|Topics in this Volume
|Congress Reaches Deal On FAA Extension|
On Friday, August 5, 2011, the U.S. Senate approved legislation ending the two-week partial shutdown of the FAA and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (trust fund), which had furloughed thousands of government workers. The deal to extend FAA funding until September 16 was approved in the Senate under a procedural move whereby Senators agreed by unanimous consent to pass the U.S. House of Representatives’ version of the short-term aviation extension (H.R. 2553). President Obama promptly signed the bill into law to resume the flow of funds from the trust fund and the collection of the taxes that support the trust fund.
A key part of the deal was that legislators whose airports would lose Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidies under the 90-mile-from-a-hub minimum limit in section 6 of H.R. 2553 would be able to petition Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for the waiver authority found in section 6 of the bill. However, the waiver power given to the secretary in the bill does not apply to the $1,000 per passenger maximum subsidy ceiling also instituted by the bill, which removes the airports in Ely, Nevada; Alamogordo, New Mexico; and Glendive, Montana, from EAS funding.
While the agreement extends FAA funding until September 16, the vote does little more than put off the disagreements among lawmakers over the broader reauthorization of the FAA, which has been stalled over labor issues as well as funding levels and subsidies to rural airports. Congress will return from its August break on September 7.
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|FAA Extension Reinstates Federal Excise Taxes|
Congress has approved legislation ending the two-week partial shutdown of the FAA and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. President Obama signed the bill into law to resume federal excise taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided general information on the collection of aviation-related taxes and intends to provide further guidance. Importantly, the collection of taxes must resume no later than 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 8, 2011.
NATA encourages operators and FBOs to review this information at the IRS Web site and to continue to monitor that site for further updates. Click here to view the IRS information page on aviation taxes.
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|Tax Seminar Tackles Expired Taxes|
In addition to providing air charter operators with detailed information on how federal excise taxes (FET) apply to air transportation, the Commercial Operators Tax Seminar (COTS) will also give attendees specific information related to the recent lapse in taxes.
COTS is an in-depth two day seminar designed to address the tax issues faced by commercial air charter operators, including those that provide Part 91 aircraft management or combined charter/management services.
The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar, co-hosted by NATA and Conklin & deDecker, is the only tax seminar that provides operators with detailed information on FET, how those taxes intertwine with FAA operational regulations, tips for surviving an FET audit and other key tax issues.
NATA and Conklin & deDecker know that those involved in the air charter industry often have numerous tax questions. This is why ample question-and-answer time is provided to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their unique situation addressed.
Join us on August 23-24 to expand your understanding of air charter taxes and obtain clear, concise guidance you can take back to the office!
Learn more or register now by visiting www.nata.aero/taxseminar!
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|FAA Issues Final Policy Clarification Regarding IAs And “Actively Engaged”|
Late last year, the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Policy (NPP) regarding the applicability of the phrase “actively engaged” in regards to qualifications for issuance of an Inspection Authorization for licensed A&P mechanics. According to the FAA, the purpose of the NPP was to aid aviation safety inspectors (ASI) in identifying individuals with sufficient experience to hold an IA based on their work activity during the prior two-year period.
NATA provided comment to the FAA on the NPP and outlined two major concerns:
- The NPP changes the qualifications for an IA by removing “maintenance supervision” from the list of activities that could lead to being “actively engaged”
- The NPP provided no specific appeals process for those who have held IAs but are deemed not actively engaged by an aviation safety inspector under the new policy
In the final version of this policy, published in the Federal Register last week, the FAA concurred with NATA’s opinion that maintenance supervision should continue to count towards being deemed “actively engaged.”
“The FAA agrees that supervision of maintenance activities provides the same sort of experience the actively engaged requirement was intended to require. For that reason, the FAA will include technical supervision and supervision in an executive capacity on either a full-time, part-time, or occasional basis in the definition of actively engaged.”
The FAA, however, did not agree with the necessity for a specific appeals process.
“Because the issuance or renewal of an IA is not a certificate action, the FAA does not have a formal appeal process. However, an action on an IA application could be addressed through the Aviation Safety Consistency and Standardization Initiative (CSI)”
NATA will continue to work with both the FAA and its member companies to ensure that any individuals who may lose their IA due to this policy change are given a fair opportunity to have that decision reviewed by the agency.
Click here to read the full final policy issued by the FAA.
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|PrivateSky Aviation Files Suit Against The Lee County Port Authority|
Last week, PrivateSky Aviation, an FBO and MRO service provider located at Southwest Florida International Airport, filed suit against its landlord, the Lee County Port Authority (LCPA), alleging that the authority used its advantageous position as a government entity to discriminate economically against PrivateSky. The suit, filed with the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, stems from the LCPA’s construction of a new FBO facility at neighboring Page Field using federal and state grant funding. PrivateSky alleges that the use of grant funding by its own landlord, a governmental entity, to construct commercial facilities designed to compete directly with PrivateSky represents an unfair and illegal competitive advantage for the LCPA.
In a statement released to the media along with the filing, PrivateSky Chairman, CEO and company founder Vincent M. Wolanin said, “Reluctantly PrivateSky Aviation Services, Inc. took this action to sue only after requesting Lee County Port Authority to mediate a solution in a March 15, 2011 letter that Lee County Port Authority totally ignored. The PrivateSky board felt that after giving Lee County Port Authority nearly five months to respond, and [their] having failed to do so in a businesslike manner, our only recourse was to ask the courts for a decision.”
NATA is concerned with the rising trend of local governments deciding to use federal and state grant funding to develop and construct commercial facilities designed to compete directly with their own, existing, tenant service providers. The ability of local governments to utilize grant funding when constructing commercial ventures puts these government-owned and operated businesses at a distinct advantage when competing with existing private business that do not have access to similar grant funding streams.
PrivateSky has asked the court for “injunctive relief” and unspecified damages. No dates for a hearing on this lawsuit have been set at this point.
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|GAMA Hosts Rally To Increase Awareness Of General Aviation Businesses|
NATA will join the General Aviation Manufacturers Association on August 31, 2011, in Pierre, South Dakota, to praise U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) and his efforts to promote general aviation at the South Dakota General Aviation Rally. The rally, open to association members, will highlight the importance of general aviation to South Dakota. Congressional leaders and state and local public officials will interact with general aviation workers and the many users who rely on the industry to conduct business, access specialized healthcare services, treat crops and travel across the state.
Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: Mustang Aviation (formerly Capital City Air)
4000 Airport Road
Pierre, SD 57501
“I urge NATA members to attend this event,” stated NATA President & CEO James K. Coyne. “General aviation rallies are a great way for Members of Congress to get a better sense of the industry’s positive impact on a state’s economy and job growth.”
To RSVP to the event and to receive more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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|Delaware Governor Issues Proclamation Recognizing General Aviation|
Delaware Governor Jack Markell issued a state proclamation recognizing general aviation contributions to the state. The state proclamation highlights the vital role of general aviation and community airports to the citizens of Delaware. Delaware is home to eleven public-use airports, six charter flight companies and six repair stations, amounting to 15,500 jobs. In addition, the aviation industry contributes $989 million to the state’s economy each year. Governor Markell recognized the importance of general aviation organizations, listing NATA, the Alliance for Aviation Across America, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, and the National Business Aviation Association as being instrumental in promoting the interests of aviation in Delaware.
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|August Recess Approaching - Host A Congressional Tour Of Your Facility|
Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, in addition to spending a lot of time in Washington, spend valuable time in their states and districts during scheduled congressional work periods and recess periods such as the upcoming August recess. The congressional August recess is scheduled for August 8 through September 7, 2011.
Members of Congress use recess opportunities to visit with constituents, making this the perfect time for NATA members to invite their Senators and Representatives to tour their facilities. A tour of your facility is a valuable way to inform key congressional leaders on the principal issues confronting our national air transportation system while allowing you to address other issues affecting your business.
This one-on-one interaction will give Members of Congress and their staff a better understanding of the value of America's aviation businesses and airline services companies. Host a tour today!
To learn more about how to host a Congressional tour, please click here.
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|IMPORTANT NOTICE -- CHANGE TO NATA FALL COMMITTEE MEETINGS |
NATA Will Hold Fall Committee Virtual Meetings For The Convenience Of Members
For the convenience of our members, NATA will NOT hold its Fall Committee Meetings during the NBAA 64th Annual Meeting & Convention in Las Vegas as originally scheduled for October 9. Instead, each committee will hold a virtual meeting and/or conference call in October, schedules to be determined.
Please contact your committee staff liaison with your questions concerning this change.
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|Advertise With NATA Today!|
Online advertising with NATA connects you to thousands of industry leaders. It offers high visibility, optimum value, and direct access to aviation business leaders throughout the world.
Advertising in NATA’s weekly newsletter allows 7,000 readers to learn more about your organization or a featured product you offer. These newsletters are sent to segments of the membership based on their area of interest. On average, more than 12,000 visitors browse nata.aero per month. Imagine getting your message to that many people, in addition to your own marketing efforts!
For more information on advertising with NATA, please contact Linda Pylant at (703) 845-9000 x112
2011 Advertising Rates
nata.aero Homepage Advertising
Home page ad - $1,200 per month
NATA Newsletter Advertising
NATA News - $1,500 (52 issues)
Arrival Times - $600 (12 issues)
ASC Monthly Update - $600 (12 issues)
Flight Training Business Report - $600 (4 issues)
Safety 1st Flitebag - $1,200 (12 issues)
Safety 1st eToolkit - $1,200 (12 issues)
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|NATA’s E-Learn Summer Fuel QC Webinar Series Featured Carl Hammonds And Frank Clark|
NATA’s Quality Control (QC) webinar was attended by more than 17 FBO locations to hear Carl Hammonds, Hammonds Technical Services, and Frank Clark, Facet International, talk about the straight scoop on fuel additives and filtration and separation options. Hammonds reviewed the common myths and popular theories of fuel additives and set the record straight for attendees on how to deal best with contamination. Clark reviewed filter/separator specifications and the separation processes involved.
Several interesting questions were posed to each speaker, including “Is an airplane that has been treated for microbial activity safe to fly?” and “I currently have monitor vessels on the Jet-A discharge from storage in my tank farm, can I continue to use these vessels or must I change to filter/separator vessels?” More questions were asked by attendees that may intrigue those who deal with quality control issues on the recorded version of the webinar.
The good news is there’s still time to join the last QC webinar scheduled on August 17 by clicking here.
You may also want to view and listen to the first three recorded QC webinars. Single webinars are available for purchase, or take advantage of the special package pricing on the entire series. The Fuel QC webinar series lineup includes:
August 17, 2011, 13:00-14:00 Eastern
An Aircraft Operators View Of QC by Trace Talley with Flight Options and Filter Equipment Maintenance Procedures: How And Why – What ATA-103 Requires by Frank Clark with Facet International.
Previously held/recorded webinars in this series include the following;
Fuel Receipt Procedures by Reed Fuller with Ascent Aviation and The Basics of Aviation Fuel Filtration And Mandatory Specifications by Frank Clark with Facet International.
If You Didn’t Write It Down, Did You Actually Do It by Walter Chartrand with Air BP Aviation and Contaminants In Fuel And How To Detect Them by Frank Clark with Facet International.
The Straight Scoop On Additives by Carl Hammonds with Hammonds Technical Services and Filtration And Separation Options by Frank Clark with Facet International.
Visit www.nata.aero/webinars to view individual webinar and package pricing and to register today!
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|Fact Of The Week – NextGen|
The debate over the Federal Communications Commission’s issuance of a waiver allowing LightSquared to operate a Terrestrial Broadband network utilizing frequencies typically dedicated for satellite transmissions, such as GPS, continues. Late last month, the FAA provided the White House its analysis on the impact of the LightSquared’s transmissions on aviation. The executive summary detailed numerous impacts, including:
- ...even “reduced” power transmissions by LightSquared would impact the use of high precision aviation GPSs
- Retro-fitting the aviation fleet GPS with filters to block interference from LightSquared would take up to 10 years
- LightSquared’s planned operations would result in the loss of GPS-enabled operational, economic, and public safety benefits across the national airspace system
- The FAA would be compelled to return to dependency on ground-based navigational aids
- Billions of dollars in FAA and GPS user investments would be lost
- The FAA would need to replan NextGen investments which would result in additional delays and development costs
Click here to read the full report from the FAA.
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