|Topics in this Volume
|NATA President Again Asks DOT And FAA To Intervene In California Avgas Lawsuit|
NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne, in a letter to Department of Transportation General Counsel Robert RIvkin, asked that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the FAA intervene in the California lawsuit regarding aviation gasoline. The lawsuit, filed under California Proposition 65 by the San Francisco-based environmental group the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) seeks to hold FBOs responsible for lead emissions from aircraft arriving and departing the airport by imposing significant monetary penalties as well as requiring the FBOs to provide warnings on lead exposure to residents living near the airport.
In his letter to the DOT, Coyne points out, “Under the framework now established by CEH, with the leverage provided by California’s Proposition 65, these few FBOs are tasked with defending the use of an FAA-approved aviation fuel by federally certificated aircraft at federally funded airports and in federally controlled airspace. Without DOT and FAA intervention in this case, the future of aviation gasoline will be charted by the ability of these few small businesses to fight against a scheme that tilts the table in favor of the plaintiff’s narrow agenda and against orderly and thorough agency rulemaking that considers all the relevant public policy goals at stake.”
In addition to the letter, NATA is continuing to work facilitating and assisting the FBOs in mounting their legal defense to CEH’s attack.
Click Here To Read The Full Letter From Mr. Coyne to the DOT
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|Legislative Report On Transportation Appropriations Funding Bill|
On November 21, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate approved the final conference report that combined three appropriations bills for fiscal year 2012, including the Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation appropriations bills. The bill included a continuing resolution for the nine outstanding bills to ensure that government funding continues through December 16, 2011.
The transportation appropriations bill includes funding for the FAA and for investment in upgrading our nation’s air transportation system or NextGen. Research funding is also provided for an initiative to transition to an unleaded aviation gasoline and the Block Aircraft Registry Request is restored, reversing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s action to eliminate the program.
NATA’s legislative report highlights specific funding levels on FAA programs important to association members.
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|House To Introduce Bill On Fairness Of Airline And Railway Union Elections|
On December 1, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) introduced a bill that would bring fairness and equality to the union election process within the airline and railway industries, as was recently updated by the National Mediation Board (NMB). Chairman Mica stated that the purpose of the bill is to ensure that the unionization and disbanding processes are reasonable and equal. “By ensuring equal standards for both processes, this legislation restores fairness to how unions are formed and decertified at our airlines and railways,” Mica said.
The NMB facilitates agreeable labor-management relations within the railroad and airline industries. Pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, NMB programs provide a resolution process to meet the objective of minimizing work stopgaps in the two industries.
Chairman Mica’s bill currently has more than 100 cosponsors. To read the bill, click here.
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|NATA Participates In DOT Diversion Forum|
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt held a Diversion Forum on November 30 to develop better ways to manage aircraft diversions. On October 29, the northeast corridor of the U.S. was hit with a snow storm that left hundreds of passengers trapped for hours on planes in Hartford, Connecticut, while significantly disrupting the national airspace system (NAS). Babbitt described the scene at Bradley International Airport in which airliner tugs couldn't get traction on the ice, power outages shut down luggage belts and other problems. “Much of the chaos might have been mitigated with better communication among airlines, airports and air traffic controllers” Babbitt said.
The forum included a wide range of participants such as air traffic controllers, pilots, aircraft dispatchers, airport operators, and officials from other government agencies and the aviation community. The FAA highlighted five specific proposals to bring all facets of the aviation community together to minimize the problems that occur during severe weather.
- Airport Information Web page: The FAA would facilitate the creation of a manageable web page to exchange information between airports and the rest of the aviation community. Airlines, rather than controllers, decide to which airports they want to send diverted flights based on factors such as personnel and equipment at the airport.
- Strategic Planning Teleconferences: The FAA would develop strategic planning teleconferences with the Command Center to increase situation awareness and improve efficiency by exchanging information on diverting flights.
- Identification of Diversion Flights: The FAA would develop a way to track all diverted flights so air traffic control and airport operators can decipher between regular scheduled flights and diversions. This will heighten awareness about the potential for limited holding and fuel capacity at each airport.
- Coordination of Equipment Outages: Special consideration should be taken when severe weather is expected and scheduled equipment outages are planned. Rescheduling the outages should be considered to minimize the impact on the NAS.
- Airport Contingency Plans: While airlines are required to have contingency plans to mitigate tarmac delays, consideration should be given to airports developing and maintaining contingency plans as well.
During a break-out session regarding airport operations, FAA Deputy Associate Administrator for Airports Kate Lang moderated a panel of participants including airport managers, airlines, Customs and Border Protection and the FAA’s command center. The session focused on the FAA’s proposals with the consensus being that the Transportation Security Administration, FAA, airlines, airport and the rest of the aviation industry, including fuel vendors, ground handlers and fixed base operators, should all be involved in creating the best possible information-sharing network.
The FAA is going to review a prior report on tarmac delays that gave recommendations that were not considered by the Department of Transportation and the FAA. The diversion forum will meet again in the coming weeks.
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|NTSB Forum Focuses On Public Aircraft|
Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTS) held a public forum to closely examine the oversight of public aircraft. A recording of the two-day event, Oversight of Public Aircraft Operations Safety Forum, is available for viewing through the NTSB Web site.
By hosting the forum, the NTSB hoped to raise awareness of the importance of effective oversight in ensuring the safety of public aircraft operations; identify where responsibility lies for oversight of public aircraft operations; and facilitate the sharing of best practices and lessons learned across a number of parties involved in the oversight of public aircraft operations.
NATA agrees with the NTSB concern with safety oversight for public aircraft. A key area on which NATA would like to see additional focus is ensuring that public aircraft operations are conducted in compliance with the statutory restrictions imposed by Congress. The association has received complaints from commercial operators of improper contracts between government entities for aircraft operations. Unfortunately, it is not always a top priority for these complaints to be fully investigated and addressed. The FAA is the agency responsible for ensuring that improper commercial operations are not conducted by public aircraft.
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|NATA President’s Capitol View Blog|
Recently, NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne offered his thoughts on the upcoming 2012 elections. To read his latest blog titled “My 2012 Political Forecast: Mostly Foggy,” please click here.
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|NATA AMT Employer Award Program Applications Now Being Accepted|
As announced in an NATA Press Release last week, the association is now accepting applications for the 2012 Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Employer Award Program. This program, which is now in its second year, is designed to recognize companies that focus on providing high quality, frequent training to their AMT employees. In 2010, the AMT Employer Award was provided to 28 companies. The award is divided into three levels; one, three and five star award, based upon the percentage of employed AMT completing the minimum qualifying training events.
If your company employs AMTs, NATA invites you to participate in this no-cost awards program as a way to show your customers and the industry that you care about your maintenance technicians and the work they do. Program applications will be accepted through the end of January 2012.
Click Here To Download The Program Informational Packet.
Click Here To Download The Program Application.
For more information, please email Michael France at email@example.com.
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|View The 2012 NATA Spring Training Week Lineup|
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.
Click here for a look at the brochure soon to hit mailboxes in December. Visit www.nata.aero/springtraining for additional information and links to register.
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|New – Table-top Displays At The 2012 FBO Leadership Conference|
Register to Attend or Reserve Your Space Today!
Highlight your product or service at the industry’s most FBO-focused event. Designed expressly for FBO leaders and top management, the 2012 FBO Leadership Conference will take place March 28-29 during NATA’s A Capital Week for Aviation Business. Join top companies such as Jet Professionals to share your message. Contact Diane Gleason at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 575-2050 to secure your table-top display or sponsorship today.
Disney Institute Featured At FBO Leadership Conference…
The presentation by Disney Institute will focus on the impact of the current economy on the industry, how businesses plan for new strategic growth and business solutions for attendees to adapt from Disney best practices.
Attendees will take away the following from the presentation:
- Benchmark best practices of The Walt Disney Company related to quality service and people management that can be adapted.
- Learn how alignment of the organizational identity can be used in the development of any new product or service.
- Understand the use of alignment in strategic risk taking and decision making.
- Identify examples of Disney’s effort to expand its organizational identity.
- Learn the importance of providing employees with a supportive and caring environment to create pride in the organization and retain quality employees during difficult times.
Visit www.nata.aero/fbolc for event updates and a link to register.
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|Preview The 2012 ACSF Safety Symposium Agenda|
Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility
The 2012 Air Charter Safety Symposium, February 28-29, at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia, is the premier event focusing on safety in the on-demand air charter and shared aircraft ownership industry. The 2012 symposium will not only provide the essential information for developing a successful safety business plan, but will also show you how to put this knowledge to practical use.
Dr. Tony Kern - Top Human Factors And Performance Expert To Lead Session At Safety Symposium
Empowered Accountability, a 90-minute program taught by Convergent Performance CEO Dr. Tony Kern, provides participants with the background knowledge and tools to reduce costs significantly, plus it targets the most important aspects of the human performance equation – compliance and accountability. When you are equipped with the knowledge and tool for improvement, you can continually practice precision inside daily operations, both on and off the job. This course provides you with a performance improvement “life skill” you can take to work. Dr. Kern’s high energy and entertaining presentation is a call to action and includes multiple concepts for immediate implementation to improve performance at an individual level and improve levels of engagement for all employees.
Click here for a preview of the full preliminary agenda.
Registration Fees And Benefits
Registration includes admittance to the Air Charter Safety Symposium on both days and all scheduled group meals, breaks and social functions. Transportation to and from the hotel to symposium events is also included. Register online at www.acsf.aero/symposium or off-line by completing and returning the registration form. Payment must accompany registration.
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