State Advocacy Network News
| Reminder: Act Today On Fuel Fraud Tax Repeal By Contacting Key Members of Congress|
NATA is requesting its members to contact Members of Congress serving on the conference committee established to resolve differences between the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate versions of the Highway Bill and urge them to support repeal of the onerous fuel fraud tax. The conference committee is one of the last steps in the legislative process before an agreement is finalized on the Highway Bill and it is approved by both the House and Senate and then signed into law by the President.
NATA strongly encourages all member companies to utilize the association’s recent Action Call to reach out to these conference committee members today and encourage them to support a repeal of the onerous fuel fraud tax. To review NATA’s Action Call, please click here.
To read the Inside Washington Blog titled “Fuel Fraud Tax: To Repeal or Not to Repeal,” please click here.
To review NATA’s comprehensive issues Web page on the fuel fraud tax, please click here.
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Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a prepublication version of a final rule, Effluent Limitations Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards for the Airport Deicing Category. NATA commented in 2010 on the EPA’s initial proposal to set a national standard regarding runoff from deicing at primary commercial service airports.
In this final rule, the EPA accepted the comments from NATA and many others in the industry that setting a national standard relating to capturing used deicing fluid was impractical and provided little benefit due to the diversity in airport layouts and operations. Rather, the EPA chose to continue to regulate deicing activities through the established permitting process. The final rule does, however, prohibit the use of urea-based pavement deicer at primary commercial service airports and require that new airports utilize centralized deicing pads to facilitate the collection of used deicing fluid.
NATA expects this final rule to be published in the Federal Register in the next two weeks. The rule will become effective 20 days after its publication.
Click here to read NATA’s Regulatory Report on this final rule
Click here to read the prepublication version of the final rule
Click here to read NATA’s comments on the original proposal
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|Coyne Addresses Metropolitan Airport Commission|
Last week, NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne spoke at a public hearing before the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) regarding a proposal to increase rents and charges significantly at several airports operated by the commission. The commission is the sponsor for seven Minnesota airports: Minneapolis/ St. Paul International (MSP), St. Paul Downtown (STP), Flying Cloud (FCM), Anoka County (ANC), Airlake (LVN), Lake Elmo (21D) and Crystal Airport (MIC). The proposed increases in rates and charges would have increased costs for businesses such as FBOs and maintenance shops at the commission’s 6 reliever airports by between 25 and 50 percent. The proposal was offered to counter a projected deficit in the reliever airports’ “financial position,” although the commission admitted that the current rates and charges do cover the reliever airports’ operations.
During his appearance before the commission, Coyne cautioned the group on taking actions that would increase the cost aircraft operators faced in using the reliever airport. Coyne pointed out that raising these costs just as our nation enters a fledgling recovery from the economic malaise of the past several years could have drastic consequences.
“I firmly believe that highlighting issues without offering solutions does little to benefit anyone. NATA believes that the problems relating to the reliever airports highlighted by the proposed changes to Ordinance 107 are solvable and that the best path forward is a cooperative one that involves both the commission and the businesses that operate at the MAC’s reliever airports,” noted Coyne. “I ask this commission to put these changes on hold and create a committee consisting of MAC staff, reliever airport business representatives and airport users that can review these issues and make suggestions on solutions that address the commission’s concerns.”
NATA has received preliminary word that the commission has accepted Coyne’s suggestion and plans to establish a stakeholder committee to review and comment on the proposed rates and charges changes before the committee takes further action.
Click here to read Coyne’s full statement
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Last week, NATA, along with the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Helicopter Association International and the National Business Aviation Association, expressed concern over a story that was aired and posted to the WTOP Web site regarding general aviation security. J.J. Green, the national security correspondent for WTOP, penned the story titled “Terrorists Eye Small Airplanes” that focuses on how small airplanes may be among the “most sought-after weapons” by Al-Qaida in attacking Americans.
Green did not contact any of the general aviation industry trade groups for the story, a point made within the response to WTOP. An excerpt from the trade group letter to WTOP follows:
“We are disappointed that there does not appear to have been any attempt by Mr. Green to contact any member of the industry that his report accuses of being the “Achilles Heel” of aviation security. There is certainly no evidence in either the on-air or online reports that such an attempt was made. Nor did Mr. Green attempt to contact any of our associations, even though four of us are located within 10 miles of your studio, a fifth is located in Frederick, Md., and EAA, headquartered in Oshkosh, Wis., is easily accessible by telephone. Any or all of us would have welcomed the opportunity to discuss such an important issue with Mr. Green.”
To read the response to WTOP in its entirety, please click here.
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|NATA Joins Letter Encouraging Revisions To Legislation That Would Restrict Government Employees Attending Industry Meetings|
Last week, NATA, along with more than 2,000 other signatories, drafted a letter to all Members of Congress encouraging modifications to two bills within the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that would place severe restrictions on government employees attending meetings and conferences.
The letter, spearheaded by the American Society of Association Executives, is in response to the recent General Services Administration scandal involving federal employees inappropriately spending taxpayer dollars on lavish trips.
In the letter to the Hill, industry signatories state that they “fully support the intent of Congress to induce greater transparency and accountability in government spending. There is little defense for exorbitant or wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars. However, while the amendments are designed to limit spending on government-sponsored conferences and travel expenses for federal employees, the actual language would have a chilling effect on government employees’ participation in non-governmental meetings and conferences as well.”
To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.
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|GAMA Posts 2012 First Quarter General Aviation Airplane Shipment Report|
The General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA) recently released the latest figures on worldwide general aviation aircraft deliveries. In the first quarter of this year, aircraft shipments fell by 2.1 percent to 369 units compared to 377 units from the same quarter of last year. The total billings of these aircraft decreased by 8 percent to $3.39 billion.
According to GAMA, 184 piston-powered airplanes were delivered in the first quarter, down by 2.1 percent with 188 units having been delivered in the first quarter of 2011. However, turbo prop airplane deliveries rose slightly this year by 3.1 percent to 63 units compared to 61 units during the same period last year.
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce expressed his concern over the mixed results. “One continuing concern is the lack of available financing around the world, he said. “An important step forward would be for the U.S. Congress to quickly reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The lending authority of the bank spurs sales which are essential to revitalizing the manufacturing sector. The House passed their version of the legislation yesterday and we urge the Senate to quickly follow suit."
To read the full report, please click here.
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|U.S. House Of Representatives General Aviation Caucus Nears Membership Goal|
As of last week, the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus now has 180 members. Representative Sam Graves (R-MO), co-chair of the caucus, along with Representative John Barrow (D-GA), hopes to reach 200 members, making it one of the largest caucuses in Congress.
NATA encourages all members to reach out to their U.S. Representative and ask him or her to join the General Aviation Caucus. A strong membership base will allow for a loud voice in Congress as the General Aviation Caucus aims to highlight important issues faced by the general aviation industry, so it is important that you urge your Member of Congress in the House of Representatives to join the General Aviation Caucus.
For a list of current members, click here.
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New York state Senator William Larkin (R-39th District) has introduced legislation to provide an exemption from sales and use taxes for general aviation aircraft purchased in the state. Senate Bill 2678, also known as the New York Aviation Jobs Act, was reintroduced from the last session in January 2012 and is under review in the Senate’s finance committee. Currently in New York, the sale of commercial service aircraft is exempt.
According to the New York Department of Transportation, annual economic activity attributable to aviation is nearly $36 billion and supports over 300,000 jobs. The state has seen a steady increase in investment in aviation services since the 2004 passage of legislation that exempts the maintenance, repair, overhaul or rebuilding of aircraft. Enactment of SO 2678 will make New York competitive with neighboring states that already exempt sales taxes related to the purchase of general aviation aircraft.
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|LSST Seminar Starts Tomorrow|
It's Not Too Late To Register
If you haven’t signed up to attend NATA’s popular Line Service Supervisor Training (LSST) seminar in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, it is not too late. Onsite registrations will be accepted.
The seminar will take place at the:
New England Air Museum - Windsor Locks
Bradley International Airport
36 Perimeter Road
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Don’t miss out on this educational and team building experience. Additional seminar details may be found online.
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|Addressing Part 135 Training Program Concerns|
Air Charter Summit Session Highlight
One of the hottest topics at NATA’s 2012 Air Charter Summit is FAA guidance for new hire pilot training. The FAA is making changes in the guidance that must be followed in creating training programs, specifically for newly hired pilots, and those changes are going to affect many operators who will have to adapt their training programs to meet the new standards. Session speakers will discuss what is happening and offer solutions to address the upcoming changes. Another aspect that will be discussed is the common problems or pitfalls that operators get tripped up on in their training programs and finding ways to address them proactively. Join speakers Lindsey McFarren of McFarren Aviation Consulting, Suran Wijayawardana of ACP Jets and Damon Danneker of JetFlite International on Tuesday, June 12, to find out more.
NATA’s Air Charter Summit brings the air charter community together for a series of sessions on working within the Part 135 regulatory landscape and other pressing business issues as well as unique networking and educational opportunities. The Summit will take place June 11-13 at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles in Chantilly, Virginia. New this year, the Summit will feature a BBQ and raffle to benefit the Veterans Airlift Command.
Please make your housing reservations by May 18 to take advantage of discounted room rates.
Click here for more information on Summit activities and links for housing and event registration.
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|NATA Safety 1st Participants Dominate Pilots’ Choice Awards|
FltPlan.com recently announced pilots’ favorites in the 2012 Pilots’ Choice Awards. Thousands of votes were cast for the following award categories: Top U.S. FBOs, Top U.S. FBOs by region, Top FBO Chains, Top Canadian FBOs, Caribbean FBOs, Top Mexican FBOs, Top ATC Centers and more. NATA congratulates its Safety 1st participants making the Top 50 FBOs list – a whopping 74%. Visit FltPlan.com to view a full list of the 2012 Pilots’ Choice Award Winners.
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|Learn More about NATA’s Presidents Council|
NATA’s Presidents Council provides executives of member companies with the opportunities, knowledge and connections to excel as leaders while developing a closer affiliation with their peers and NATA’s leadership.
The NATA Presidents Council promotes significant professional growth. As a council member, you will receive executive governmental updates and exclusive opportunities to develop key relationships with industry leaders. The opportunities to connect with council members and high-ranking officials benefit your personal business portfolio and advance the success of your operation.
For a yearly Presidents Council Membership/participation fee of $3,000, members receive the following privileges:
- Monthly conference call with NATA’s president
- Regional Town Hall meetings as the NATA president’s schedule allows
- Invitation to the Aviation Business Roundtable
- Exclusive Presidents Council plaque and lapel pin
- Recognition of your contribution within the Presidents Council Annual Report in NATA’s Aviation Business Journal
- Acknowledgment of council participation on NATA’s Web site and at events
- Invitation to private golf and dinner events
To join, or for answers to your questions on the council, contact Daniel Gurley, director of membership and business development, at (703) 575-2049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.
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