|Topics in this Volume
|House Expected To Pass FAA Reauthorization Extension Through December|
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are considering the 22nd extension of funding for the FAA through January 31, 2012, which includes back pay for federal workers who were furloughed for two weeks in August when Congress allowed the previous extension to lapse.
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) had planned to introduce the bill on Friday, but last-minute discussions over its provisions delayed the introduction. The measure under discussion would include funding cuts to the FAA, consistent with deficit-reduction agreements and House appropriators’ funding levels. The overall funding levels in the FAA extension would reflect roughly a five percent reduction, which would be problematic for the airport improvement program that has been level funded for years.
Although still in draft form, the FAA extension appears to be far less problematic than the last extension bill introduced by Mica. That effort angered the Senate because it included provisions to cut subsidies to rural airports. The battle that ensued resulted in a standoff that forced a partial shutdown. Federal workers were furloughed and the Treasury lost some $400 million in tax receipts from airline ticket sales alone.
The current extension expires on September 16. Early indications are that the measure could pass the Senate without too much difficulty. Senate aides said they are waiting to see a final version of the bill before issuing any public statements about it.
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|Inside Washington Blog|
NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer’s latest blog focuses on how the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks have changed the general aviation industry and how thankful we should be to live in the U.S.A.
To read Byer’s blog, please click here.
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|NATA President And CEO James K. Coyne Addresses California Avgas Issue|
In a letter to the secretary of the Department of Transportation and administrators of both the FAA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne responded to a recent letter from the California Attorney General’s office. The California Attorney General had attempted to convince the Department of Transportation, FAA and EPA that the threat to the availability of aviation gasoline resulting from an effort by a private group, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), to sue FBOs, aviation fuel distributers and producers was minimal.
“I take strong exception to [the attorney general’s] characterization of the issues,” said Coyne. “First, the state attorney general is hardly a neutral observer. [Their] office has vigorously opposed our effort to obtain a federal court ruling [on these issues].” Coyne described recent court filings by CEH, which the Attorney General’s office pointed to as evidence of a lack of threat to the availability of avgas within the state, as “little more than legal maneuvering to prevent the court from reviewing our request for declaratory relief.”
A number of the FBOs, fuel producers and distributers named in the CEH threat have formed a legal defense coalition to defend against this attack. NATA serves in a facilitating and administrative support role for this coalition. The coalition has filed a federal lawsuit in Fresno, California, to issue an injunction preventing both CEH and the state from using California law to sue the defendants over the sale of an FAA-approved aviation fuel.
In closing his letter, Coyne stated, “The bottom line is this: The availability of an FAA-approved aviation fuel is under serious threat in California. For that reason, and the others expressed by several members of Congress and in our formal complaint filed in federal court, I respectfully request the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to weigh in on this issue [in support of] our request for declaratory relief.”
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|California Flight Training Bill Awaiting Signature Of The Governor|
Senate Bill 619, the NATA-sponsored bill to provide relief to California flight training facilities, has been passed by both houses of the California legislature and is now before Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. If signed, SB 619 would provide an exemption from the regulations issued by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) for all California flight training providers and programs that:
1. Do not require students to enter into a contract of indebtedness, and
2. Do not require the upfront payment of fees in excess of $2500
NATA has been fighting for the California flight training industry since early 2010 when the state legislature instituted new rules that brought the industry under the regulatory authority of the BPPE. The resulting regulations, which failed to account for the unique nature and structure of flight training businesses, threatened to force many in the industry to close their doors. In late 2010, NATA secured a legislative delay in compliance with the BPPE rules that provided the time needed to push for a long-term fix this year.
Click here to read Senate Bill 619.
Click here to read NATA's Action Call on Senate Bill 619.
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|President Obama Urges Congress For Jobs Bill|
During the month of August, unemployment reached above nine percent for the 26th consecutive month and no jobs were created, leaving more than 14 million Americans unemployed. On September 8, President Barack Obama outlined several proposals for job creation, which U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) stated were “ideas that merit consideration”. However, the President and Congress will have to balance tax incentives, infrastructure investment and assistance to local governments closely due to our nation’s massive debt.
President Obama specifically requested an additional $50 billion in spending as part of his Fiscal Year 2012 budget request for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and $10 billion for the creation of a new National Infrastructure Bank as part of a $447 billion American Jobs Act. The proposed $50 billion in spending for the DOT would be taken from a proposed Transportation Trust Fund that was to be financed by a $35 million per year tax increase to be named at a later date. This proposal will likely not go far in Congress.
Furthermore, President Obama said repeatedly that his $447 billion jobs plan would not add to the deficit, but then said that its cost would be paid. According to Jeff Davis with Transportation Weekly, here’s how: The agreement that passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next 10 years. It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Essentially this plan puts the burden on Congress to identify taxes and/or cut spending by $447 billion to offset the cost.
The Infrastructure Bank proposal is said to be similar to the Senator John Kerry-Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison bill, S. 652, which would make loans and loan guarantees for a variety of transportation infrastructure projects. The bank would not be a part of the DOT but could be structured with public-private funds.
The timeline on the American Jobs Act, or whether the Congress will be able to introduce the legislation before the end of the year, is unknown.
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|Flight Department Seeks Out ACSF Registered Operators|
Corporate flight departments are seeking out operators that are listed on the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) Industry Audit Standard (IAS) Registry. The ACSF audit standard, recognized by on-demand charter operators and fractional ownership companies as the most comprehensive audit standard for the industry, is now being looked at by corporate flight departments as the standard to use when seeking vendors to provide supplemental lift.
“After looking at various audit standards, we decided to use operators on the Air Charter Safety Foundation audit registry to provide our charter services,” said Dick Flygare, director of special projects with QEP Resources and an ATP-rated pilot. “The ACSF standard is one of the most rigorous standards we’ve come across and holds charter operators to the highest standard of safety and best practices. We only use the best in the business!”
QEP Resources is a leading independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with operations focused in the Rocky Mountain and Midcontinent regions of the United States. Mayo Aviation, an ACSF audit-registered company, was recently selected by QEP to provide supplemental lift services.
The IAS is a universal audit standard developed specifically for on-demand charter operators and fractional aircraft management companies to accomplish two key functions – to verify compliance with regulatory requirements and to evaluate the level of compliance with recognized safety management system (SMS) standards. The ACSF audit process and registry were developed to position an operator, through a single audit, to gain world-wide recognition of its SMS program.
Before scheduling an on-site audit, the ACSF IAS requires an operator to complete a pre-audit checklist, which enables the operator to gauge, before any payment is tendered, whether they are ready to proceed with an audit and how well they will perform during the audit.
Supporting materials are available at www.acsf.aero/audit. Operators wishing to initiate the audit process should contact Russ Lawton or Alison McHugh at 1-888-SAFE-135 (888-723-3135).
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|The EPA’s SPPC Compliance Date Is Just Around The Corner|
Register Now For NATA’s SPCC Compliance Webinar
The Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) rules require facilities with aboveground storage of oils (including aviation fuels) in excess of 1,320 gallons to have and implement an SPCC plan. If a facility stores more than 10,000 gallons, its SPCC plan must be certified by a professional engineer. The rules governing SPCC underwent a major re-write in 2002 and amendments in 2006 and 2009. Now, the deadline for compliance with all three rule changes is just around the corner.
The SPCC Compliance Webinar will give your facility the latest information on compliance with the complex rules and will include featured speaker, George Gamble, founder of 2G Environmental. 2G Environmental was founded in 2003 and has extensive experience in aviation-specific SPCC plans and other areas of environmental compliance.
Webinar attendees will receive answers to the following vital questions:
- What are the SPCC rules and how do they apply to aviation facilities?
- What does the November 10 deadline mean? Is my facility included?
- What new components must be included in SPCC plans by November 10?
- What are the possible fines for non-compliance with the SPCC rules?
In addition to answering those questions, attendees will have a chance to ask their own questions to one of the aviation industry's leading experts on SPCC compliance.
For only $49.95 your entire staff will have the opportunity to prepare for the upcoming SPCC Compliance deadline. Make sure your facility is prepared. Register now for the NATA SPCC Compliance Webinar.
Click here to register now.
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|Updated De/Anti-Icing Training In Time For The Season|
As we start into the deicing season, as hard as it is to imagine given the heat of this summer, NATA’s Safety 1st department is pleased to announce the release of its updated De/Anti-icing training module. Winter weather training programs like NATA’s Safety 1st De/Anti-Icing module are designed to familiarize line service specialists with the responsibilities of their job and give an overview of the skills necessary for safe aircraft departures. The De/Anti-icing training module was first released in 2010 and viewed by nearly 120 students in preparation for the icy season.
What’s New, Updated and Expanded?
- Supplementary documentation on different types of contamination
- Holdover table (HOT) graphics
- 2011-2012 HOTs are now linked in the training
- Communication section between crews and deicing technician
- Anti-icing and deicing sections to clarify sequence of procedures
- Quizzes and exams
Click here to view a demo video.
Visit www.nata.aero/plst to learn more about this and other training modules.
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|View New Demo Video - Safety And Health Training For Aviation Facilities (OSHA)|
Maintaining a safe operation and work environment is more than good business; it keeps your operation safe, secure and fully compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. NATA’s Safety 1st has many aviation safety awareness training modules from which to choose. Each company can build numerous curriculums to fit the needs of their organization.
View our new demo video to find out more about this potentially lifesaving training.
Click here to learn more or to access training.
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|Get The Most From Your NATA Membership|
Keep Your Membership Information Up-to-date
NATA recently completed a phone campaign to update membership demographic and contact information so we can continue to provide you with the best service possible. Now, we’d like to ask you to help us keep the information current by regularly visiting the profile update area of our Web site.
All members have the ability to update their own personal information, and the primary contact at each location can update information for the company, keeping listings of his or her company’s products, services and employees current. The information you provide is what is seen by others who access the online membership directory. The directory, which can be searched by company name, individual, city, state, or products and services, is most often used by others as a Buyer’s Guide to locate vendors, so keeping it up-to-date and accurate can be a huge benefit to your business. The link to update your profile appears in the log-in box once you have successfully logged onto NATA’s Web site.
For more information on how to make the most of the membership directory and the profile update area, please visit the Membership tab on the NATA homepage or click here. If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact Linda Pylant at email@example.com.
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|NATA Fact Of The Week – Aviation Fuel Quality Control|
Aviation fuel quality control involves more than just taking samples from tanks and performing certain inspections to ensure that equipment is functioning properly. Every aspect of fuel handling, including supply security and inventory management, are important. A recent article at www.onlinesentinel.com points out the dangers of not properly securing fuel storage or tracking inventory:
“Waterville airport missing fuel -With 2,000 gallons missing, police suspect theft or poor accounting -Police are investigating the possible theft of about 2,000 gallons of aircraft fuel from the city-owned Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport. City Engineer Greg Brown, who manages the airport, reported to police that fuel was missing from an airport fuel tank in late June.”
Take a few minutes today and ensure that access to your fuel storage facility is secured and that you are properly recording and tracking the movement of fuel through your facility.
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