|Highway Bill Agreement Fails To Address Fuel Fraud Tax Repeal|
Last week, Congress reached an agreement on a two-year highway reauthorization bill that did not include the association’s request to repeal the onerous fuel fraud tax that was included in the 2005 highway bill.
NATA has waged an aggressive grassroots campaign and advocacy effort on Capitol Hill for the repeal, and NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer stated that the fight is far from over. “While we are disappointed that common sense has yet to prevail on this issue, we do ultimately believe that our legislative efforts will succeed and this tax will be repealed,” he stated. “The fact remains that with Jet A at over $6 per gallon nationally and fuel at the local gas station at $3.50 or so, no one in their right mind would take jet fuel and attempt to use it in a car, truck or tractor. I would challenge anyone to prove otherwise.”
The association is now reviewing next steps and will continue to keep members posted on its advocacy efforts.
To view NATA’s comprehensive issues Web page on the fuel fraud tax, please click here.
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Last week, the FAA published the final report and recommendations from the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT ARC), a collaborative industry-government task force of key stakeholders representing aircraft and engine manufacturers, fuel producers and distributors, operator groups, aviation associations, the FAA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This group studied the challenges associated with the transition to an unleaded fuel to replace 100LL and made recommendations necessary to facilitate the development and deployment of an unleaded fuel with the least impact on the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet.
The UAT ARC found that a “drop-in” unleaded replacement fuel that can be seamlessly deployed for the existing fleet of aircraft is not available and that alternative fuels require significant assessment to ensure safety. In addition, to date there is not a market-driven reason to move to a replacement fuel due to the limited size and specialty nature of avgas, combined with the safety, liability and expense involved with a complex approval and deployment process.
The UAT ARC’s key recommendations include:
- Implementation of a fuel development roadmap that identifies specific milestones in the avgas development process and information needed to support assessment of the viability of candidate fuels in terms of impact on aircraft and production infrastructure and economic considerations.
- Centralized testing of candidate unleaded fuels funded by government and industry in-kind contributions to generate qualification and certification data.
- Establishment of a collaborative industry-government initiative to coordinate implementation of the UAT ARC recommendations to develop and deploy an unleaded avgas with the least impact on the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet.
If recommendations are fully implemented and funded, up to 10 unleaded aviation gasoline candidates could be evaluated. Within five years, the process would generate qualification and certification data to support fleet-wide certification of the most promising candidates. The actual transition to an unleaded avgas depends directly upon the level of impact upon the existing fleet and fuel production infrastructure.
NATA will continue to work with the FAA in developing, implementing and funding an unleaded avgas plan that includes the key elements outlined in the ARC’s report that are necessary to facilitate the development and deployment of an unleaded avgas with least impact upon the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet.
Find more details on the UAT ARC’s recommendations in NATA’s Press Release.
The full FAA UAT ARC report, including specific recommendations and detailed action plans, is available from the FAA Web site.
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News and Resources On Applicability Of Taxes To Aircraft Management Services
Recently, participants in a joint NATA-NBAA working group presented the IRS with a detailed rebuttal to the agency’s Chief Counsel Advice memorandum that concluded that fees paid for aircraft management services are subject to commercial federal excise taxes.
To help members understand the issue, prepare for possible audits and consider whether changes to existing management agreements are necessary, NATA is providing multiple member resources.
Members can download the IRS CCA as well as the NATA-NBAA working group rebuttal to CCA.
NATA has developed a three-part webinar series beginning on July 11 addressing the following topics:
- The Audit Process
- Prospective Preparation and Planning Materials
- Achieving Balance
NATA has also actively engaged on Capitol Hill to recruit congressional support against the IRS position on the taxability of fees paid by owners utilizing aircraft management services. Read a recent letter from the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation chairman to the House Ways and Means committee chairman asking for his review of the situation.
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On June 27, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform passed H.R. 4631: The Government Spending Accountability Act of 2012 following the publicized GSA scandal involving unauthorized and frivolous spending by the administration while at a conference. Originally passed in April, the bill was amended by the committee to include the issues that resulted from the scandal as well as concerns expressed by association, travel, and private sector industries.
Differences between the language passed in April and the new language include:
- A revised definition of conference – The new language designates a conference as an event where a government attendee must travel 25 miles or more in order to attend.
- What a government attendee must report – It is required that a government attendee report reimbursed expenses, presentation materials if speaking and prepared remarks.
- Public reports of quarterly expenses by the agency.
- The ability for a government employee to attend multiple private entity conferences.
The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate for review and passage. A statement by the American Society of Association Executives states that the association is working with the Senate on educating them on the value of public-private collaboration and to revise a Senate amendment, SA 2060, that aims to provide transparency, accountability and limitation of government-sponsored conferences.
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Aviation Industry Advocates For Public FAA Knowledge Test Questions
Over the past six months, NATA has been participating in an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) with a goal of constructing a way to review and update the quality of general aviation airman knowledge through technology and educational training methods. The ARC submitted its report to the FAA in mid-June. So far, the FAA has embraced the ARC’s recommendations as it continues to review the report.
Consisting of stakeholders from every facet of the industry, the ARC convened in September 2011 with the purpose of prioritizing and recommending processes through which to update knowledge test questions and the supplements used to study for them. The goal of the ARC was to refocus knowledge testing on safety-related, realistic, and practical testing methods. The report finds that revisiting and, if necessary, revising the training and testing methods that general aviation pilots and flight instructors use “will improve safety among all affected categories of flight.”
The committee found that communication between industry and the FAA concerning changes to tests and content needed to be improved and that the technology used to administer them should be updated. The ARC report also laid out a recommendation to develop a stakeholder group to develop test questions and review industry standards and handbook content for accuracy, content and knowledge. The stakeholder committee will be created and put to work by the end of September the FAA stated.
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|ACSF Recommends Review Of Stabilized Approach Criteria|
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) monitors accidents and incidents involving business aviation aircraft. On June 18, 2012, a turbo-jet aircraft went off the end of the runway after landing at the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, near Atlanta, Georgia. The ACSF looks forward to the accident's investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which will determine the probable cause of this event.
As a precautionary measure, the ACSF recommends that all operators have their flight crews review Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular 91-79, Runway Overrun Prevention, which addresses landing performance and stabilized approaches along with other available resources, such as operator procedures for stabilized approaches. The advisory circular is available by clicking here.
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|Weekly Regulatory Update|
Relevant updates from the FAA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security are compiled each day from the Federal Register. The latest notices, rules and proposed rules can now be found in a single source by clicking here.
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NATA’s Newest Publication - The Will-Not-Carry Operator Hazardous Materials Training Manual (Special - $75 until July 31, 2012) is a downloadable and easily customizable publication that can be used to satisfy FAA requirements for will-not-carry operators to have a HAZMAT training program. Once purchased and downloaded, the operator simply updates the information in the highlighted fields with company-specific details and follows the straightforward guidance on complying with provisions of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), Title 49 Code of the Federal Regulations (49 CFR) and Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). The regulations have changed. If you haven't updated your manual recently, you should download your copy today.
NATA is offering the next three books separately or together as an FBO Managers Resource Kit. The FBO Managers Resource Kit offers the best discount price for these publications: Only $469 for members.
The Community Relations Toolkit ($99 for members, if purchased separately from the FBO Managers Resource Kit) was developed to help airports expand community outreach efforts to airport neighbors and key stakeholders. This handbook has been developed to provide a guideline for community relations efforts.
Negotiating Aviation Agreements: A Guidebook for Building and Protecting Your Business ($299 for members, if purchased separately from the FBO Managers Resource Kit) is a resource for fixed base operators and specialized aviation service operations doing business at general aviation airports. Sample provisions and practical tips are included in this guidebook.
Refueling and Quality Control Procedures for Airport Service and Support Operations ($109 for members, if purchased separately from the FBO Managers Resource Kit) provides airport fuel service providers a comprehensive review of the many complex standards and requirements for the handling of aviation fuel in a way that is easy to understand. The incorporation of full-color photographs adds to the usefulness of the 2011 revision as a teaching tool for new and seasoned fuel handling technicians alike.
The aforementioned publications and additional products are available at the NATA Store at www.nata.aero/store. Hurry. The special rate for the Will-Not-Carry Operator Hazardous Materials Training Manual is good until July 31, 2012, and the special rate on the other listed publications is good until August 31, 2012.
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Early Bird Registration Rate For Tax Seminar Ends July 7
Register Today For $100 Off Per Registration
NATA and Conklin & de Decker Associates, Inc. continue to offer the only tax seminar for commercial operators. The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar (COTS) deals with taxes that you, the commercial operator, face every day in your operations. Federal excise taxes, fuel taxes, sales and use taxes, personal property taxes, depreciation, international fees and more are covered in this seminar. In addition, a comprehensive review of the Federal Aviation Regulations and topics that should be included in charter/management and management agreements is included. Ample time will be allowed for questions and answers during each session as well as prior to the conclusion seminar. Click here to register now.
Nel Stubbs, Conklin & de Decker, Owner
Nel Stubbs is an owner with the aviation-consulting firm of Conklin and de Decker and specializes in consulting on aviation tax issues (federal, state and local) that are associated with the ownership and operation of corporate aircraft, cost, tax and financial analysis of various aircraft operations, and the structuring of aircraft ownership. In addition, she is responsible for the management of the State Aviation Tax Guide for General Aviation.
Stubbs coordinates the Conklin & de Decker Seminar Series, which include the Aircraft Acquisition Planning (AAP) Seminar, Tax & Insurance Course for Helicopter Operators, Finance, Accounting, Cost & Tax 101, and the Commercial Operators & Management (COM) Tax Course.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from California State University San Bernardino and her Master’s in Aeronautical Science/Aircraft Operations from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Stubbs will also host the first in a series of webinars on the Application of Commercial Taxes to Private Flights. Her webinar (on July 11) called “The Audit Process” will also include some information on COTS, if you are interested in more details on this webinar or others in the series click here.
This year's COTS seminar takes place August 7-8 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. To take advantage of the Early Bird Registration Rate ($100 off per registration), click here.
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|NATA Offices Closed July 4th|
In observance of the July 4th holiday, NATA Headquarters will be closed this Wednesday. Normal office hours will resume on Thursday, July 5.
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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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