State Advocacy Network News
| FAA Releases Contract Tower Closure List
On Friday, March 22nd, the Federal Aviation Administration released its final list to begin a four-week phased closure of 149 contract towers beginning on April 7th, as part of its plan to meet the $637 million in cuts required under budget sequestration. The original list of 189 contract towers was paired down after the FAA received an enormous amount of justifications from stakeholders regarding the negative impact on the national interest with certain tower closures.
A list of the towers slated for closure can be viewed here. The 24 towers removed from the closure list can be found here. Additionally, the Agency determined that 16 contract towers in the cost-share program will remain open until September 30.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta stated that the Agency will work with airports and operators to ensure that procedures are in place to maintain a high-level of safety at non-towered airports.
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On Tuesday, March 19th, Harrison Ford, actor and private pilot, visited with members of the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus to discuss the industry’s top issues, including the effort to reverse the closure of 143 contract towers across the country. “The consequences are vast,” Ford explained of the implications of closing these towers. “It will effect safety, small businesses and jobs and may make it impossible for a flight school, large or small, to operate,” Ford stated.
In a press release, Representative Sam Graves (R-MO), Co-Chair of the General Aviation Caucus and Chairman of the U.S. House Small Business Committee, emphasized the ongoing fight against the Obama Administration’s proposed user fees. “I share the concerns of many aviation small businesses. They fly on tight budgets and pay taxes on fuel. A new fee, in addition to rising fuel costs, is asking too much.” NATA continues its advocacy efforts in opposing the imposition of user fees on general aviation.
Ford also explained his history of flying and urged the 170 caucus members to support general aviation for the opportunities it provides our young Americans and veterans, as well as the connections that can be made between people, cities, and across the nation. General aviation, Ford concluded, is “how we stay in touch on a daily basis.”
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|NATA Survey Asks For Input To Support FCC ELT Rulemaking Comments
Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM) that considers banning the manufacture and sale of aircraft emergency locator transmitters (ELT) that primarily broadcast on the 121.5 MHz frequency. The FCC NPRM notes that 121.5 MHz ELTs are no longer monitored by satellite and, therefore, beginning a transition to the newer 406 MHz ELTs, which are monitored by satellite, would provide a safety benefit for aircraft operators. In subsequent discussions, the FCC informed NATA and other general aviation associations that the commission is also considering a ban on the continued use of 121.5 MHz ELTs as a part of this rulemaking.
NATA has significant concerns regarding the impact this rulemaking would have on the association’s members, particularly small businesses that operate aircraft. To support the association’s formal comments to the FCC, NATA released a member survey asking for data on the use of the various types of ELTs and the cost impact a ban on the use of 121.5 ELTs would have on the association’s membership. Federal agencies that propose rules that have a significant impact on small businesses are also required to consider flexible alternative approaches that would not over burden those businesses. In addition to asking for data on the impact of a ban on 121.5 MHZ ELTs, the NATA member survey asks for simple information on the number of people a company employs. This data will allow NATA to link the cost impact of this rulemaking to small businesses.
Initial comments to the FCC are due by April 1; therefore, NATA requests that members complete this survey at their earliest convenience. For questions or assistance in completing the survey, please contact NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to complete the NATA 121.5 ELT Member Survey.
Click here to read the full FCC ELT NPRM.
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With the first NATA member committee meetings just over a month away, the association has completed a restructuring of the member committees to align more closely with NATA’s strategic goals. Under the revised structure, the committees are as follows:
- Airport Business Committee – This committee will focus on the challenges and opportunities faced by businesses operating on an airport, including FBOs, repair stations, charter operators and other aeronautical service and support operations. The Airport Business Committee will initially include members of the previous Airports, Business Management and Environmental Committees.
- Air Charter Committee – This committee will remain unchanged and continue to focus on issues affecting Part 135 on-demand air charter and Part 91K operations.
- Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee – This committee will also remain unchanged and continue to focus on issues affecting aircraft maintenance and certificated repair stations.
- Safety 1st Committee – The Safety 1st Committee will consist of members of the previous Safety and Security Committee and will provide input and advice on NATA’s highly successful Safety 1st program.
- Flight Training Committee – This committee will remain unchanged and continue to focus on issues impacting flight training providers, including certificated and non-certificated flight schools and Part 142 training centers.
NATA’s member committees are open to all members and work to advance the objectives outlined in the NATA Strategic Plan while also serving as a forum where member companies can:
- Provide input to the association on the key issues affecting aviation businesses and guidance on the course the association takes in addressing those issues
- Leverage industry expertise to create products that provide a general benefit to the association membership
- Network with other aviation business professionals, industry leaders and key government officials
The Airport Business, Air Charter, Aircraft Maintenance and Safety 1st Committees will hold in-person meetings on Wednesday, April 24, following the conclusion of NATA’s Aviation Business & Legislative Conference. To register for the 2013 Spring Committee Meetings, please use this form or register online by clicking here.
Location for Committee Meetings and Guest Room Block:
Renaissance Capital View-Crystal City
2800 S. Potomac Avenue
Arlington, VA 22202
Tel: (703) 413-1300
NATA has discounted rooms at $229++ plus tax, for single/double occupancy. The discounted rate is guaranteed until Monday, April 1, after which the hotel rack rate will be charged. Online reservations are available from the NATA website, www.nata.aero. The hotel is conveniently located 10 minutes from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
The Aviation Business & Legislative Conference will be held April 22-23 at the Renaissance Capital View. Click here to review the conference brochure. Registration for the two-day conference for members is $620 and includes the NATA Industry Excellence Awards Dinner and Presentation and the Congressional Reception at the United States Capitol. Click here to register online.
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|Weekly Regulatory Update
NATA compiles relevant updates from the FAA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security each day from the Federal Register. You can now find the latest notices, rules and proposed rules in a single source by clicking here.
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|New Hampshire Governor Recognizes Value Of General Aviation To State
NATA, along with other national aviation organizations, praised New Hampshire Governor Margaret Hassan for declaring March 2013 “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” Across the state, general aviation contributes $639 million to the economy and supports 8,000 jobs. There are 24 publically owned airports that serve 3,825 pilots and 2,055 general aviation aircraft, the proclamation states.
NATA President and CEO Tom Hendricks commented, “Governor Hassan’s proclamation raises awareness of general aviation’s contributions to the success of local businesses, airports and communities across New Hampshire. NATA and its 21 member companies in New Hampshire applaud the Governor’s actions in recognizing general aviation as a vital resource to the state’s competitiveness and growth.”
To see if your governor has recognized the value of general aviation to your state, click here.
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|Aviation Business And Legislative Conference Session Highlight
When Disaster Strikes — Preparing To Provide Aid And Rebuilding Your Business
This thought provoking session gives you a view of disaster response from two sides – those who want to provide assistance to victims and those who face the challenges of rebuilding their business and community. Aviation businesses are uniquely positioned to come to the aid of others when disasters strike. Learn how your business can support and participate in rescue and recovery efforts. And, because no one is immune to the devastation of hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters, this session also gives valuable insight on steps to take so you can care for your employees and resume business operations after the unthinkable happens.
To view the Aviation Business and Legislative Conference brochure or to register, visit www.nata.aero/ABLC.
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NATA Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program™ administrator Beacon Aviation Insurance Services will host a FREE webinar to review the specifics of the new NATA Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program™. The webinar will last approximately 30 minutes and will allow for a Q&A session at the end.
Our webinar discussion includes the following program information:
- Overview of Beacon Aviation Insurance Services (administrator)
- Overview of Companion P&C (carrier)
- How to get a quote
- Coverage overview
- How to get the best pricing
- Dividend Plan overview and Payout schedule
- Safety, loss control and claims management assistance
- Important dates to remember (30-60-90 days prior to your renewal)
Whether you have participated in the previous program or are interested in participating in the new program, you will learn about our new program and receive answers to your specific questions. It will also be helpful to those who just want more information about the program, to review expectations of cost-savings, to understand how the Dividend Plan functions, and to discuss value-added safety and loss control measures for cutting costs.
Speakers: John Cunningham, President; Bob McManus, Vice President; Dick Woodall, Director Sales & Marketing - Beacon Aviation Insurance Services
When: April 4, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Click here to register.
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|NATA Continues To Support Veterans Airlift Command
NATA is partnering with the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) for a third year to raise funds for their mission supporting combat wounded. The VAC is a charitable organization that provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans, and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes. In 2013, NATA will support the VAC at two major events, as well as through a special fund, NATA Wings for Warriors, which allows NATA members to donate time and money to the organization.
“Support for the VAC mission comes in several ways: volunteers providing aircraft and crews to fly the missions, FBOs providing “red carpet service” to our combat wounded VIP passengers as well as fuel discounts to our pilots, and direct financial contributions helping to sustain the flight coordination center,” said Veterans Airlift Command CEO and Founder Walt Fricke. “NATA members have provided assistance in all three ways and have been significant partners in this meaningful work. Follow a wounded warrior (especially one with prosthetics) on a commercial flight and you will know why your support is so important.”
Click here to read the full press release.
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|NATA Member Castle Aviation Volunteers For Veterans Airlift Command
On Wednesday, March 20, Castle Aviation President Michael Grossmann had the opportunity to personally fly a wounded warrior and his wife as a volunteer mission for the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC). Specialist Andrew Smith and his wife Tori were in Columbus, Ohio, speaking at a church about their experiences with Smith’s injuries. Grossmann transported the couple back to Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, in one of Castle’s Aerostars.
Smith was injured March 8, 2012, 18 days into his first tour to Afghanistan. He lost both legs and suffered severe injuries to his stomach and is currently being treated at Walter Reed. He has been fighting a battle with holes in his stomach and has been unable to eat for a few weeks. The VAC allowed them a chance to experience normalcy outside of the hospital for the first time in weeks.
Click here to find out how you can help the Veterans Airlift Command.
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|Workers' Compensation Insurance Program Fact Of The Week™
Should You As An Owner Be Included Or Excluded From Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage
It makes sense to cover owners involved in the day-to-day operations of a company for any on-the-job injuries. Most individual medical insurance plans require a co-pay or deductible, and it could cost a lot to cover an on-the-job injury. Some individual medical insurance plans could decline coverage due to the injury being caused by an on-the-job accident. Covering an owner or officer through Workers’ Compensation Insurance may be your best option. Workers’ Compensation Insurance normally covers the full cost of an on-the-job injury and may even supplement lost income.
Have your agent contact our Workers’ Compensation Insurance program administrator, Beacon Aviation Insurance Services, at www.beaconais.com/NATA for assistance with this or any of your other insurance needs.
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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
4226 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302