|Topics in this Volume
|House Lawmakers Call For Federal Intervention On Avgas Claim In California|
U.S. Representative Brian Bilbray (R-CA) sponsored a congressional letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting federal intervention on an intended lawsuit against fixed base operators (FBOs) and fuel distributors for supplying and using leaded aviation gasoline (avgas) in the state of California. The allegation, by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), is that FBOs and fuel distributors failed to warn the public that avgas contains lead, violating the California Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop 65).
“The Prop 65 lawsuit will disrupt ongoing efforts by the FAA and EPA, who are working with industry groups to identify an alternative to leaded fuel that can be safely and reliably used by piston-powered airplanes,” the congressional letter states. The letter further points out that “the Prop 65 action would, if allowed to move forward, interfere with the national interest in ensuring uniform and workable regulation of aircraft engine emissions for the sake of aviation safety and our environment.”
NATA issued a press release applauding Rep. Bilbray and the co-signers of the letter. The co-signers include U. S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus Co-Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Don Young (R-AK), Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Tom Petri (R-WI), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Billy Long (R-MO), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Bill Flores (R-TX).
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Last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appointed Democratic Senators Patty Murray (WA), Max Baucus (MT) and John Kerry (MA) to the new bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction or "super committee" tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction by November 23, 2011. The super committee was created as part of the agreed upon debt ceiling increase by Congress and the White House on August 1, 2011.
|Congressional Leaders Name Twelve-Member Super Committee|
Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) named Republican Senators Jon Kyl (AZ), Patrick Toomey (PA) and Rob Portman (OH) to serve on the deficit reduction super committee. Senator Kyle previously served in the deficit reduction talks led by Vice President Joseph Biden earlier this year.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), has selected Republican Representatives Jeb Hensarling (TX); Dave Camp (MI), House Committee on Ways and Means chairman; and Fred Upton (MI), House Committee on Energy and Commerce chairman, to serve on the super committee. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) chose Democratic Representatives Chris Van Hollen (MD), James Clyburn (SC) and Xavier Becerra (CA) to serve on the bipartisan committee.
The committee consists of six Republicans and six Democrats and will be co-chaired by Senator Murray and Representative Hensarling. It is unclear precisely when the committee will begin its work, as Congress is scheduled to remain out of session until September 6. When the panel meets, its members will be charged with finding $1.2 trillion in additional revenue reductions over 10 years by November 23, 2011. In addition, the reductions must be approved by a majority vote within the committee. Any such recommendation would then be fast tracked through Congress by December 23, 2011.
If the panel finds itself deadlocked along partisan lines, then across-the-board spending cuts would be triggered of about $1.2 trillion with half of those cuts coming from defense, and the rest from discretionary spending. Entitlements would remain largely untouched if the cuts are triggered by inaction.
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|EPA Issues Proposed Modifications To Tier II Reporting|
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would modify the information required to be submitted in a facilities annual Tier II report. Tier II reporting is a requirement created under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), which mandates the annual reporting of the storage or use of certain hazardous chemicals. Most aviation facilities that store aviation fuel are required to submit a Tier II report on an annual basis to the EPA, certain state and local agencies and their local fire department. In most states, the reporting can be done electronically using EPA’s Tier II Submit system.
In the Tier II NPRM, the EPA proposes requiring the following additional data in a Tier II submittal:
- Facility phone number, latitude and longitude, and number of full-time employees
- Name of facility’s parent company
- Facility owner/operator name, address, phone number and email address
- Name and contact information for the facility’s emergency coordinator. (Identification of this position is currently required under EPCRA. This NPRM just requires the submission of that individual’s name and contact information.)
- The name, title and contact information for the individual responsible for the facility’s Tier II submission
- Facilities must indicate whether they are subject to the emergency planning requirements of Section 302 of EPCRA
In the NPRM, the EPA also is proposing several technical changes to the way in which chemicals are identified and reported on a Tier II submission. This NPRM is open for public comment until October 7, 2011. NATA is currently reviewing the NPRM and will be submitting comments on behalf of its members.
Click here to view the full Tier II NPRM.
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|Senate Democrats Request Appointment Of House Conferees To Resolve Differences On FAA Reauthorization Bill|
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) along with Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) sent U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH) and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) a letter requesting that they appoint conferees to begin negotiations on a long-term aviation funding package ahead of an FAA reauthorization extension deadline on September 16.
An impasse between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over an FAA funding measure last month led to a partial shutdown of airport construction projects nationwide until a temporary deal was reached on August 4. The House and Senate earlier this year passed separate and different FAA funding authorization bills. The Democrat-controlled Senate four months ago appointed conferees to a bicameral committee set up to broker a compromise between the two versions, while House GOP leaders have not done so. House GOP leaders have refused to send members to the panel because they say Senate Democrats won’t bargain in good faith.
“Action on a final FAA bill is long overdue,” the Senate Democrats said in their letter. “The lack of conferees from the House is the main obstacle standing in the way of Congress‘ ability to produce a bipartisan, long-term extension of the FAA funding.”
“The main obstacle to completing work on a long-term FAA bill is the unwillingness of Senate Democrats to find consensus on a small host of issues, not the appointment of conferees,” Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said.
Since 2007, Congress has passed 21 temporary funding extensions to keep the FAA running, as disputes over spending, labor rules and cross-country airline routes have held up a long-term deal.
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|Don't Miss The Final Webinar In NATA's Safety 1st Summer Webinar Series:|
An Operator's View On Fuel Quality Control And Filter Equipment Maintenance Procedures
NATA's summer series of webinars is led by a panel of industry experts to help ensure that your team is equipped with the latest tips, techniques and knowledge on fuel quality control. They will learn how to put fuel quality control into practical use. You may purchase single webinars or receive special pricing on packages to access the entire series, including recordings of past webinars in the series. Look below for recaps from each webinar.
The Fuel QC webinar series lineup includes:
Live August 17, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern - 4th in Series
An Aircraft Operator's 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.
Recording of June 29 Webinar - 1st in Series
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.
Attendees asked, "Where can we get publications such as ATA-103, EI-1581, 1582 and ASTM's for Avgas and Jet?," “Do I have to do an API Gravity test; the truck driver said I didn't need to do one since he did it at the terminal?,” “What is the best way for me to check to make sure our employees are doing their QC checks?" and more....
Recording of July 20 Webinar - 2nd in Series
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.
NATA's Quality Control (QC) webinar was well received by more than 15 FBO locations attending to hear Walter Chartrand, Air BP Aviation, and Frank Clark, Facet International, discuss "If you didn't write it down, did you actually do it?" and "contaminants in fuel and how to detect them." Chartrand stressed that when you perform your QC checks you must write them down; otherwise, how can you prove you did them? Chartrand also had sage advice on the use of wing decals, nozzles, forms/online recordkeeping and the key to maintaining a sharp QC attitude. Clark covered the leading causes of contamination and what your operation can do to prevent or stop future occurrences.
Attendees posed many pertinent questions such as, "When is the best time to sump tanks?" and "Our hydrant carts were contaminated by surfactants but our fuel trucks were not (loaded from rack off same fuel system); what are the suspected causes for the contamination?" Other questions asked by attendees may be reviewed on the recorded webinar.
Recording of August 3 Webinar - 3rd in Series
The Straight Scoop On Additives by Carl Hammonds with Hammonds Companies and Filtration And Separation Options by Frank Clark with Facet International.
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.
For more information or to purchase access to the webinar series separately, visit www.nata.aero/webinars. Webinars may be purchased as part of a package deal or individually based on your operation's needs.
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|Flight Advisory For Martha’s Vineyard Presidential TFR Released|
The FAA and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have released a flight advisory for the presidential temporary flight restriction (TFR) scheduled to go into effect around Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) August 18 through 27. This TFR is typical in that it contains an outer, 30NM ring and an inner, 10NM ring. Aircraft operations in the outer, 30NM ring are required to:
- Be on an active VFR or IFR flight plan
- Squawk code assigned by ATC
- Be in two-way radio communication with ATC
- Be arriving or departing an airport within the 30NM ring. (ATC may approve transiting the out TFR ring in special circumstances)
Aircraft operating in the inner, 10NM ring, including all MVY arrivals and departures, are restricted to:
- Approved law enforcement, air ambulance, and military aircraft
- Regularly scheduled commercial passenger and all-cargo carriers operating under one of the following TSA-approved standard security programs/procedures: Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program (AOSSP), Full All-Cargo Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program (FACAOSSP), and Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) All Cargo and are arriving into and/or departing from 14 CFR Part 139 airports.
Other aircraft needing to arrive or depart from MVY must register with the TSA at least 24 hours before the scheduled arrival/departure time and undergo TSA security screening. Aircraft departing MVY can receive screening at MVY between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time. Aircraft planning on arriving into MVY can receive TSA screening at the following airports between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time:
- Westchester Co Airport (KHPN)
- Barnstable Municipal-Boardman/Poland Airport (KHYA)
- Green State Airport (KPVD)
All aircraft will need to register with the TSA at least 24 hours before requiring screening. Operators are encouraged to review the full NOTAM relating to this TFR for details and registration procedures.
Click here to view the full Flight Advisory on the MVY TFR.
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|Don’t Miss The Upcoming Commercial Operators Tax Seminar!|
The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar, co-hosted by NATA and Conklin & deDecker, is the only tax seminar that provides operators with detailed information on federal excise taxes (FET), how those taxes intertwine with FAA operational regulations, tips for surviving an FET audit and other key tax issues.
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.
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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|FCC Puts Hold On LightSquared Due To Interference With GPS|
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will not allow LightSquared to interfere with millions of GPS receivers on which pilots, mariners, and the public rely for navigation. That was sentiment expressed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at a media briefing last week, according to press reports. The chairman went on to say that LightSquared's launch of a nationwide wireless broadband network would be "on hold" until interference issues are resolved.
This controversy began when LightSquared asked the FCC to approve a waiver allowing the company to utilize frequencies normally reserved for low-power satellite to ground signals, such as GPS, for high-power broadband service from 40,000 locations around the U.S. Despite significant opposition from a wide range of GPS users, including aviation and the military, the FCC conditionally approved LightSquared’s request as long as the new broadband signals did not interfere with existing GPS uses. Tests conducted earlier this year indicated that LightSquared’s proposed use of spectrum would cause significant interference with GPS utilization. Earlier this month in a letter to the FCC, the FAA indicated that high precision uses of GPS by aircraft would be significantly impacted resulting in “the loss of GPS-enabled operational, economic, and public safety benefits across the national airspace system” as well as “compel[ing the FAA] to return to [a] dependency on ground-based navigational aids.”
The FCC has not committed to an official time frame for resolving this issue, but one media account quotes an FCC official as saying that LightSquared will not be allowed to utilize the frequencies adjacient to GPS signals “any time soon.”
For more information, visit www.fcc.gov
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|Aviation Business Journal Q3 Issue Now Available|
The third quarter Aviation Business Journal is in the mail and is also now available at www.nata.aero or by clicking here.
In This Issue:
- Member Profile: World Fuel Services Corporation
- Avoid A Training Credit Crises
- NATA Responds to President Obama’s Comments
- Employee Engagement
- A Changing FBO Business Model
- And much more…
The new issue will arrive in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, please flip through online. Visit http://www.nata.aero/Aviation-Business-Journal/ABJ-Past-Editions.aspx to take a look at past editions.
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|Fact Of The Week – Environmental News|
Anyone paying attention to environmental issues affecting aviation has surely heard about issues surrounding lead in avgas, greenhouse gasses and alternative fuels. But how about solar flares? According to a recent article in AVweb, solar flares last week could have a detrimental impact of aviation GPS systems.
“The sun sent a significant burst of electromagnetic energy toward earth after sunspot 1261 belched three major solar flares. The eruption was rated at three on a scale of five and that's enough to make GPS equipment lose its way.”
While the interference from last week’s solar flare should be over by now, the Avweb article goes on to state that “the sun appears to be waking up as it moves to the apex of its 11-year activity cycle. More big flares are possible, even likely, and if they get bigger than those [last week] they can cause real problems.”
Click here to read the full article on avweb.com.
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