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November 7, 2011     null     Volume 10 Issue 45
Topics in this Volume


nullSenators Make Case Against User Fees In Letter To White House

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), a member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, and 22 co-signers sent a letter to the White House opposing general aviation user-fees as the congressional deficit-cutting “super committee” works to find $1.5 trillion in savings for the federal budget.

The senators reminded the president that during the past five years the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have considered new aviation user fees and rejected them overwhelmingly. With 14 million Americans looking for work and general aviation efficiently providing communities with critical services, increasing taxes on general aviation will only further stifle economic recovery, the senators said in a letter to President Obama.

“We cannot impress upon you enough how important the general aviation industry is to American vitality. The industry employs 1.2 million workers and generates $150 billion in economic activity,” they wrote. “In many of our states, general aviation generates economic development in U.S. communities with little or no commercial airline service.”

The existing method of fuel taxes levied on general aviation efficiently helps fund the FAA and is far preferable to the collection of user fees through a new federal collection bureaucracy, they said, explaining. “This would require funding to support such a collection agency, which seems counterproductive to deficit reduction. The hiring of billing agents, auditors, and collection officials will be required to facilitate this proposal. In contrast, the current fuel tax allows the government to be prepaid for its services, and the operators are not saddled with new and onerous administrative burdens.”

The senators’ letter also pointed out that with more than half of GA aircraft produced in 2010 headed for the export market, the industry has performed in conjunction with administration goals “of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years.”

With costs outweighing any benefits from user fees, the senators told Obama, they would oppose any inclusion of the fees in any plan put forward by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, acting under the Budget Control Act of 2011 mandate to prepare a proposal by Nov. 23 for cutting $1.5 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years.

Congress must then vote on the committee’s proposal before Dec. 23, 2011. 

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nullSenate Committee Holds Hearing On Aviation Security

The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing, Ten Years After 9/11: The Next Wave in Aviation Security, to assess the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) security procedures. 

TSA Administrator John Pistole told the Senators at a hearing on the future of aviation security that four to five guns are discovered at checkpoints around the country on a daily basis. Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) concluded that the strict, layered security measures the TSA requires at airport checkpoints are still necessary given what those checkpoints turn up every day. However, those security measures and the TSA’s limited resources need to be targeted more directly at passengers who pose the greatest risk, both Senators said. The TSA also needs to think creatively about better uses of technology and information in the screening process.

In addition, Sens. Lieberman and Collins mentioned that they were working on new legislation addressing air cargo security and will likely introduce this legislation by the end of the year. 

Other than Pistole, witnesses at the hearing included Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Travel Association; Kenneth Dunlap, global director of security and travel facilitation at the International Air Transport Association; and Charles Barclay, president of the American Association of Airport Executives.

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nullNew Customs User Fee Applicability In Effect
Beginning November 5, long-standing exemptions from the Customs User Fee were removed

Since the 1980s, a fee has been imposed by the United States Customs Service, now U.S. Customs and Border Protection, on the arrival of international commercial passengers. For many years, passengers from Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands as well as passenger arrivals from any U.S. territory or possession were exempt from this fee.

The President recently signed legislation enacting a trade agreement between the U.S. and Columbia. A provision within that law (P.L. 112-42) removes many of the existing exemptions from the Customs User Fee.

For all transportation on or after November 5, 2011, arrivals from Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands are no longer exempt from this fee.

The Customs User Fee is $5.50 per passenger arriving in the U.S. These fees apply to all commercial passengers, including Part 135 on-demand operators.

More information on this change is available in NATA’s Regulatory Report, available for review here.

Please note that in an earlier announcement regarding this fee NATA incorrectly stated the effective data as November 15.  The correct effective date was November 5. NATA regrets this error.

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nullTSA Delays Cargo Inspection Deadline

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) informed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security that it will miss a December deadline for screening 100 percent of all cargo transported from overseas into the United States. A congressional provision passed in 2007 as part of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act mandated that 100 percent of such cargo be screened by August 2010. When the TSA missed this deadline, the agency indicated it would reach 100 percent screening level by the end of 2011. 

Recently, the TSA informed freight-shipping trade groups that it will no longer require all air cargo bound for the U.S. to be screened by the end of the year and did not set a new deadline. Representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) sent a letter to the TSA asking how the agency plans to achieve the 100 percent screening mandate as intended by Congress. The letter requires the agency to respond to six questions posed by the committee no later than November 14, 2011. The list of questions can be viewed here.  

The air cargo industry has objected to the cost of the requirement, but Democrats on the Committee on Homeland Security said Tuesday the cost was not the most important consideration in airplane safety. “Everyone understands that cargo screening is not an easy or inexpensive undertaking; however, it is logical that if we screen passengers, all carry-ons, and all checked baggage, then we must screen the remaining items onboard passenger aircraft, and that is belly cargo,” Rep. Jackson-Lee said in a statement. “Ensuring security is a part of doing business in the post-9/11 world.”

In a statement, the TSA said it would respond to the Democrats' letter directly. The agency said it had already improved cargo inspections. "Air cargo is more secure than it has ever been with 100 percent of cargo on flights departing U.S. airports and 100 percent of identified high risk international inbound cargo undergoing screening," TSA spokesman Kawika Riley said. "TSA continues to work closely with our private sector and international partners to further risk-based screening of international inbound air cargo on passenger and all-cargo aircraft." 

The Democrats' full letter to the TSA can be read here.

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nullDemocratic Jobs Bill Defeated In Senate

U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a $60 billion infrastructure bill yesterday, making the bill the second piece of President Obama’s jobs proposal to be voted down in the Senate. The bill included $10 billion for a national infrastructure bank, funded by a 7 percent surtax on incomes of more than $1 million a year. That is a nonstarter for Republicans, who argue the surtax shows the bill is an electoral ploy aimed at painting the GOP as obstructing White House efforts to boost employment.

“Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said. “And frankly, the American people deserve a lot better than that.”

U.S. House of Representatives Republicans are working on their own transportation jobs plan, which will likely be as unpalatable to Democrats as President Obama’s infrastructure plan is to Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is proposing to pay for a six-year surface transportation bill with expanded domestic drilling, a political nonstarter for Democrats.

Republicans and a few Democrats defeated the broader $447 billion jobs bill proposed by President Obama last month.

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nullHouse Committee Requests More Testing Before LightSquared Roll-Out

On October 28, 2011, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and eight committee members sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski requesting that the FCC not proceed with LightSquared’s waiver until federal testing ascertains that there will be no interference with all types of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. The potential interference the network would impose could be detrimental to millions of small businesses across the country.

Chairman Graves recognized the company’s efforts to bring broadband to rural parts of the country, but stated that doing so at the expense of the highly relied-upon GPS devices is not an option. Under the current LightSquared plan, small businesses would be required to replace or retrofit their current GPS devices, costing billions. “Small companies should not be required to spend one dime on account of this plan, and that is why we are calling on the FCC to put a hold on the waiver until all federal tests make clear there will be no interruptions to the current plan,” Graves stated.

The letter was signed by House Committee on Small Business Members Mike Coffman (R-CO), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Jeff Landry (R-LA), Allen West (R-FL), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Bobby Shilling (R-IL).

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nullHow To Effect Changes In Aviation In Your Community

The primary goal of the Alliance is to support and preserve general aviation in towns throughout the U.S as well as protect the economic lifeline to rural and small communities, which are a crucial resource for business, medical care, disaster relief and a key transportation asset to residents in isolated areas. 

In addition, the Alliance provides a wide-scale report of economic data by state outlining the benefits of general aviation on business, local economies and communities across the country. Over the last two years, the Alliance has worked with more than 20 state governors who have issued proclamations to promote general aviation in their states. 

The Alliance relies on voluntary contributions from its members.

Contributions can be made online at JOIN TODAY! 

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nullNATA Emergency Response Plan (ERP) Webinar

On November 10 at noon, NATA will present a one-hour webinar covering aviation emergency response planning (ERP). The session will discuss the following key areas:

1. Why do you need an ERP?

2. What should your ERP look like?

3. How do you know your ERP will work?

4. What should you do if something bad happens?

5. Lessons learned from The Real World

6. Q&A

The webinar will be led by Dave Hewitt of Hewitt and Company. Registration for this webinar is $49.95 per location and includes a copy of presentation materials and link to a recording of the webinar. Click here to register.

Speaker Profile
Dave Hewitt is the president of Hewitt and Company LLC, a business and aviation consulting firm formed in 2011. He has over 30 years of aviation experience including 28 years of involvement in Part 135 operations in operational, technical, and executive positions. 

Prior to the formation of Hewitt and Company, Dave held various positions within NetJets spanning a 13-year career. These positions included senior vice president, safety and compliance for NetJets North America and senior vice president for NetJets International.  Prior to those positions, Dave served as vice president, safety and government relations for NetJets Aviation, vice president, government relations for NetJets, Inc., and vice president, operations for Executive Jet Management (where he started as a Citation First Officer in 1996). Dave has also been an FAA aviation safety inspector at the Cincinnati Flight Standards District Office and a chief pilot/check airman/instructor for a Part 135 certificate holder located in the Midwest.

Click here to read more on Dave Hewitt.

Hewitt and Company LLC
Hewitt and Company specializes in identifying the needs of its clients and then collaborating with them to create practical, cost-effective, and scalable solutions. Hewitt and Company can assist with business management mentoring, regulatory compliance issues, safety and compliance auditing, emergency response program development/exercises, and Safety Management System mentoring and development. Contact Dave Hewitt at (615) 772-3447 or For more information:

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nullFREE Webinar Series Enlightens NATA Members About Workers’ Compensation Insurance Losses
Don’t Miss Slips and Falls, the Second Webinar in the Series

NATA Workers’ Compensation Insurance program partner, USAIG, began hosting a FREE series of webinars this year to address the types of Workers’ Compensation Insurance losses that participating aviation members are experiencing. This webinar series follows on the heels of a study that USAIG conducted of 10 years worth of Workers' Compensation Insurance-related accident data. USAIG is utilizing this data specifically to address workers’ injuries and recommend training to assist in the reduction of future workplace accidents. 

The first webinar in the series focused on “back strain,” including back strain statistics and how they “measure up” to other industries, as well as a real-world case study that reviewed accident circumstances, seasonal influences affecting losses, and USAIG’s comments on the case study accident. Remedial actions and training resources, including a resource “road map” for participants were also reviewed. Click here to view the recording of this webinar. Click here for additional resources from this webinar.

The second webinar in the series is scheduled for November 22 and will be lead by John Matthews and Vic D’Avanzo. They will discuss slips and falls, and the resulting injuries that NATA/USAIG Workers' Compensation Program participants experience. They will also discuss the statistics from two separate categories of slips and falls as well as falls from elevations. Matthews and D’Avanzo will delve into real-world case studies, review the accident circumstances and provide commentary on what can be done to prevent these accidents in the future with resources and available training. Please take an hour out of your day to keep your employees safe, reduce insurance and loss claims/costs and maximize your good experience return as an NATA/USAIG Workers' Compensation Program participant. Join USAIG and NATA on November 22 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern Time.  Click here to register.

These webinars are important to USAIG, NATA members, and program participants to help combat frequent incidents and accidents and make aviation workplaces safer. Future webinars in this series will be announced in NATA News and on the Events calendar at

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nullNATA 2012 Spring Training Week - March 5-8 In Vegas

NATA is pleased to host our 4th annual Spring Training Week in conjunction with the Cygnus Aviation Expo in Las Vegas. Spring Training is an aviation industry educational camp featuring all-star seminars designed to enhance safety practices, provide major league knowledge and help you coach your team to a winning season.

NATA's Spring Training Week provides all-star skill-building and conditioning for your whole team.

You're safe. The skills and techniques learned at NATA's Spring Training Week help to ensure safer operations for your team. Don't miss the opportunity to complete FAA-required 14 CFR 139.321 Fire Safety Training and strengthen safety and team synergy with enhanced leadership skills at the Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar (March 5-6).

Hit a homerun with NATA's FBO Finance Fundamentals Seminar (March 6-7). One of the great things about our industry is that we frequently see people work their way up through the ranks from the line to management positions. It's the American dream written large across the general aviation industry, but it also presents a challenge: These are good, hard-working people who deserve to be promoted, but they are frequently also people with no real financial management training. Give them opportunities to learn about the business side of things, and give them tools to empower them to be better managers.

Meet the team. As part of the Safety 1st Trainer Seminar (March 7), NATA's own PLST Online program and administrative experts will walk participants through the trainee and trainer functions of PLST Online and answer questions about the program as well as the administration. When you call NATA's Safety 1st with a question about PLST Online, they are the professionals you will talk to and are among your most valuable PLST Online resources.

Cover your bases. NATA's Environmental Compliance Seminar (March 8) is designed to provide FBO, air charter, cooperate flight department and airport facility managers and staff with the latest information and techniques for ensuring that their facilities remain fully compliant with state and federal environmental regulations.

Slide into home. Attend all the seminars for full coverage of safety, environmental, training and financial issues.

On the field stop by NATA's booth to meet the Spring Training Week team and participate in the "Sports Trivia Challenge."

Registration for Spring Training Week is not yet available on the Cygnus Aviation Expo site.
Submit your email address to receive a notice when registration is open. Visit for more information on Spring Training Week.

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nullAir Charter Committee Update

The members of NATA’s Air Charter Committee have been working on several issues. The removal of some exemptions to the Customs User Fee for commercial passengers has generated a great deal of interest. See more about this fee here.

Among the committee’s goals for the year is increasing the number of topical webinars for the air charter operating community. Coming this week is a webinar providing guidance for Emergency Response Planning. Details and registration are available at Webinars on other topics are being planned and will include building your company indoctrination training and information on federal excise taxes.

The committee members have also been tackling the increasingly complex demands of new hire pilot training. The FAA position on what training is required for pilots with prior experience has been in flux for over a year. At their recent meeting, the committee began development of a framework proposal to submit to the FAA that would address this problem.

Finally, members of the Air Charter Committee will be working with the association’s Aircraft Maintenance and System Technology Committee on how ensure FAA guidance for determining the appropriate maintenance program for Part 135 aircraft is appropriate and reflects current certification processes.

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nullNATA 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. 

2 Weeks of Service FREE, when you sign up for a new 3-year service agreement!

3 Weeks of Service FREE, when you sign up for a new 4-year service agreement!

4 Weeks of Service FREE, when you sign up for a new 5-year service agreement!

Offer applies for new customers and existing customers who renew their contract. Some restrictions apply. Offer expires 12/31/2011.

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

  1. Call:                (800) 332-8676
  2. Email:  
  3. Online: 

Mention NATA and national account ID # 93137.

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nullNew NATA Benefit: What Does HD Supply Have For NATA Members?

Everything from lighting, janitorial products, paint and sundries to eyewash stations, HVAC, hardware, window coverings and walkie-talkies…. HD Supply even carries hospitality supplies like linens, towels, soaps and flat screen televisions. Members will also find hearing protection, ramp cones and other safety items. 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 HD Supply catalog, no matter what quantity you buy. This represents a savings of up to 11-14% off of their core catalog prices.

Browse Catalog 61 online at 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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    Upcoming Events

11/07/2011 - Atlanta, GA
Line Service Supervisor Training

11/08/2011 - Atlanta, GA
FBO Success Seminar

03/05/2012 - Las Vegas, NV
2012 Spring Training

03/28/12 - Washington, DC
FBO Leadership Conference

NATA E-Learn Webinars

11/10/2011 - NATA Emergency Response Plan Webinar

11/22/2011 - NATA and USAIG Slips & Falls Webinar

Fuel Quality Control Webinar Series - Special package discounts are available.

Click here to view a listing of archived webinar recordings.


NATA is the National Air Transportation Association

Founded in 1940, NATA aggressively promotes safety and the success of aviation service businesses through its advocacy efforts before government, the media and the public as well as by providing valuable programs and forums to further its members' prosperity.

National Air Transportation Association
4226 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: 800-808-6282
Fax: 703-845-8176


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