Let’s Get Social!
How the FAA Engages Citizens through Social Media
By Paul Cianciolo, FAA Safety Briefing Magazine Associate Editor
If you’re not on social media, do you even exist? Or, more to the point, are you the safest pilot you can be if you are not on social media? One of the most significant benefits of using social media is connecting directly with your fellow pilots as well as government and industry members. Here at the FAA, we aim to build trust as you get to know us on social media and understand how we provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.
Our national airspace system has a lot of different players, and not every social media channel is for everyone. We aim to meet you wherever you like to be. Here’s a closer look at the platforms and channels the FAA uses.
The most prominent channels boasting nearly a half million followers each are the @FAA accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and @FAANews on Twitter. The FAA’s YouTube channel has more than 50,000 video subscribers. Content shared on these platforms runs the gamut of all users — from pilots and mechanics to drone operators, to the flying public and the entire aviation community.
✅ Pro Tip
You can adjust your personal settings to ensure you get all the content from a social media channel. On a Facebook page, click “following” in the menu on a desktop or “manage follow settings” in-app to change content frequency. On Twitter, click the “ 🔔+” icon to get notifications. Click the “🔔” icon on a LinkedIn page to change content frequency. On the Instagram app, click “following” to change content frequency and the “🔔” icon to get notifications.
The FAA’s “From the Flight Deck” video series uses aircraft-mounted cameras to capture runway and taxiway footage and combines them with diagrams and visual graphics to identify hot spots and other safety-sensitive items at more than 100 airports around the country.
Another, “57 Seconds to Safer Flying,” is an instructional video series that provides brief and informative overviews of critical safety subjects, such as a pilot’s fitness to fly or aeronautical decision-making. The #FlySafe topics covered help mitigate the most common causes of general aviation (GA) accidents and follow the safety enhancements developed by the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee (GAJSC). These are just a couple of the playlists available to explore.
✅ Pro Tip
Click the name of any playlist to see all the videos in that playlist. You can also save a playlist by clicking the “+” icon.
The FAA Safety Briefing magazine’s Twitter channel @FAASafetyBrief is part of our official safety policy voice for non-commercial GA. We share stories from this magazine, the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam), and other relevant content to the GA community. This content includes automated tweets from FAASafety.gov about TFR notices, GPS interference warnings, VIP movements, and airport-specific information. We also accept direct messages or DMs and strive to answer as best we can.
If you are on Facebook, joining our General Aviation Safety Facebook group is a must for traditional and remote pilots, mechanics, and others in the GA community. The FAASTeam moderates the nearly 16,000 members of the group to ensure content stays on topic and comments don’t get out of hand. The number one group rule is intertwined with the FAA’s Compliance Program — that the FAA will not use safety discussions in the Facebook group for any enforcement action. We want an open and transparent exchange of information with mutual cooperation and trust between the FAA and the GA community. This is a great forum to learn from your fellow aviators and avoid the same mistakes others have made.
✅ Pro Tip
Make sure to fill out all membership questions when requesting to join a Facebook group.
For those who like to sit back and listen rather than read, check out The Air Up There podcast, which is for people curious about the wide world of aviation. Join the FAA as we nerd out about the future of flight, drones, and ways to make the National Airspace System safer, smarter, and more efficient. You can subscribe to the podcast through Apple, Stitcher, and Google.
For those who like to deep-dive into aviation topics, our blog, Cleared for Takeoff, is hosted on Medium. Articles include the voices, stories, and news from the FAA, along with the articles from the FAA Safety Briefing magazine and educational content from the FAASTeam. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on great reading.
✅ Pro Tip
While reading Medium content, select a snippet of text to highlight, share, or comment on a particular section. Click the “play” icon at the top of a story to listen to the article instead of reading it.
All these platforms open up new doors to connect with us. We encourage comments and replies, which we do read. We strive to improve GA safety by being good aviation citizens through social media engagement. Join us!
Here are some helpful reader comments we’ve received on social media:
Jake’s response to “Aircraft Mufflers — The Hidden Danger You Need to Know” on Medium
Andrews’s comment to “Welcome Back” about the FAA’s Portable Reduced Oxygen Training Enclosure (PROTE) system on Facebook
John’s comment to “Surfing the Digital Atmosphere on Facebook
Mimi’s comment to “(Don’t) Drop the Mic!” on Facebook
Paul Cianciolo is an associate editor and the social media lead for FAA Safety Briefing. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and an auxiliary airman with Civil Air Patrol.