State Advocacy Network News
| Senate Sends Bipartisan Letter To White House Opposing Aviation User Fees|
Twenty-nine members of the U.S. Senate sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama in opposition to the $100 user-fee proposal in the president’s fiscal year 2013 budget request.
Senate General Aviation Caucus Co-Chairmen Mark Begich (D-AK), Mike Johanns (R-NE) authored the letter, which included the following co-signers: Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Michael Crapo (R-ID), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Pryor (D-AR), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Thune (R-SD), Tom Udall (D-NM), David Vitter (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
A copy of the complete letter can be viewed by clicking here.
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Leadership in the U.S. Senate reached an agreement on amendments that will allow further consideration of S. 1813 , the two-year, $109 billion highway reauthorization bill. As part of the agreement, the Senate will vote on 30 amendments, some of which will include such unrelated topics as the Keystone XL pipeline and the tax treatment of offshore profits.
NATA is working toward the inclusion of a provision to repeal the fuel fraud tax. The current surface transportation law expires March 31. The last multi-year spending law ran through 2009. Gasoline taxes, road and bridge programs have continued since then on a series of short-term extensions.
To contact your Members of Congress on this important issue, please click here.
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Last week, NATA Vice President Eric R. Byer sent a letter to the editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press regarding the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority’s use of federal funds to build its own FBO to compete with existing tenants. Due to a word count limit, the letter was significantly shortened.
To read Byer’s letter to the editor, please click here.
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Last week, several environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth (FOE), filed suit against the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the agency’s alleged lack of action on regulated lead emissions from general aviation aircraft. The suit follows a 2006 petition from FOE asking the EPA to make a determination that lead emissions from general aviation aircraft pose a threat to human health and welfare. The suit asks a federal judge to impose a deadline for the EPA to make this determination.
The General Aviation Avgas Coalition, of which NATA is a member, published a response stating that the lawsuit fails to consider the significant actions already underway to transition to an unleaded fuel. According to the coalition, the EPA issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in mid-2010 to solicite additional information on lead emissions to assist the agency in making a determination. Additionally, the industry asked for and the FAA chartered the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT-ARC) to study the issue and make recommendations to the FAA on a path to transitioning the industry to an unleaded fuel. The UAT-ARC, which consisted of members from industry, FAA and EPA, completed its work earlier this year and the group’s final report is expected to be made public in the next month.
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to issue emissions regulations for lead if the agency determines that those lead emissions pose a threat to human health and welfare. However, the act also requires the EPA to work closely with the FAA to ensure that any regulations do not adversely affect safety or aircraft noise.
Click here to read the FOE lawsuit.
Click here to read the GA Avgas Coalition response.
Click here to read NATA’s Press Release.
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|FAA Issues Proposed Rule Changes To Part 16 Process|
Last week, the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Rules of Practice for Federally Assisted Airport Enforcement Proceedings (Retrospective Regulatory Review), that would make changes in the process established under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 16 (Part 16). The process established in Part 16 allows affected entities to make claims to the FAA that an obligated airport sponsor is in violation of the federal grant assurances it agreed to as a condition for receiving federal aid.
The NPRM proposes several changes, including:
- Procedures for concluding an investigation by ‘‘summary judgment’’ or dismissal without an answer by the airport sponsor.
- Termination of complainant standing in certain cases where the FAA finds the sponsor in noncompliance on all issues raised in the complaint.
- Optional electronic filing procedures for Part 16 complaints.
The NPRM also provides clarification of several other areas related to the Part 16 process. The NPRM is open for public comment until May 4, 2012. NATA will collaborate with its membership and legal experts to draft formal comments on the proposed changes.
Click here to read the Part 16 NPRM.
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|Florida Tax Exemption Bill Reaches Final Passage|
Florida House Bill 7087, the state’s Economic Development Bill, was passed by the legislature on March 9, 2012. The bill created an exemption from the intangible tax for fixed base operators as well as expanded exemptions from the sales and use tax on labor and parts used in repairs on aircraft that weigh more than 2,000 pounds. Currently, maintenance tax exemptions apply to aircraft that weigh 15,000 pounds or more.
“NATA commends the Florida Aviation Trades Association for their diligence in getting this legislation passed, which is a huge victory for aviation businesses in Florida,” stated NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne.
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|California State Bill Threatens To Tax Entire Business And General Aviation Service Industry|
NATA is carefully monitoring California Assembly Bill No. 1963, introduced by Assemblywoman Alyson Huber (D-10), which calls for a revision in tax rates imposed under the Personal Income Tax Law. The bill would impose a four percent sales and use tax on the privilege of selling services, including necessary medical services and services relating to agriculture.
NATA is concerned that this could also apply to the services of aircraft management companies as well as on-demand Part 135 air taxi services in the state. The association is monitoring the bill and will keep members informed of further developments.
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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?
Speaker: Jacqueline Rosser, Director of Regulatory Affairs
Date/Time: March 15, 2012, at 12:00 EST
Click here to register. 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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|A Capital Week For Aviation Busines|
Industry leaders will come together for a variety of events during NATA's A Capital Week for Aviation Business in Washington. All events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. The week’s schedule of events follows:
Click here for more information on these events. Or, you may call (800) 808-6282 to register by phone.
Click here to find out how you can reach your target audience through NATA Sponsorship Opportunities.
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|NATA’s Spring Training Hits Fourth Season Home Run|
For the past four years, NATA has held premier seminars in Las Vegas during Spring Training week. This year was a rousing success, with nearly 80 attendees for NATA’s Line Service Supervisor Training (LSST), 50 attendees for NATA’s Safety 1st Trainer, 20 attendees for the FBO Finance Fundamentals and 15 for the Environmental Compliance seminar.
NATA’s renowned LSST offered a variety of technical, supervisory, coaching, mentoring, and leadership skills through its talented speakers. NATA’s Safety 1st Trainer gave participants many trainer tools and techniques to be better, happier trainers, not to mention the contented trainees that will result once they return. Attendees from NATA’s FBO Finance Fundamentals seminar learned how important it is to use the numbers in a financial statement to move the business forward. And those that attended NATA’s Environmental Seminar learned every aspect of the environmental issues faced by your operation.
And just to prove that not all that goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas, NATA held drawings for several shirts and two gift certificates that were given away to lucky attendees. Kyle Bucklin with Cutter Aviation – Deer Valley, Jeff Ripperda with Landmark Aviation – Sioux Falls and Stuart Day with Landmark Aviation – Calgary all received NATA shirts from the LSST seminar. Sheena Westling with Northwest Airport Management L.P, Steve Lee with Million Air – Burbank and Alan Robertson with OK3 Air received NATA shirts from the FBO Finance Fundamentals seminar. The two lucky winners of the $50 gift certificates were Carlos Rodriguez with Meridian Teterboro and Shelley Cole with Minot Aero Center.
Congratulations to all our winners! It truly was a win-win for all in attendance. Thank you for investing in your employees with top-notch training.
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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. National Air Transportation Association
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