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April 2, 2012   null   Volume 11 Issue 14

Top News

Legislative News 

State Advocacy Network News


null NATA’s A Capital Week For Aviation Business A Resounding Success

More than 200 NATA members convened in Washington, D.C. for A Capital Week for Aviation Business events, including the association’s FBO Leadership Conference, new FBO Managers Workshop, Industry Excellence Awards dinner and presentation, Day on the Hill congressional visits, Annual Meeting of the Membership and Spring Committee Meetings.

The week’s events kicked off on Tuesday with a luncheon for the FBO Managers Workshop. This two-day event dealt with issues faced by the general manager running an FBO, and included an airport manager perspective on airport/FBO relations workshop, nationwide trends affecting FBOs and airport relationships workshop, communicating the value of aviation businesses and the communities they support workshop and a panel discussion led by GA Infrastructure and Investment Coalition Strategy CEOs.

The FBO Leadership Conference began Wednesday with a welcome lunch and keynote speech by Congressman John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr. (R-TN). Congressman Duncan praised NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne’s leadership of the association and his efforts over the years on Capitol Hill. He also urged NATA’s members to promote the legislation he sponsored to reduce unfair government competition with the private sector, including small businesses.

The event packed week continued on Thursday afternoon with NATA’s annual Day on the Hill where NATA members got the opportunity to speak with their Congressmen and Senators regarding national and local issues that are important to their businesses. A Capital Week for Aviation Business concluded on Friday with the Airports, Safety and Security, Air Charter, Business Management and Aircraft Maintenance Committee meetings.

“This week was replete with opportunities for our members to gain knowledge and information about the industry as well as to bring awareness of the vital importance of their businesses and general aviation to Capitol Hill,” said Coyne. “With the increased participation across all the week’s events, it truly was a capital week for aviation business."

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nullNATA Elects Four New Board Members And Announces New Leadership

Last week at its annual membership meeting, NATA announced the selection of James Sweeney, president of Fargo Jet Center, as chairman of the NATA Board of Directors, and Marian H. Epps, chief financial officer of Epps Aviation, as treasurer effective immediately. Sweeney replaces Todd Duncan, chairman, Duncan Aviation, and Epps replaces Robert "Buddy" Stallings, president, Eastern Aviation Fuels, Inc. 

NATA also elected four new members to its board of directors: Gary Dempsey, president, flight services - The Americas, Jet Aviation Holdings USA, Inc.; Marty Hiller, executive vice president, business aviation, World Fuel Services; Robert Olislagers, executive director, Centennial Airport; and Steve Loyd, president and owner, Loyd's Aviation.

"The NATA Board of Directors comprises the finest leaders representing all areas of general aviation," said NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne. "The association will benefit tremendously from the vast experience of Gary, Marty, Robert and Steve. We appreciate their support and commitment in joining the NATA Board of Directors."

Click here for short bios of the new NATA Board Members.

Click here for a listing of the full NATA Board of Directors.

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nullGA Infrastructure Investment Coalition Releases Best Practices On Airport Leases

Last week NATA announced that the General Aviation Infrastructure and Investment Coalition (GAIIC) released new best practice standards for airport leases with Aeronautical Service Providers. These best practices, developed in conjunction with Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), serve to facilitate long-term private investment in on-airport facilities.

The GAIIC was founded early last year by a number of leading FBO companies to assist the general aviation community in driving private on-airport investment and job creation. The chief objective of the coalition was to address the factors inhibiting private investment in general aviation facilities. At some airports, short-term leases may prohibit FBOs from taking advantage of normal commercial tax rules and lending practices regarding depreciation and amortization that would otherwise act to incentivize investment and economic growth. The best practices standard agreement, released last week, addresses concerns of both airport sponsors and aeronautical service providers.

“NATA applauds the cooperative efforts of the GAIIC and ACI-NA that resulted in these best practices,” stated NATA Vice President of Government & Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer. “This process proved the value of open communication between industry stakeholders. These best practices recognize the unique relationship that the FBOs have with our nation’s airports and the value of the private investments made by FBOs in on-airport facilities. NATA believes that airport sponsors and FBOs are great partners in making airports economic drivers for local communities and our nation.” 

To read the GAIIC summary of the best practices agreement with the airport community, please click here.

To read the best practices agreement in its entirety, please click here.

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nullNATA Award Winners Announced

In a press release last week, NATA announced that Mary M. Miller, vice president, industry and government affairs, Signature Flight Support and BBA Aviation, was the recipient of this year’s NATA Distinguished Service Award and Kenneth C. Ricci, chairman of the board of Flight Options and chief executive officer of Nextant Aerospace, received NATA’s William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award.

The William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award is named in honor and memory of the association’s co-founder and first president and is given for extraordinary achievement and extended meritorious service to the general aviation industry. Ricci, the 2011 award recipient, founded Flight Options in 1998 and currently serves as its chairman. His marketing and strategic leadership took Flight Options from inception to annual sales of more than $600 million, operating more than 200 aircraft, in a period of four years.

NATA’s Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an individual or organization still active in general aviation on a regular, day-to-day basis and recognizes outstanding service and ongoing contributions to the industry. Miller began her aviation career at Butler Aviation in 1981 as a customer service manager at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. She was promoted in 1987 to director of customer service for the Butler Aviation network and later to director of sales and customer relations. When Butler and Page Avjet were merged to form Signature Flight Support, Miller was promoted to vice president of customer relations. In 2010, she was promoted to vice president industry and government affairs for both Signature Flight Support and parent company BBA Aviation.

In addition to the William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award and the Distinguished Service Award, the following industry excellence awards were also presented last Wednesday evening at the Industry Excellence Awards Dinner during A Capitol Week for Aviation Business.

  • Ronald Donner, editor of Aircraft Maintenance Technology (AMT) magazine, received the Aviation Journalism Award
  • The Richmond Flight Standards District Office was the recipient of NATA's FAA Customer Service Excellence Award and was recognized as an FAA facility that has represented the highest degree of customer service and elevated 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 (sponsored by Aircraft Technical Publishers) was given posthumously to John “Ray“ Hartley for his long-time career at StandardAero and work as manager and chief inspector - QA inspection at StandardAero's facility at LAX.
  • David Edwards, Jr., president and CEO of Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, was this year's recipient of the NATA Airport Executive Partnership Award.
  • Joseph Gravalec and Robert Kintner, Jr., owners of Superior Flight School, received the Excellence In Pilot Training Award.

Click here for more information on this year’s awards winners.

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nullTwo New NATA Publications Now Available

NATA has produced two publications that will assist its members in navigating two areas of upmost importance in general aviation. These publications were created with the help of general aviation industry experts.

To purchase NATA's publications, please click here. If you have questions, please contact Jess Hammett at or 703-845-9000.

NATA Negotiating Aviation Agreements: A Guidebook for Building And Protecting Your Business
The purpose of this guidebook is to serve as a resource for fixed base operators and specialized aviation service operations doing business at general aviation airports. It is not intended to provide legal or business advice but, instead, to identify and discuss certain legal, business, and insurance issues that arise in negotiating agreements to provide aeronautical services at airports.

NATA Community Relations Toolkit
NATA recognizes the need for airports to expand community outreach efforts to airport neighbors and key stakeholders. This handbook has been developed to provide a guideline for community relations efforts.


Special Presale Pricing Member Non-member
Community Relations Toolkit $100 $200
Negotiating Aviation Agreements  $299 $499
Special - if purchased together $350 $650
After April 15, 2012
Community Relations Toolkit $149 $249
Negotiating Aviation Agreements $399 $599
Special - if purchased together $450 $750

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nullCongress Passed 90-Day Extension On Highway Bill

U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate lawmakers voted last week to extend U.S. highway programs through June 30, averting for the next three months a shutdown of construction projects and the furlough of 3,500 federal-government workers.

The House has not yet agreed on a long-term highway bill; therefore, Senate leadership is urging the House to bring up the Senate bill, S. 1813, which recently passed the chamber. However, before the House and the Senate can pass a long-term transportation bill, lawmakers will have to overcome differences over how much to spend, how many years to fund and how to pay for between $109 billion and $260 billion for highways, bridges and transit.

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nullACTION CALL – Contact Congress To Oppose Taxes On Aircraft Management

NATA is calling on its members to contact their Members of Congress and urge them to write to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in opposition of efforts to impose commercial taxes on fees charged for aircraft management services.

Recently, the IRS issued a memo articulating a legal opinion justifying expanding the scope of operations covered by commercial taxes to include private general aviation operations when those operations involve the owner utilizing a company providing aircraft management services. In the past, the IRS has consistently considered operations conducted with the assistance of an aircraft management company to be private and subject to noncommercial taxes. 

Click here to review the NATA Action Call for more information on this issue and how you can contact your Members of Congress.

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nullHouse Committee Holds Roundtable On EU-ETS

U.S. Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI) and Jerry Costello (D-IL), chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Aviation, held a roundtable last week to discuss the European Union’s (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and its impact on the U.S. aviation industry, international law, and global trade. Roundtable participants included representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of State, the U.S. airline industry, airline labor organizations, and the general aviation community.

FAA Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment Julie Oettinger emphasized that the agency’s opposition has not waivered and that the method the EU is using to reduce environmental impact is the “wrong way.” The FAA is urging the EU to work with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The industry representatives called for a formal response to “the EU’s intransigence” with filing an Article 84 resolution that, under the ICAO treaty, would initiate a formal dispute resolution process. The EU itself is not a member of ICAO and is, therefore, not subject to the treaty obligations; however, 27 EU countries are individually members, and this move would attract their attention.

NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne stated that “not only would this costly scheme place an undue burden on aviation businesses flying from the U.S. to Europe, the EU ETS is discriminatory for not allowing carbon offset for businesses that utilize general aviation because they are not defined as commercial."

Rep. John Mica (R-FL) called on the Senate to pass H.R. 2594, which the House had passed last month and which formally opposes EU-ETS, and described the committee’s efforts to reach out to the EU and ICAO and to seek an “amicable resolution to this unfair penalty.”

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nullCongress Adjourned For Two-Week Recess - Invite Your Members Of Congress To Tour Your Facility

Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives spend a lot of time in Washington, but they also spend valuable time in their states and districts during scheduled congressional work periods and recess. Members of Congress take these opportunities to visit with constituents, making this the perfect time for NATA members to invite their Senators and Representatives to tour their facilities.

A tour of your facility is a valuable way to inform key congressional leaders on the principal issues confronting our national air transportation system while allowing you to address other issues affecting your business. This one-on-one interaction will give Members of Congress and their staff a better understanding of the value of America’s aviation businesses and airline services companies. In addition, NATA members can introduce their business to new and prospective Members of Congress, and forge stronger relationships with existing Members. Host a tour today!

To learn more about how to host a Congressional tour, please click here.

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nullSenate Commerce Committee Leadership Sends Letter To DHS On Repair Station Security Rule

U.S. Senate leadership on the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senators John Rockefeller (D-WV), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and John Thune (R-SD), sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano urging completion of the rulemaking for the Aviation Repair Station Security Rule. 

The letter reminds Secretary Napolitano that the 2003 Vision 100 – Aviation Reauthorization Act mandated that the DHS promulgate rules about aircraft repair station security. Additionally, the Act prohibited the FAA from issuing an operating certificate to any new foreign repair station applicants since the DHS did not implement the rule within the required timeframe. 

A recent letter to the aviation industry from Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole claimed the rule will not be finalized until December 2012. The Senate letter requested that the agency complete the rulemaking in an expedited manner.

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nullAviation Tax Incentives Bill Passes Alabama Senate

Last month, the Alabama state Senate passed a modified House bill that would offset state sales tax for aviation companies that locate or expand their business in the state and would promote retention of the companies already established there.

House Bill 39 exempts the parts and systems used to repair or renovate military or transport aircraft based out of state from state sales tax. The Alabama Fiscal Office has estimated that the bill would cut sales tax collections by the Education Trust Fund by nearly $2.4 million.

State Senators confirmed that passage of the bill is an effort to help engage more aviation industries and business in the state. Known as a pro-jobs bill, it would also help bring in technical jobs and a training workforce.

The adapted bill goes back to the House for review and approval and is made a law upon the governor’s signature. The exemption would expire in May 2020 unless extended by the legislature.

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nullMay 15-17 Seminars In Windsor Locks, CT – Line Service Supervisor Training And NATA Safety 1st Trainer

Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar –Energize Your Line Team May 15-16
Energetic, awesome, interesting, engaging, enjoyable, useful, realistic, and applicable are just some of the adjectives used to describe the Line Service Supervisor Training in NATA’s seminar evaluations. Attendees particularly enjoy our variety of speakers including Walter Chartrand, Dr. Todd Dewett, Mike France, Reed Fuller, Leonard Kirsch and Christine Hill.

What are you waiting for? Come build career knowledge, confidence and success with NATA's Line Service Supervisor Training (LSST) Seminar in Windsor Locks. The LSST contains the most comprehensive technical line service and supervisory skills training in one place, at one time. This course also satisfies 14 CFR Part 139 Section 321 for fire safety training certification – an FAA requirement of line service supervisors to be completed every 24 calendar months.

Click here for more details and to register for NATA’s Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar (LSST) in Windsor Locks, CT .

NATA Safety 1st Trainer – Last Chance To Train Your Trainer This Year May 17
Are you looking to improve your training regime? Take advantage of our last train the trainer seminar for 2012 that will prepare your trainer and training program to be the best yet. We will discuss the keys to successful training, effective implementation of the PLST Online and have an in-depth Q & A session for all your trainer’s questions concerning best practices utilizing NATA’s Safety 1st PLST Online training.

Your trainer will enjoy Walter Chartrand’s humorous trainer tips and techniques, Mike France’s interactive lesson planning and Amy Koranda’s online best practices and tips, making his or her online experience faster and easier.

Click here for more details and to register for NATA’s Safety 1st Trainer Seminar in Windsor Locks, CT.

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nullGenerational Strangeness: Communicating Across The Ages Webinar – April 12

Come join us at noon EDT on April 12 for an hour’s discussion on the varying generations that make up our workforce. We often equate communication styles with personality, gender and occupation, but there’s more to communication, particularly with the different generations. Our webinar will reveal communication differences for each generation and help you with the challenges that occur.

Click here for additional details along with registration information.

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nullSave the Date – 2012 Air Charter Summit – June 11-13, 2012

Now is the time to mark your calendars for the 2012 NATA Air Charter Summit. The 2012 Air Charter Summit will be held June 11-13, at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly/Dulles, Virginia. The summit provides an important opportunity to learn about the Part 135 regulatory landscape straight from industry experts and government officials. Sessions will provide you with the latest intelligence, tactics and strategies. Attendees will gain new solutions to current business and economic challenges, and have an opportunity to network one-on-one with their peers. 

Click here for more information or to register for the 2012 Air Charter Summit.

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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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