|Topics in this Volume
|Bill Providing Relief To Flight Training Passed By California Assembly|
Last week, Senate Bill 619 (SB 619) was passed by the California Assembly by unanimous consent. SB 619, a bill sponsored by State Senator Jean Fuller and the National Air Transportation Association and also supported by many in the industry, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, provides relief to many of the flight training facilities that were facing burdensome regulation from the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education. SB 619 also ensures that facilities that pose an economic threat to their students remain fully covered by the existing regulations.
SB 619 simply provides an exemption from the current law for any flight instruction provider or flight training program that meets the following two conditions:
- The provider or program does not require the student to enter into a contract of indebtedness, and
- The provider or program does not require the prepayment of instruction-related costs in excess of $2,500.
SB 619 was also amended in the California Assembly to insert an urgency provision. This urgency provision will cause SB 619 to become effective immediately upon signature of the California governor but also requires a two-thirds vote from each house of the legislature.
SB 619 must now go back to the California Senate for a concurrence vote, which is expected to occur by next Friday. In its original consideration, the Senate passed SB 619 unanimously. If passed again by the Senate, SB 619 will head to Governor Brown for his signature.
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|Comments Sought On Request To Credit Sport Pilot Training Toward Private Pilot Certificate|
Earlier this year, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association petitioned the FAA to modify Part 61 regulations) to allow some of the training conducted to receive a sport pilot certificate to count toward a private pilot certificate. NATA submitted a letter to the FAA in February of this year in support of that petition. Last week, the FAA posted both the petition and NATA’s letter of support to a docket and opened the matter to public comment.
In its letter of support, NATA stated, “Aside from not degrading aviation safety, the proposed regulatory changes contained within the petition will actually serve to increase safety. By recognizing that “experience begins to accrue the very first day that a student pilot sits behind the controls of an aircraft” these regulatory changes will encourage additional voluntary training and certification. The FAA has long recognized that training and varied experience increase the level of safety.”
Comments to the FAA on the rulemaking petition may be submitted by visiting; www.regulations.gov and searching for Docket # FAA-2011-0138.
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|Virginia Governor Proclaims August “General Aviation Appreciation Month”|
Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell declared the month of August “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” General aviation generates $728 million in economic impact annually, and supports 5,155 jobs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
National aviation associations including the Alliance for Aviation Across America, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Business Aviation Association, Helicopter Association International (HAI) and NATA commended Governor McDonnell for acknowledging the importance of general aviation.
NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne said, “We thank Governor Robert McDonnell for recognizing the contribution that general aviation plays for Virginia by declaring the month of August “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” This proclamation confirms that general aviation is a job creator, an economic driver and the conduit to the national and global air transportation systems via its 67 publicly owned airports.”
“We thank Governor Robert McDonnell for the opportunity to spotlight the economic and operational benefits of helicopters and general aviation to communities in Virginia. The unique capabilities of helicopters provide fast lifesaving services to the people of Virginia and make possible many other missions conducted on behalf of its citizens and economy,” added HAI President Matthew Zuccaro.
“Virginia has 67 publicly owned airports which are utilized by more than 15,000 pilots and 6,176 general aviation aircraft. General aviation is a major resource for the Commonwealth,” stated AOPA President Craig L. Fuller. “These connections to the general aviation industry allow businesses and citizens across the state to more effectively reach out and more efficiently do business. We look forward to working with Governor McDonnell on utilizing the benefits this valuable industry provides to Virginia.”
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|DHS Publishes Plan For Review Of Existing Regulations|
This past January, President Obama signed Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review. The purpose of this order was to reduce the burden placed upon industry by federal regulations. A significant component of Executive Order 13563 is the requirement that agencies perform a retrospective review of existing regulations to identify those that should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed to meet the regulatory objectives of the agency better while reducing burden on industry.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its plan to review existing regulations. According to DHS, the “Final Plan is designed to create a process for identifying regulations that may be obsolete, unnecessary, unjustified, counterproductive, or excessively burdensome” and is intended “to facilitate the identification of rules that warrant repeal or modification, or strengthening, complementing, or modernizing, where necessary or appropriate.”
The plan specifically identifies the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) rule as presently undergoing rulemaking revision. Currently, the AFSP places requirements on alien students wishing to pursue flight training in the U.S. According to the DHS plan, the “TSA is considering changes to the AFSP that would improve the equity among [AFSP] fee payers…would enable the implementation of new technologies to support vetting [and] undertaking an information technology infrastructure modernization that will enable many process improvements.”
Click here to read the full DHS Final Plan for the Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations.
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|ACSF Briefs NTSB On Single Audit Standard|
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) presented its single audit standard initiative for Part 135 on-demand air charter and 91K fractional operators to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last week. More than 20 NTSB staff attended, including the operational factors division, air safety investigators, and board members. ACSF Director of Safety Russ Lawton discussed the objectives of the single industry audit standard, which included the benefits of a standardized and consistent audit product that is acceptable to both charter customers and operators. Lawton emphasized the importance of having one standard that incorporates best practices, safety management systems and regulatory compliance. Adopting a single audit standard would eliminate the multiple audits that operators currently undergo.
Lawton also emphasized the importance of reducing the accident rate in on-demand air charter, similar to what the airline industry accomplished through the International Air Transport Association and its IATA Operational Safety Audit program, which created a single audit standard more than 20-years ago. The ACSF standard and registry are both publically available. The ACSF does not conduct audits, but sets the standard and trains independent auditors. The NTSB staff who attended found the presentation to be very informative and responded positively to the ACSF effort.
To learn more about the ACSF single audit standard and other ACSF initiatives, visit www.acsf.aero.
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|NATA’s Safety 1st Updates De/Anti-Icing Training In Time For The Season|
As we start into the de-icing 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 graphics
- 2011-2012 holdover tables (HOT) are now linked in the training
- Communication section between crews and de-icing technician
- Anti-icing and de-icing sections to clarify sequence of procedures
- Quizzes and exams
The updated De/Anti-icing training module has been reviewed by several prominent operators, and here is what some have had to say:
Steve McNeely, manager, safety management systems, Jet Solutions LLC, commented, “Our chief pilot, myself and a maintenance supervisor reviewed the De/Anti-Icing training module. We were pleased that the training repeatedly showed where not to spray fluid, and that teaching de-icing the tail first is very important and needs to be communicated. Also, the ability to look up the actual FAA published holdover times was viewed as significantly important. Our consensus is that this is important training and very well done.”
“It is a great product for FBOs that provide de-icing services. NATA’s Safety 1st De/Anti-Icing module is a quality training program for our industry,” said Troy Meryhew, directoroffranchiseoperations, Million Air.
Visit www.nata.aero/plst to learn more about this and other training modules!
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|Tax Seminar Sets Attendance Record|
Operators, consultants, attorneys and accountants seeking information on an array of federal and state tax issues led NATA and Conklin & de Decker to set an attendance record at the annual Commercial Operators Tax Seminar.
Last week’s seminar, held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, drew nearly 60 participants to the two-day event. The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar is the only aviation industry tax seminar that deals specifically with the issues faced by air charter operators, including those also providing aircraft management services for owners.
NATA and Conklin & de Decker extend a special thank you to our event sponsors:
Chicago Jet Group
Jackson & Wade, LLC
Stewart H. Lapayowker, P.A.
The next Commercial Operators Tax Seminar will be held in August 2012.
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|NATA Members Can Get Up To 4 FREE Weeks Of Service From ARAMARK|
Looking for savings with your uniform services? Look no further. NATA members receive special savings when they sign up or renew their contract with ARAMARK Uniform Services.
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Offer applies for new customers and existing customers who renew their contract. Some restrictions apply. Offer expires December 31, 2011.
How to Get Started
Now is an excellent time to take a fresh look at uniform services, upgrade your business image, and improve your company and employee safety record -- all while saving money!
Contact the ARAMARK National Account Service Center
Mention NATA and national account ID # 93137.
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|Fact Of The Week – Airports|
Most NATA members are well aware of the value that general aviation and airports bring to our communities; however, the general public is woefully uninformed. A local news Web site in eastern Virginia ran a story this week on the value of the region’s two small airports. In that story, it was mentioned that these two small rural airports have a $3million dollar positive impact on the local economy and that each dollar spent on the airport creates over 3 dollars of economic growth in the community.
How familiar are you with your airport’s economic impact? Chances are there is a wealth of data out there about how your airport, and in turn your business, provides benefits not just to pilots but to the community in general. Check with your airport director, state aviation department or give us a call here at NATA and we may be able to help you find the data available on the economic impact generated by your airport.
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