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March 5, 2012     null     Volume 11 Issue 10

Top News

State Advocacy Network News

Events & Webinars 

null Coyne Announces Retirement

Today, NATA president & CEO James K. Coyne announced his retirement. To read Coyne’s statement to the membership, please click here.

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null Congress Sends User Fee Opposition Letter to White House

195 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama in opposition to the $100 user-fee proposal in his fiscal year 2013 budget request.

Chairman Tom Petri (R-WI) and Ranking Member Jerry Costello (D-IL) of the House Aviation Subcommittee, along with Representatives Sam Graves (R-MO) and John Barrow (D-GA), co-chairs of the House General Aviation Caucus, authored the letter that encourages President Obama to support policies that promote job growth and the U.S. economy.

“We are thrilled that Capitol Hill continues to support this great industry,” stated NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne. “It is time for this administration to stop offering up onerous and unnecessary user fee proposals and, instead, focus on all that the industry has to offer.”

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nullHighway Bill Likely To Be Extended; Fuel Fraud Amendment Possible

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to scale back H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 in hopes of gaining more support for the bill among their colleagues. The original bill would have authorized the Federal Highway Administration and other programs for four years, but the bill has been reduced to two years to coincide with the Senate bill, S. 1813. Due to the approaching surface-transportation law expiration on March 31, it appears that lawmakers are working toward an extension of the current law if an agreement isn’t reached before the deadline. 

NATA is working with members of the U.S. Senate to offer an amendment to repeal the fuel fraud provision in S. 1813.

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nullFAA Proposes Requiring All Airline Pilots To Hold ATP Certificates

Last week, the FAA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would require all pilots operating under Part 121 to hold an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate. This proposal is based upon a requirement within the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-216), which created a statutory mandate for airline pilots to hold an ATP certificate.

Additionally, this NPRM dramatically alters the training and experience requirements for acquiring an ATP certificate, including mandating that pilots seeking an ATP certificate complete a training program that includes 24 hours of classroom instruction and 16 hours of simulator instruction in topics related to air carrier and transport category aircraft operation.

NATA has published a Regulatory Report detailing the various proposals contained within this NPRM and will be consulting with its membership in the process of developing formal comments to submit to the FAA. This NPRM is open for public comment until April 30, 2012.

Click to read the NATA Regulatory Report

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nullHave You Registered For NATA’s “Day on the Hill” Event?

NATA will hold its 16th annual "Day on the Hill" event on Thursday, March 29, from noon to 5:00 p.m. This event is your opportunity to meet with Members of Congress in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to discuss important legislative issues affecting your aviation business and the general aviation industry.

Over the past few years, NATA has achieved many legislative successes, including final passage of legislation reauthorizing the FAA, which contained provisions such as requiring the FAA to address inconsistent regulatory interpretations, ensuring funding for research of an alternative unleaded aviation gasoline and studying Part 135 operations to track industry data. These successes are due to NATA members creating lasting connections with their members of Congress. Day on the Hill is your chance to create those connections and lay the groundwork for future legislative successes, both for the association and your aviation business.

Let's remind Congress that small businesses are the backbone of the aviation industry and are indispensable components of this nation's economy and that Congress must understand their value when considering legislation. Your participation is essential to our legislative success on Capitol Hill. This opportunity is also open to non-NATA member companies. So, invite your business associates to help advocate for the general aviation industry.

Click here to view the Schedule of Events.

Click here to register.

Click here to view the 2012 Policy Priorities.

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nullSAN Update: Oppose Maryland Bill Seeking To Increase Surtax On Sales And Use On Aircraft

NATA is reviewing Maryland House Bill 1345, which states that a one percent luxury tax would be added to the state’s sales and use tax on airplanes with a purchase price in excess of $35,000.00. The surtax on airplanes sold for more than the taxable amount of $90,000 would be taxed $550 plus two percent of the amount above $90,000. Maryland state Representative Sheila Hixson, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Delegate Heather Mizeur are sponsors of the bill.

This onerous bill comes at a time when states across the country are providing exemptions to their state and use sales tax on airplanes. Florida and Pennsylvania are among those that have called for the opposite of what is asked for in this bill, and it is important to bring this to the attention of your state legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate and ask them to keep general aviation a competitive business in Maryland.

NATA encourages all members in Maryland to contact their state Representatives and Senators and ask them to oppose this bill.

For more information on this bill and to view NATA’s Action Call, click here.

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nullSpring Training Starts Today
Onsite Registration is Available for All Seminars

NATA's Spring Training Week will get into full swing in Las Vegas on Monday and Tuesday (March 5-6) with its popular Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar. The event continues with NATA’s FBO Finance Fundamentals Seminar (March 6-7), Safety 1st Trainer Seminar (March 7) and Environmental Compliance Seminar (March 8), the only one offered in 2012. NATA's Spring Training Week will once again be held in conjunction with the Cygnus Aviation Expo (March 7-9). Stop by NATA's registration desk (North Hall, second floor, meeting room #N218 Foyer) to say hello and to participate in drawings for a chance to win one of two gift cards.

Seminar spaces are filling fast, please visit the NATA Spring Training Registration desk to register today. Spring Training seminars take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Access to the Cygnus Aviation Expo is included with registration for any NATA Spring Training seminar.

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nullPopular Excise Tax Webinar Returns This Month
NATA’s FET Overview for Air Charter Operators Webinar - Thursday, March 15, at noon EST

NATA's popular overview of federal excise taxes (FET) returns for 2012. This webinar will provide employees responsible for managing FET assessment, collection or remission for air charter operations the knowledge to accomplish those tasks successfully.

Some of the questions to be answered during this one-hour webinar:

  • Have you ever been confused about why some flights to Canada are taxed as domestic and others are international?
  • Are you unsure whether to apply FET to landing fees or overnight expenses for the crew?
  • Do you know if hospitals, universities and other non-profits are exempt from FET?
  • Are you sure you are claiming the proper fuel credit?
  • Do you know why sometimes you should receive a 20-cent-per-gallon credit and other times it is 17.5 cents?

If you're looking for the answers to these questions and others, you need to attend NATA's newest Webinar "FET Overview for Air Charter Operators" on Thursday, March15, from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST.

Among the topics to be covered:

  • Commercial and Noncommercial FET rates
  • Items subject to and exempt from FET
  • Operations exempt from FET
  • Fuel credits
  • IRS Forms and Publications

Click here to register now. Registration for this webinar is $49.95 per location and includes a copy of presentation materials and link to a recording of the webinar.

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nullAir Charter Safety Symposium A Success

The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) last week held its fifth annual Air Charter Safety Symposium, which was attended by more than 100 representatives from the on-demand air charter and fractional aircraft ownership industry. The theme of this year’s symposium, held at the National Transportation Safety Board Training Center, was “Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

“We are extremely pleased with the response from symposium attendees,” said ACSF Chairman Jim Christiansen. “Everyone was impressed with the quality, depth and range of information presented that they could use in their daily operations.”

The keynote presentation featured Dr. Tony Kern, who spoke on reducing errors through empowered accountability. Other featured presentation topics included: understanding the risks of cabin fires from electronic devices, tire safety, crew resource management, improving runway safety, and managing fatigue.

The presentations will be available on the ACSF Web site in the near future.

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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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