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January 2, 2012     null     Volume 11 Issue 1
Topics in this Volume


nullNATA’s Safety 1st Ground Audit – A Safe Start To The New Year

NATA established the NATA Safety 1st Ground Audit Standard to promote industry best practices and Safety Management Systems (SMS) development among ground handling providers in response to member requests for a safety standard and rating for FBOs. This audit standard is the first published audit for FBOs and other ground-handling service providers. NATA’s Safety & Security Committee, which includes representatives from large and small FBOs, on-demand charter operators, fractional program managers, insurance brokers, fuel companies, and more, was instrumental in drafting this important new audit standard.

As an NATA member, you have expressed concern that your company is subject to numerous audits by charter operators, fractional ownership program managers and many other consumers. The preparation and hosting of these audits drains both staff time and resources to accommodate the various audits, which range in complexity from completing and returning an electronic self-audit form to a multi-day on-site audit. The requirements of the auditing companies vary greatly, making preparation for the audits a year-round necessity.

NATA Safety 1st is the industry-known leader in FBO safety and training programs. It became clear to NATA that a single standard for FBOs could eliminate the burden of multiple audits and raise the standard of safety throughout the FBO industry.

Find out more about NATA’s Safety 1st Ground Audit by clicking here and get a safe start to the New Year.

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nullAssociation Announces State Advocacy Network

Not many people would argue against the importance of government advocacy in supporting and defending aviation interests. While NATA’s primary focus has been federal government advocacy, the association also supports its members’ interests on the state level. Recently, NATA was instrumental in protecting flight training schools in California from an onerous regulation that would have put almost all flight schools in the state out of business.

As part of the association’s efforts to strengthen its government advocacy, NATA has established the State Advocacy Network (SAN) to bridge any gap between the association and its members on arising state and local issues. The network will bring together representatives from each state whose focus will be on building relationships with state and local government. These relationships will help build more support for the local aviation communities while fostering the credibility of the volunteers and their aviation businesses, and are essential to gaining critical knowledge of issues that may be acted on as soon as possible to protect aviation business interests.

On a daily basis, aviation businesses are confronted with a host of issues including airport and land use, security, taxation, aircraft noise and emissions, and other priorities that arise. SAN and its volunteers will play an important role in NATA’s efforts to stimulate and encourage greater involvement among its members, with the goal being to build a strong network to defeat unwarranted policies.

For more information about the State Advocacy Network and to serve as a volunteer, visit or email

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null And ACSF: Working Together For Industry Safety, in conjunction with the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF), will be adding new functionality to be compatible with the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS).

The ACSF's IAS is a program built to set the standard for independent evaluation of a Part 135 air charter operator's or Part 91K shared ownership company's safety and regulatory compliance.

When asked why the ACSF Industry Audit Standard, President Ken Wilson replied, “ACSF members and the charter community have expressed concern that their companies are currently subject to numerous audits by third-party aviation auditing companies on behalf of consumers. The preparation for these audits has resulted in a significant increase in both staff time and resources.” 

“The aviation community has evolved to the point that change in the standards and audit processes is required if the industry is to keep pace with the demands of the marketplace,” stated Air Charter Safety Foundation President Bryan Burns. “One of the more significant demands is the release and eventual mandatory implementation of a Safety Management Systems (SMS) standard by both FAA and ICAO.” 

The ACSF has worked closely with the FAA and international interests to ensure that its audit standard will accomplish two key functions: first, to verify compliance with regulatory requirements and second, to evaluate the level of compliance with recognized SMS standards.

All documents, including the Pre-Audit Self-Assessment Checklist, are available at no charge at For more information about the Industry Audit Standard, or to schedule your audit, please contact Russ Lawton at or call the ACSF toll-free at 1-888-SAFE-135.'s SMS system is already being used by hundreds of companies to help meet SMS requirements for large and turbojet aircraft and obtain IS-BAO registration. The program is also recognized by safety auditors as one of the easiest and best means for operators to comply with SMS requirements.

For more info, please see:

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nullHas Your Member Of Congress Co-sponsored The Freedom From Government Competition Act?

The Freedom from Government Competition Act, H.R. 1474 and S. 785, was introduced earlier this year to reduce unfair government competition with the private sector, including small businesses. The legislation seeks to end government monopolies by subjecting commercial activities being performed by federal employees within government agencies to market competition to benefit the taxpayer. Not only do federal agencies duplicate private business, many also engage in unfair government competition with the private sector. Many aviation businesses have been affected by unfair government competition in cases where an airport sponsor, the landlord and a government entity, uses state and federal funding to construct or renovate facilities to compete directly with existing fixed base operators (FBO) at an airport. NATA is increasingly concerned that this could become a growing paradigm for our industry. This legislation would help level the playing field between airports and FBOs. 

It is imperative that we have as many co-sponsors of this legislation as possible. Write your legislators today and request they become a co-sponsor. The number of co-sponsors a bill has determines whether Congress will consider the legislation. Currently, there are 20 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives for H.R. 1474, including Representatives John Duncan (R-TN), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Paul Broun (R-GA), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Sam Graves (R-MO), Ralph Hall (R-TX), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Donald Manzullo (R-IL), David McKinley (R-WV), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Don Young (R-AK). In the U.S. Senate, Senators John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) have co-signed S. 785. 

You may contact your Members of Congress to request they co-sponsor the Freedom from Government Competition Act through NATA’s legislative action center. Urge your Members of Congress to support the bill today!

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null2012 Event Catalog Has Been Mailed
Register Online for Upcoming Events

The 2012 NATA Educational Opportunities and Meetings catalog will soon arrive by mail. To make sure that you are on the list to receive a copy, click here to send an email to Linda Pylant with your name and contact information. You can preview a pdf version by clicking here. In the meantime, you can view more details and access links to register at Sponsorship Opportunities are available by clicking here or by contacting Diane Gleason, at or (703) 575-2050.

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nullNATA Releases Q1 Webinar Schedule

NATA’s new E-learn program is designed to enhance your education from the convenience of your site. E-learn includes several webinars specially priced at $49.95 as well as free policy and event preview webinars. The registration rate for the scheduled webinars includes participation for one computer/connection in the live webinar, a copy of the presentations and any additional materials. These 60-minute webinars complement NATA’s networking summit, conference and seminars by bringing experts on the hottest topics to you throughout the year. Archived webinar recordings along with a pdf of the presentation slides may be purchased by clicking here.

Upcoming 2012 Webinars - Register today at

2012 Negotiating Aviation Agreements Webinar $49.95
We will explore standard customer and vendor agreements used in FBO, Part 135 and Part 145 operations at airports, including key terms and conditions, and pointers on how to negotiate favorable terms. We will also discuss indemnity issues and how this one issue can make or break your business.

Speaker: Leonard Kirsch, Esq., McBreen & Kopko

Date/Time: January 26, 2012, at 12:00 EST

2012 How to Mitigate Fines from TSA, CBP, FAA, EPA Webinar $49.95
The federal government is looking to fine collection as a revenue source, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to negotiate down fines. This webinar will discuss how to analyze violations, how to defend and/or mitigate violations and, most importantly, what steps you can take to ensure that you are prepared so the next time you are violation-proof.

Speaker: Lisa Harig, Esq., McBreen & Kopko

Date/Time: February 23, 2012, at 12:00 EST

2012 Dealing with Hazardous Materials $49.95
Everything we do in aviation involves the use of hazardous materials. This seminar will discuss the obligations imposed by OSHA, EPA, FAA, Customs, and state and local governments on the purchase, storage, use and disposal of hazardous substances.

Speaker: Lindsay McGuire, Esq., McBreen & Kopko

Date/Time: April 26, 2012, at 12:00 EST

Visit to register for any of these webinars and for frequent updates to the 2012 webinars schedule.

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nullCall For Nominations - 2011 NATA Industry Excellence Awards

NATA announces a call for nominations to acknowledge the individuals, offices, and organizations demonstrating excellence in their field and the highest level of customer service to the general aviation community.

Each year, NATA presents seven awards to the exceptional individuals and companies that have helped to improve the general aviation community. The recipients of five of these awards are chosen based upon NATA member-submitted nominations.

These awards cover five categories:

The Airport Executive Partnership Award recognizes an airport manager for outstanding efforts to nurture the relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators.

The Aviation Journalism Award identifies a journalist, writer, or publication that excels in consumer education or editorial support that is beneficial to the general aviation industry.

The Excellence In Pilot Training Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in safety, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in the field of pilot training.

The FAA Customer Service Excellence Award recognizes an FAA facility or facility staff member who represents the highest degree of customer service and elevates the quality of interaction between the FAA and aircraft maintenance and repair facilities, Part 135 certificate holders, airport service organizations, and flight schools.

The ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award acknowledges the exceptional performance of a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic or radio repairman who has practiced his or her craft for a period of 20 or more years.

Last year's winners were:

  • Airport Executive Partnership Award - John Bales, director of Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, Missouri
  • Aviation Journalism Award - Jeff Burger, Convention News Co.
  • Excellence In Pilot Training Award - William M. Hays, president and CEO, ATD Flight Systems LLC
  • FAA Customer Service Excellence Award - Columbus Flight Standards District Office
  • ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award - Eddie Stephen Taylor, Epps Aviation

All nominations for these five awards must be received by NATA no later than January 31, 2012. The nomination form is available by clicking here. Members may also obtain a nomination form by calling the NATA headquarters at 800-808-6282 or by e-mailing Celeste Clark.

The awards will be presented during the NATA Industry Excellence Awards Dinner on March 28, 2012, just preceding the NATA 2012 FBO Leadership Conference, 2012 NATA Day on the Hill, and Spring Committee Meetings to be held in the Washington, DC area on March 29-30

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nullNATA Offices Closed In Observance Of New Year’s Holiday

NATA offices will be closed on Monday, January 2, in observance of the New Year’s holiday. NATA’s Board of Directors and staff wish all members a happy holiday season!

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    Upcoming Events




NATA E-Learn Webinars

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.

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Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: 800-808-6282
Fax: 703-845-8176


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