FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell has called for the agency to embrace innovation and emerging technology by forming partnerships with industry and entrepreneurial organizations.

“The era of red tape strangling good ideas is over,” Elwell said during a May speech at the International Aviation Club in Washington. “We’re building up the table with not just traditional aviation stakeholders but the newest Silicon Valley startups. At a time when American innovation is leading the charge by doing things in a new way, the FAA has to keep up. That’s what makes us the world leader in aviation, in safety and in improving efficiency.”

However, Elwell emphasized the agency would not allow its new industry partnerships to jeopardize its longstanding track record of maintaining high safety standards for the National Airspace System. “Making the FAA a better partner to industry does not mean we’re cutting corners on safety,” he said. “In fact, we’re setting the bar even higher — we’re just not going to tell you how to clear that bar. We know that industry is going to solve the challenges we’re facing more quickly and creatively than the FAA ever could alone.”