NATA Establishes Fund to Continue Fighting Threat to Aviation in California
In late 2009, California passed legislation that would give the state the authority to regulate facilities providing flight training. This legislation was designed to regulate traditional “career schools” and private colleges. No flight training providers were invited to contribute their input in the crafting of this legislation. The end result was legislation that neglected to understand the unique nature and diversity of the flight training industry. Regulations issued, under the authority of this legislation, by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) imposed numerous burdensome requirements upon all providers of flight training, including:
- $5,000 registration fee
- Annual fee equal to 0.75% of gross revenue
- Annual requirement for a GAP audit of the facilities’ finances
- Requirement for facilities to maintain a 1:1 current liabilities to current assets ratio
- Numerous administrative and recordkeeping requirements
In early 2010, NATA began receiving calls from member flight training businesses concerned about the impact of these new rules. NATA conducted a survey of its members to understand the effects of these rules better. What we learned is that up to 90% of all flight training facilities could be forced to close their doors due to these regulations. The impact of these closures would not be felt by just flight training but also by the entire aviation industry. The loss of fuel sales, maintenance jobs, overall airport activity and new pilots would reverberate across the state.
NATA undertook a lobbying effort in the state capital to mitigate this possible disaster. In fall 2010, the industry came together and we were able to convince the legislature to provide a one-year delay in compliance with the new rules. July 1, 2011, became the new date on which the rules would apply to flight training.
This year, NATA is continuing its efforts. Yesterday, the California Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development passed the NATA-sponsored bill (Senate Bill 619) that would provide a permanent exemption for all flight training facilities that do not collect upfront “tuition” or fees. This however, is only the first step in getting relief for flight training into law. Your support is needed! NATA has created a fund to help pay for our continuing lobbying efforts and grassroots organizational costs to support this effort.
Without your support of this effort, California’s flight training businesses are at serious risk of being forced to close. If that is allowed to happen, aviation businesses across the state will feel the impact.
For more information or to make a donation in support of this effort:
CLICK HERE NOW! Or Contact: Michael France
Director of Regulatory Affairs