|Topics in this Volume
|House Members Send Letter To Leadership And Super Committee In Opposition To User Fee Proposal|
Last week, 119 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), as well as Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Super Committee) Co-Chairman Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). The letter expresses strong opposition to the $100-per-flight user fee on commercial and general aviation that the Obama administration proposed as part of its deficit reduction plan.
In addition, members of the House General Aviation Caucus sent a similar letter to Super Committee Co-Chairman Murray and Hensarling highlighting general aviation’s $150 billion contribution to our nation’s economy and employment of nearly 1.3 million workers. The letter states, “User fees will have a direct negative impact on domestic manufacturing, small businesses and our economic recovery. General aviation user fees have been proposed several times by different administrations, both Republican and Democrat. The U.S. House of Representatives has repeatedly and overwhelmingly opposed them.” The letter further states that the current system of aviation excise taxes are the most stable, efficient, and equitable source of funding for the Airport and Airways Trust Fund. Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK), Senate General Aviation Caucus co-chairman, spoke on the floor of the Senate last week against the inclusion of general aviation user fees to pay for the jobs bill or debt reduction. Senator Begich discussed the vital importance of general aviation to Alaska. Roughly six weeks remain until the Super Committee is required to present its deficit reduction proposal.
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|House Approves Government Funding Through Nov. 18 |
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government funded until November 18, 2011. The measure includes $2.5 billion in disaster relief funding and will allow Congress to work out details of how specific programs and departments will be funded for the remainder of the fiscal year.
While the new federal fiscal year actually began last Friday, none of the 12 annual appropriations bills have been completed. In fact, the Republican-led House has passed its versions of only six of the bills, and the Democratic-controlled Senate has passed just one. It appears likely that an omnibus spending bill, a grouping of appropriations bills into one measure to cover the remainder of the fiscal year, will be put together by the House Committee on Appropriations before the November 18 extension deadline.
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|Federal Judge Requests More Briefings From California Avgas Companies|
In a hearing last week at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California in Fresno, California, federal judge Anthony Ishii requested additional briefings be filed before ruling on a motion to dismiss the case brought by numerous California FBOs and avgas distributers. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and the State of California had asked Judge Ishii to dismiss the lawsuit brought by numerous California FBOs and avgas distributers in response to the CEH’s threat of a suit over the sale of leaded avgas.
In May 2011, the CEH filed Notices of Violations (NOVs) that signaled the center’s intention to file suit in California state court applying a state environmental statute known as Proposition 65 to the sale of leaded avgas. In its original NOVs, the CEH had demanded that the named companies cease the sale of avgas, pay significant civil penalties and the center’s legal fees. The CEH has since modified those NOVs and now demands that the companies either cease the sale of avgas or provide warnings to anyone living near or passing through the area surrounding the airport that the lead emitted by piston-engine aircraft “causes cancer and reproductive toxicity.” The demands for payment of civil penalties, as high as $1.3 billion per company, still remain in the modified NOVs.
In response to this attack by the CEH, a coalition of the companies named by the CEH have asked Judge Ishii to enjoin the CEH from continuing its suit because the application of Proposition 65 to aviation gasoline is preempted by numerous federal laws. Prior to hearing arguments on the request for an injunction, Judge Ishii must address the motion to dismiss the companies’ case, filed by the CEH and the state. Judge Ishii has asked for additional briefings to be filed by all parties with the court by October 12. At that point, it is expected that the judge will rule on the motion to dismiss within a week.
If Judge Ishii denies the CEH’s motion to dismiss, a second hearing will be held in Fresno on October 26 to argue the merits of the Avgas Coalition’s request for an injunction.
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|Ohio Governor Declares October General Aviation Appreciation Month|
NATA along with the Alliance for Aviation Across America and the National Business Aviation Association commended Ohio Governor John Kasich for declaring October “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” General aviation contributes $5.56 billion annually to the state's economy, supporting over 17,000 jobs. Ohio is home to 24,988 pilots, who utilize over 100 publicly owned airports.
NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne stated, “This proclamation recognizes an industry and form of transportation that is so important to our country and that is often taken for granted. Across the United States, general aviation supports local economies, law enforcement, medical services, and a host of other important services and resources. We thank Governor Kasich for recognizing the importance of general aviation to the communities of Ohio."
“General aviation is crucially important to communities across the country in terms of public safety, business growth and job creation,” said Selena Shilad, executive director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “The Alliance would like to thank the Ohio Aviation Association for their hard work in getting this proclamation signed, and we look forward to continuing work with Governor Kasich to highlight the important role of general aviation in Ohio and across the country.”
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|U.S. Representative Jerry Costello Retiring From Congress|
On Tuesday, October 4, U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012. Costello currently sits as the Ranking Member on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation, and actively participates in the General Aviation Caucus.
NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne expressed his appreciation for all that Congressman Costello has done to keep safety the number one priority among the aviation community. “As an avid supporter of aviation, Congressman Costello will be missed by the industry and all who have worked alongside him during his 23-year term,” said Coyne. “His efforts to promote, protect, and defend an industry that is vital to those he serves should be commended.”
Congressman Costello will remain in office until his term ends in January 2013.
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|Hearing Focuses On Costs And Problems With NextGen|
Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing to discuss cost increases and ongoing management problems in the implementation of the FAA NextGen Air Traffic Control Program. Poor management on the part of the FAA continues to delay progress as the agency is unable to come up with an adequate implementation plan to transition our air traffic control system to a satellite-based method.
Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-WI) reiterated the importance of an implementation plan that is done right and thoroughly. “NextGen is critical to our aviation system and touches every aspect of FAA’s mission,” he said. “From the beginning, the case for NextGen has centered on the FAA’s ability to deliver operational benefits to airspace users to increase efficiency, decrease user and agency costs, decrease environmental impacts, and, most importantly, improve safety.”
Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) agreed, emphasizing that we cannot continue to rely on outdated technology if we are going to ensure that our skies are efficient and safe. “It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of management,” he stated.
Witnesses that testified before the subcommittee included Captain Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association and Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, who urged the FAA, Department of Transportation and the Government Accountability Office to work cooperatively with the industry to implement a system swiftly and correctly that ensures safety and efficiency.
To read testimonies from witnesses and remarks from members of the subcommittee, click here.
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|NATA Comments On FAA’s SOP For Aircraft Certification Service Project Sequencing|
The FAA recently announced the availability of its Standard Operating Procedure for Aircraft Certification Service project sequencing (SOP#: AIR -100-001) for public comments. In this SOP, the FAA explains the process used to sequence certification projects: “All applications for new certification and validation projects requiring more than 40 hours of dedicated FAA work effort are prioritized, on a national basis, based primarily on the project’s impact on safety and availability of resources.”
While this SOP has been implemented to increase the efficiency of the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) and alleviate the strain on the agency’s limited resources, the project sequencing process still renders significant delays to applications for certification/validation. These delays will continue to affect economic growth and efficiency of the aviation industry. The AIR’s certification backlog not only affects the financial aspect of the industry but also impacts the improvement of safety as the industry’s utilization of new initiatives and advanced technology is delayed.
To read NATA’s comments on the FAA’s SOP#: AIR-100-001, please click here.
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|Post 9-11 GI Benefits For Flight Training Now In Effect|
As of October 1, the new benefits, provided by the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill, for veterans, including expanded benefits for flight training, are now in effect. Prior to October 1, veterans could only use benefits at degree-granting institutions, but the new benefits now allow for up to $10,000 per year to be used for participation in vocational flight training programs. According to the Veterans Administration’s Web site, benefits include:
- Reimbursement of the full in-state tuition for participation in a program including flight training offered by a public institution of higher learning. This benefit may also include reimbursement for housing and books in some cases
- Reimbursement of up to $17,500 per year for participation in a program that includes flight training offered by a private institution of higher learning
- Reimbursement of up to $10,000 per year for vocational flight training
The new benefits can now be used for up to 100% of eligible costs where previous programs only allowed for a maximum 60% reimbursement. For more information on flight training benefits available to veterans under the Post 9-11 GI Bill, visit the Veterans Administration’s Web site by clicking here.
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|NATA Maintenance Committee Offers Best Practices Paper|
“In Performing A Pre-purchase Evaluation (Pre-buy), What Is Considered “Airworthy?”
The NATA Aircraft Maintenance & Systems Technology Committee has launched a new series of best practices papers that will be issued every quarter. The first best practices in the series focus on the aircraft pre-buy evaluation process and what is considered “airworthy.”
To view this new best practices paper, please click here.
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|NATA Apparel Now On Sale|
The NATA.aero store is now offering embroidered Adidas Golf Apparel. Choose from an Adidas Men's or Ladies style ClimaLite Interlock Polo for $29.99 or an Adidas Relaxed Fit Adjustable NATA Logo Golf Cap for $14.99.
The polos are midnight blue and the cap is tan. Both are embroidered with NATA’s logo.
To order your apparel today, visit www.nata.aero/store, click on NATA store and then on search. Caps will be shipped as ordered. When ordering polos, please indicate the men’s or ladies’ design and a member of the NATA staff will call you to obtain proper sizing information. Men’s sizes M-XXL and ladies sizes M-XL are available. Please contact Diane Gleason at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
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|New NATA Benefit: What Does HD Supply have for NATA Members?|
Everything from lighting to janitorial products, paint and sundries to pool supplies, HVAC to hardware, window coverings to walkie-talkies…. HD Supply even carries hospitality supplies like linens, towels, soaps, shampoos and hair dryers. Anything you may need for maintenance, repair and operation of your buildings and grounds. It’s all in their catalog!
HD Supply ships directly to you next day freight free in most parts of the country - saving you time and money by not having to leave your business.
As a member of NATA, you receive the lowest checked price in the catalog, no matter what quantity you buy. This represents a savings of up to 11-14% off of the core catalog prices.
Browse Catalog 61 online at www.hdsupplysolutions.com for great deals. Don’t have a catalog? Call 1-800-431-3000 to place orders and request a free catalog.
Use Source Code BCY for 10% off your first order and mention you are an NATA member!
Questions? Call Jawaun Hightower with HD Supply at 1-800-431-3015 ext. 2570
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