussed at Wednesday’s summit, which will be held virtually. And though it’s virtual, it’ll be interactive, as summit attendees will have an opportunity to comment on recommendations and provide additional input to the FAA.

And anyone is invited to attend the Inclusive Language Summit. The FAA has said that whether you’re a member of the general public, you’re a stakeholder in a public agency, you work for a non-profit, academia or a big corporation, anyone is welcome to attend.

The FAA Inclusive Language Summit will be live streamed on FAA FacebookFAA Twitter and FAA YouTube, and you can submit questions via the FAA’s Google doc during the event.  

Additionally, written comments or recommendations on how the agency might facilitate terminology changes must be received no later than Nov. 30, 2021, and can be sent to DEIA@faa.gov.  

The FAA itself has suggested its support for adjusting its language to be more inclusive. In 2019, the FAA first tasked the Federal Women’s Program to begin to develop recommendations for gender neutral language.

“Really our vocabulary is dynamic,” said Dominique Gebru of the Federal Aviation Administration. “We used to say stewardess, but now we say flight attendant, and everyone knows what that means, it doesn’t cause confusion.”

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