|Topics in this Volume
General Aviation Groups Strongly Oppose User Fees in White House Proposal
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2011
Geoff Hill, AEA, (816) 347-8400
Chris Dancy, AOPA, (301) 695-2159
Dick Knapinski, EAA, (920) 426-6523
Katie Pribyl, GAMA, (202) 393-1500
Matt Zuccaro, HAI, (703) 683-4646
John Cudahy, ICAS, (703) 401-1719
Eric Byer, NATA, (703) 845-9000
Henry Ogrodzinski, NASAO, (703) 417-1800
Dan Hubbard, NBAA, (202) 783-9360
WASHINGTON, DC, SEPTEMBER 19, 2011 - The nation's leading general aviation (GA) associations today forcefully opposed user fees for GA flights proposed in President Barack Obama's proposal for addressing the nation's deficit and job crises.
The Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Helicopter Association International, the International Council of Air Shows, the National Association of State Aviation Officials, the National Air Transportation Association and the National Business Aviation Association jointly issued the following statement.
"As primary representatives of the general aviation community, we are expressing our unified opposition to the new $100 per flight tax in your proposal. We believe this per-flight tax not only imposes a significant new administrative burden on general aviation operators who currently pay through an efficient per-gallon fuel charge at the pump, but it will also necessitate the creation of a costly new federal collection bureaucracy.
"As you know, the issue of how general aviation can best contribute revenue to the federal government has been the subject of significant study and debate as part of the FAA reauthorization process. After careful consideration, both chambers of Congress have passed bills that endorse the per-gallon fuel charges rather than adopt a per-flight tax similar to the one you propose. In fact, Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives felt so strongly about this issue that 116 members of that body sent you a letter earlier this year saying new aviation charges like the one you are now proposing would be ‘dead on arrival.’
"Mr. President, many foreign countries have imposed per-flight charges on general aviation and the results have been devastating. Please do not go down that dangerous path and cost jobs in our community.
"Per-gallon fuel charges work. Per-flight taxes destroy."
|Congress Passes 22nd FAA Reauthorization Extension|
On September 15, 2011, the U.S. Senate agreed upon legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week to extend funding for the FAA through January 31, 2012. The legislation initially included back pay for federal workers who were furloughed for two weeks in August when Congress allowed the previous extension to lapse, but the provision was removed prior to House passage of the bill. A stand alone bill was introduced by Representative Frank Lobiondo (R-NJ) that would repay federal employees when they were furloughed. The likelihood of the bill passing under the current budget constraints is unknown
The FAA extension bill was held up for a day in the Senate due to U.S. Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) opposition to language in the bill, which also includes an extension of funding for the Federal Highway Administration, that would have allowed states to set aside highway funds for “enhancements” to include projects such as bike paths. Congress will hopefully revisit the FAA Reauthorization bill early next year.
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|Inside Washington Blog|
NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer’s latest blog focuses on the 22nd FAA authorization extension approved by Congress last week.
To read Byer’s blog, please click here.
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|House Subcommittee Approves TSA Reauthorization Legislation|
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Transportation Security Subcommittee held a hearing on September 14, 2011, to approve legislation reauthorizing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) offered an amendment, which was adopted, modifying language included in the bill to ensure that the TSA doesn’t offer security directives in place of the federal regulatory processes without the presence of an imminent threat. NATA along with other industry groups signed a joint letter in support of Chairman Rogers.
The approved legislation addresses all modes of transportation under the TSA including aircraft. In addition, the legislation mandates a top-to-bottom review of all TSA operations and a reorganization of training to improve productivity of TSA employees. It also provides a mechanism to recoup the cost of some used equipment through foreign sale.
Specifically for commercial air travel, the legislation requires the TSA to implement a commonsense, risk-based approach to passenger screening, which will ensure that low-risk, known travelers, such as U.S. military members, can be expedited through screening so TSA passenger screeners can focus on higher-risk, unknown travelers. In addition, the legislation would require that children not be subject to pat-downs unless an anomaly cannot be resolved through electronic screening methods.
The legislation has been referred to the full committee on homeland security to be addressed by the committee members before the bill is introduced in the House.
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|Implementation Of LightSquared Network Halted Due To GPS Interference|
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is prepared to halt wireless broadband startup LightSquared from rolling out next year following the release of the results of extensive tests that show interference with the current global positioning system (GPS). In a recently released public notice, the FCC wrote that “additional targeted testing is needed to ensure that any potential commercial terrestrial services offered by LightSquared will not cause harmful interference to GPS operations.”
The notice comes after months of government and industry testing of the network, which showed that the implementation of 40,000 high-powered towers may affect nearly 500 million GPS-enabled devices and services, including airplane tracking, weather forecasting, and emergency communications.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces held a hearing looking into the FCC’s original “fast track” approval of Lightsquared’s request to use frequencies that could interfere with GPS signals. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was scheduled to appear but canceled one day before the hearing. According to the Washington Post, Subcommittee member Michael Turner (R-OH) was not pleased with the chairman’s decision and stated, “I consider the chairman's failure to show up today to be an affront to the House Armed Services Committee.”
Last June, LightSquared revised its plan to operate the network in a portion of its assigned band farther from GPS, with reduced power and other changes designed to minimize the impacts. However, industry and other agencies remain concerned that the modified plan could still pose problems to current systems, and has asked the FCC to conduct further testing.
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|Idaho And Pennsylvania Name September “General Aviation Appreciation Month”|
On September 13, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed a proclamation naming September “General Aviation Appreciation Month” in the state. The Idaho Aviation Association and the Alliance for Aviation Across America worked alongside NATA and industry representatives to procure the proclamation. Idaho is home to 119 public-use general aviation airports that serve 5,059 pilots and 4,020 general aviation aircraft. General aviation provides more than $429 million in revenue for the state, and over 23,000 of Idaho’s residents owe their jobs to aviation.
Also this week, the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania held a conference to honor general aviation in the commonwealth, declaring September “General Aviation and Aerospace Appreciation Month.” Governor Tom Corbett and Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley introduced the proclamation, which notes that Pennsylvania is home to 133 public use airports and heliports that serve 25,280 pilots and 8,162 general aviation aircraft. Aviation is responsible for 304,460 jobs in Pennsylvania, of which 8,550 support general aviation. General aviation contributes $1.3 billion to the commonwealth’s annual economy.
“NATA commends the governors from Idaho and Pennsylvania for promoting general aviation in their states,” NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne stated. “General aviation plays a vital role in local, state and federal economies, and it is important to recognize the efforts of those who keep the industry thriving. NATA will continue to work with legislators to promote general aviation and its benefits at all levels.”
Currently, 33 states have signed proclamations honoring general aviation. To view all proclamations, visit the Alliance for Aviation Across America’s Web site here.
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|TAC Air Asks FAA To Review Unfair Practices At Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport|
TAC Air has filed a Part 16 compliant with the FAA claiming that the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority has violated federal grant assurances in establishing an airport-owned fixed base operator on the field. According to timesfreepress.com, Truman Arnold Companies CEO Greg Arnold said, “TAC Air welcomes competition as long as the same rules apply to everyone. I am asking [the FAA] to intervene in this situation to ensure a 'level playing field' exists for all FBO operators at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport."
TAC Air’s complaint alleges that the airport has used federal and state grant funding to construct the new airport-owned FBO, creating an environment where privately owned FBOs, which cannot utilize those grant funds, are at a competitive disadvantage. TAC Air also alleges that the airport violated several provisions of their own Minimum Standards document in establishing the airport-owned FBO.
NATA has been concerned over the rising trend of airport sponsors considering entering into direct competition with their own tenants. “Airport sponsors choosing to act as landlords and direct competitors to existing private businesses creates an environment where it is in the airport’s best economic interest to disadvantage those privately owned businesses,” said NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs, Michael France. “When an airport chooses to act as both a landlord and competitor, it must demonstrate that it has established controls to ensure that it is not economically discriminating against the existing private businesses with which it is competing.”
The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority will now have an opportunity to respond to TAC Air’s compliant, and the matter will ultimately be decided by the FAA.
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|Updated De/Anti-Icing Training, View Demo Video|
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 HOT 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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|SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control And Countermeasures) Webinar|
The final date for compliance with the EPA's Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) rules is set for November 10, 2011. Is your facility ready?
NATA held an SPCC Webinar on September 19, 2011. Webinar attendees received 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 had a chance to ask their own questions to one of the aviation industry's leading experts on SPCC compliance.
Does This Impact Your Facility: The 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 provided the latest information on compliance with the complex rules and featured speaker, George Gamble, founder of 2G Environmental. Gamble founded 2G Environmental in 2003 and has extensive experience in aviation-specific SPCC plans and other areas of environmental compliance.
Miss the Webinar? An archived webinar presentation is available for only $49.95 by clicking here.
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|NATA’s LSST Seminar – Why Bother?|
Why should you send your star employees away from the line for two days to train? Good question, and a fair one at that. Honestly, it may be a hassle, but the benefits far outweigh the potential negatives.
In addition to the obvious formal leadership, coaching, management and technical training your employee will gain, the boost in confidence they will come away with, because you respected them enough to invest in them, is truly priceless. Those of us running/teaching the seminar REALLY notice a positive difference in the person when they leave. It’s a visible difference and one that all of us enjoy watching.
And the seminar goes something like this...we introduce the seminar and explain who we are and why we are in the aviation industry. Then it’s their turn. We say, “Please stand and tell us who you are, the name of your company and how long you’ve been in aviation and/or on the line.” There is a myriad of different personalities, but everyone stands and gives their experience – some more enthusiastically than others, but they all eagerly listen and enjoy.
Then as the first day progresses and they see that others have similar experiences, the questions begin…not only to the industry experts on hand, but also to one another. We even have to prod them to complete their conversations on breaks in order for us to finish up key concepts that will ensure their success as a supervisor. And the last day is really the best. Everyone is fairly familiar with each other, questions are asked freely, and many offer solutions that have helped them in their daily encounters with personnel. So indeed, the person who comes to take possession of their coveted seminar certificate is truly a different, more confident person armed with knowledge and tools to deal with anything that comes their way on the ramp.
To sum it up, NATA’s LSST Seminar is not a bother at all. Register your line crew to see for yourself. Click here for more details on the last LSST of 2011 to be held in Atlanta on November 7-8.
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|NATA’s FBO Success Seminar Series Presents: FBO Fuel Summit 2011, November 8-10|
FBO Success Seminars Create A Buzz
With the uncertainty of oil prices and a slow-to-recover economy, FBOs are seeking ways to increase fuel sales while maintaining the highest possible margins.
At the FBO Fuel Summit 2011, Aviation Business Strategies Group will guide this three-day event as we examine the dynamics of an ever-changing marketplace and offer strategies to help improve FBOs’ bottom lines.
A lively roundtable discussion involving major oil companies, distributors and fuel brokers is included. Of interest will be presentations by the roundtable participants commenting on a relevant topic while providing insight into their various fuel programs and support to the FBO community.
Fuel sales subjects covered:
- How to time fuel purchases to maximize profits
- The best retail sales strategy when fuel prices rise or fall
- Free money: The ins and outs of fuel hedging
- What to do when regular customers demand a lower fuel price
- Developing your own broker-based fuel pricing strategy
- An overview of programs and support offered by major oil companies, distributors
Operational subjects covered:
- Decreasing credit card interest rates
- Lowering insurance premiums
- Developing a favorable lease
- Positioning for merger, sale or acquisition
- Adding value with the ultimate customer service experience
- Low or no-cost promotion
- Legal aspects of running an FBO
What people are saying about NATA’s FBO Success seminars:
“Dan and I attended the FBO Success Seminar and it was fantastic! We have attended other FBO programs in the past but this was by far the best! As all of us face times of uncertainty in the year ahead – this program benefitted many facets of FBO concerns!” — Andi & Dan Montgomery, Montgomery Aviation
“I wanted to thank you gentleman for an amazing and very informative seminar. I have been in the aviation management business for over forty years and can tell you I have never learned more about my job in just two days.” — John Steidinger, president, Noreast Aviation Service Inc
“It’s nice to know that we as members of NATA are getting a lot of bang for our membership buck! I enjoyed the seminar and have learned many things that will help our FBO continue to move forward in very challenging times.” — Danny George, president, Jet Center Medford
Join summit speakers John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson of Aviation Business Strategies Group, November 8-10 in Atlanta, Georgia. Click here for more FBO Fuel Summit details.
Ron and John recently submitted a related blog post called “A Changing FBO Business Model: You Can’t Give It Away.” Click here to read post and comment.
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|Now NATA Members Can Save Even More!|
We are pleased to announce that Avis is now a supplier of rental car services for NATA members. When making a reservation for personal and/or business rentals, it is very important that you always ask for the best rate available by providing Avis Worldwide Discount number (AWD) A807900.
NATA members can enjoy special member rates, considerable value-added discounts and the latest in technology, products, and services to make your car rental experience better than ever. Some of Avis’ programs include:
- Complimentary Preferred® Service enrollment – A fast and easy counter bypass program with added benefits and special amenities, such as the best parking spots and more vehicles. Available at participating locations.
- Where2TM GPS – State-of-the-art GPS system that guides through every mile of your trip, giving you clear, simple directions, real-time road conditions and much more.
- Avis e-Receipt – Within 24 hours of returning your vehicle, you’ll have your Avis receipt e-mailed to you, free of charge. It’s a convenient way to avoid lost receipts, complete expense reports, and save time when returning your car.
These services are optional, are subject to availability at select locations and may require an additional fee.
For reservations or information, visit us online at avis.com. Contact your travel agent or call Avis Reservations at 1-800-331-1212.
$15 off a Weekly Rental
Car Groups C, D and E
Coupon # MUCA038
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|Special Subscription Rate For NATA Members|
NATA has negotiated a special subscription rate for its members to Aviation Week & Space Technologies magazine. Aviation Week & Space Technology is the leading source providing the global aerospace community with timely business-focused news on the competitive landscape, their customers and themselves. Each issue delivers deeper and essential market insight with more exclusive and forward-looking content, first-to-market stories, and analysis covering trends in technology, business and operations as well as informed opinion and thought-leadership.
Rates start as low as $39 for 51 digital issues, or $69 for 51 print issues. For more information and to subscribe, click here.
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