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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                                                Volume 8 Issue 11

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.


Upcoming Events

Environmental Compliance Seminar - Windsor Locks, CT - May 11, 2009


Line Service Supervisor Training - Windsor Locks, CT - May 12, 2009


How To Build A More Successful FBO - Windsor Locks, CT - May 14, 2009


Air Charter Summit - Washington - Dulles - June 8, 2009


FBO Leadership Conference - Washington - Dulles - June 9, 2009


Professional Line Service Training 

PLST Online provides the most up-to-date training available for line service specialists – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Line service supervisors can conduct the new PLST Online training anytime and from anywhere there is access to the Web.   

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139 Fire Safety Training Online


This training not only meets and exceeds the requirements of 14 CFR 139.321 but also allows you to interact with other students in a group learning environment, receive the very latest NFPA news, watch live training presentations and much more.

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Pre-Employment Screening Exam


NATA is offering the first pre-employment screening exam specifically for line service technicians and FBO customer service specialists.

With predecessor exams already in use at more than 900 companies worldwide, NATA has adapted the most cost effective and revealing pre-employment testing and post employment testing available for FBO use.

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Safety 1st


Topics in this Volume:
Ø Members Encouraged To Register Today For May 13th Day On The Hill
Ø Coyne Letter Draws Praise From All Segments Of GA Industry; Many Consider Letter Sentiment As Correct Depiction Of Industry Angst
Ø Write Your Members Of Congress Today To Stress The Importance Of America’s Aviation Businesses
Ø President Obama Signs $410 Billion Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill
Ø Members Encouraged To Write Members Of Congress On LASP
Ø NATA’s Education Week Scores a Jackpot
Ø Lawton Named To SMS Rulemaking Committee
Ø Members Encouraged To Contact Their Congressional Officials On Lack Of FAA Standardization On Regulatory Interpretations
Ø Sponsor NATA’s Air Charter Summit And FBO Leadership Conference Today!
Ø NATA Weekly Survey
Ø Aviation's Effect On The Environment - Did You Know?


Operation Playbook Re-Launched / TSA Provides Talking Points & FAQs
Last week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) re-launched Operation Playbook. As NATA has reported previously, Operation Playbook, originally launched in late 2008 at commercial airports throughout the U.S., was an initiative wherein local TSA officials would include random security measures in their procedures, such as physical screening and searches of passengers and baggage. However, some local TSA officials incorporated these security measures at FBOs without any advance notice. TSA Headquarters staff stated that the intent for utilizing “Playbook” security measures was to enable local TSA and FBO officials to coordinate a time where both entities can prepare and execute enhanced security measures. Incidents at Nashville and other locations unfolded otherwise.

TSA HQ has now issued a new white paper addressing questions about Operation Playbook. Members are encouraged to review this white paper in preparation for potential Operation Playbook security measures at their airport. Please note that these security procedures are for commercial airports only.

NATA members who believe that TSA officials are not working in good faith while implementing Operational Playbook security measures should contact NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer immediately at Byer may also be reached directly at (703) 575-2043.

Members Encouraged To Register Today For May 13th Day On The Hill
NATA recently announced the association’s annual Day on the Hill event on May 13, 2009. Each year, NATA coordinates more than 200 visits for NATA member representatives to meet with their Members of Congress and staff to address a number of critical issues confronting America’s aviation businesses.

“This year’s Day on the Hill comes at a pivotal point in the general aviation industry’s storied history with the American economy in a recession and public’s perception that the use of corporate aircraft is a luxury,” stated NATA President James K. Coyne. “Our members are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this outstanding opportunity to meet with their Members of Congress and staff so they know directly how important this industry is to their district, state and the American economy.”

NATA members and guests are welcomed to participate in the 2009 NATA Day on the Hill. To view the agenda and complete the participation form for this event, please click here.

To view NATA’s 2009 Legislative Priorities, please click here.

“This annual event brings NATA members from across the country to meet with their Members of Congress to educate them on important issues their facing and to discuss legislation that will benefit them,” Coyne said.

“NATA looks forward to representatives from its member companies blanketing Capitol Hill to address the major issues facing aviation business this year,” Coyne said. “Aviation business are being affected by the state of our nation’s economy, but more so by public perception that general aviation is purely luxury travel.”

Coyne Letter Draws Praise From All Segments Of GA Industry; Many Consider Letter Sentiment As Correct Depiction Of Industry Angst
Recently, NATA President James K. Coyne sent a letter to President Obama about the benefits of personal aviation. The letter was sent by Coyne to address his growing concerns with comments made by the President, other White House officials and Members of Congress. The letter has received widespread support from all segments of the general aviation industry since it was sent on March 4th, with more than 14,000 individuals reading the email and counting!

Many press outlets and online blogs have covered the letter, including the following:

An excerpt from the Coyne letter follows:

Personal aviation is something very special - but the industry that makes this all possible is under attack and may soon face economic collapse. Tens of thousands of jobs have already been shed and the industry is in a tailspin. What threatens these world-class American businesses most of all, you ask? The statements and actions produced by the Administration and Congress since you were elected have been, I believe, unintentionally catastrophic.

To view Coyne’s letter in its entirety, please click here.

Write Your Members Of Congress Today To Stress The Importance Of America’s Aviation Businesses
Late last year, Congress held a series of hearings to determine whether the Big Three auto manufacturers, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, warranted federal assistance due to their companies’ financial struggles. During one hearing, Members of Congress blasted the three testifying CEOs for using private aircraft to travel to the hearing when asking Congress for billions of dollars in federal assistance. As a result, provisions were included in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate bills that would have required companies receiving federal funding to divest themselves of corporate aircraft. The legislation wasn’t passed in either chamber and the Bush administration released Troubled Asset Relief Act (TARP) funds from the U.S. Treasury to General Motors and Chrysler. The terms of this loan included provisions prohibiting the purchase or lease of private aircraft.

The recently passed $787 billion economic stimulus package and the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Act of 2008 were passed to aid the ailing economy while sustaining or creating jobs. The decision of lawmakers, advertently or inadvertently, to sever general aviation industry jobs because the Big Three automakers flew corporate aircraft to Washington, D.C. for committee hearings has become a problem for the industry. Public perception is that general aviation or business aircraft are strictly luxury assets -- contrary to the truth which is that general aviation plays a vital role in the health of the American economy. The general aviation industry must ban together to educate lawmakers and the public about the role it plays in our economy and remind them that we too are struggling amidst our nation’s ailing financial situation.

Please click here to contact your Members of Congress today to highlight the vast importance of the general aviation industry to the American economy!

President Obama Signs $410 Billion Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill
The U.S Senate approved a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill last Tuesday, almost 6 month after the start of the fiscal year, which President Obama signed into law less than 24 hours later. The spending bill includes an increase in funding by $32 billion, or 8 percent over fiscal year 2008. The U.S. Department of Transportation will receive $71.5 billion in budgetary resources, which includes $15.5 for the FAA. Republicans and some Democrats opposed the package because President Obama recently signed into law a $788 billion economic stimulus bill, which provided funding for many of the same agencies that would get money under the omnibus.

Members Encouraged To Write Members Of Congress On LASP
Recently, NATA submitted its comments on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) proposed rule. Unveiled by the TSA in October 2008, the LASP rule would govern operations for all aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds and require operators of those aircraft to implement an approved security program. The LASP proposal would, for the first time ever, require security programs for thousands of privately operated general aviation aircraft and would ultimately seek to combine a number of security programs currently in place for general aviation, including the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program, into a single, uniform program.

The deadline for submitting comments to the TSA regarding the LASP proposed rule was February 27, 2009. NATA and many of its member companies submitted comments on the specific reasons why the proposed mandatory security program for general aviation should not be imposed. NATA Members are now encouraged to contact their Members of Congress and request that they send a letter to the TSA urging that the LASP proposed rule be withdrawn.

To learn more about sending letters to your Members of Congress via the NATA Legislative Action Center, please click here.

To view the association’s comments on the LASP, please click here.

To view the association’s LASP Resource Page, please click here.

NATA’s Education Week Scores a Jackpot
NATA’s Education Week seminars and workshops were well attended last week and drew many enthusiastic comments from participants. Energetic, awesome, interesting, engaging, enjoyable, useful, realistic, applicable were just some of the adjectives used to describe the training. Attendees particularly enjoyed the new LSST format and the 2009 speaker lineup. We would like to recognize and thank the following seminar/workshop sponsors: McBreen & Kopco, ServiceElements, Ascent Aviation Products, and Western Petroleum Company.

Stephen Hopson, the first deaf instrument-rated pilot, delivered his uplifting and inspirational story to a full house. Stephen is a past recipient of one of NATF’s scholarships, which helped fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. His enthusiastic message to the audience was: Despite overwhelming odds, you too can achieve your dreams. We thank Sensear for their sponsorship of this presentation.

NATA held its Annual Meeting of Members, Wednesday, March 11th. We welcome the following directors to the NATA Board of Directors:

Todd Duncan, Chairman
Duncan Aviation
Lincoln, NE
Kenneth C. Forester, President
Meridian - Teterboro
Teterboro, NJ
Mark Willey, Chief Executive Officer
Bridgeford Flying Service
Napa, CA

NATA also co-hosted a reception for all attendees/exhibitors on opening day, attracting hundreds to our booth, and held several drawings for free PLST Online training over the three days of the Expo. Congratulations to the following winners of free PLST Online training:

  • Jeremy Sobolik, Fargo Jet Center
  • Steven Levesque, Hawthorne Corp.
  • Greg Cash, Air 51

Visit the event calendar at to view and register for upcoming seminars, workshops and events such as the June Air Charter Summit and FBO Leadership Conference.

Lawton Named To SMS Rulemaking Committee
The FAA has initiated the process that is likely to lead to mandatory implementation of Safety Management Systems by air carriers and others. Russ Lawton, director of safety management for both NATA and the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) has been selected to serve on the newly formed rulemaking committee tasked with developing the SMS regulatory framework.

It is expected that the FAA will publish an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking input on how best to craft a regulation to require certificate holders to implement SMS programs before mid-year. The Aviation Rulemaking Committee for SMS is expected to review comments it has received as it considers developing recommendations for an SMS NPRM and would then review comments to the NPRM prior to the issuance of any final rule. Unless further extended, the SMS ARC is chartered through February 2012.

Lawton’s extensive experience most recently includes his leadership role in the development of the ACSF Industry Audit Standard and his ongoing participation in the FAA/Industry SMS Focus Group. The Focus Group includes various operators and safety experts who work with the FAA to further the adoption of SMS in the aviation industry. He has also been instrumental in the development of SMS offerings for the NATA Safety 1st program.

Those interesting in initiating an SMS program can find more information at the following sites:

NATA Safety 1st

ACSF SMS Resource Page

Members Encouraged To Contact Their Congressional Officials On Lack Of FAA Standardization On Regulatory Interpretations
One of the biggest burdens confronting the general aviation industry is the varying interpretation of FAA regulations by the agency's Regional, Aircraft Certification (ACOs) and Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs). Currently, there are 9 FAA regions, 10 ACOs and more than 80 FSDOs that each issue approvals on a wide range of maintenance and operational requests made by regulated entities. These regulated entities include Part 135 on-demand charter operators, Part 145 repair stations, and Part 61 and 141 flight training facilities.

Affected regulated entities continue to be challenged by regulatory interpretations that regularly vary from one inspector within one FSDO or ACO, to another. These varying interpretations of how to achieve or demonstrate compliance with FAA regulations (FARs) are estimated to cost general aviation businesses hundreds of millions of dollars annually when previously approved actions are subject to "re-interpretation."

Inconsistent and varying interpretations of FARs are not only costly for the industry, they also demonstrate a shortcoming in the FAA's ability to coordinate its workforce and ensure that the decision-making abilities vested in inspectors are respected across all divisions of the agency, impairing efforts to achieve a uniform safety standard nationwide.

To eliminate the unnecessary and costly regulatory re-interpretation process that currently exists between FAA field offices, NATA recommends the following action:

Sponsor NATA’s Air Charter Summit And FBO Leadership Conference Today!
The NATA Air Charter Summit and FBO Leadership Conference will take place June 8-11, 2009, at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles in Chantilly, VA. Members interested in sponsoring either of these events may do so by reviewing the links below:

To sponsor the Air Charter Summit, please click here.

To sponsor the FBO Leadership Conference, please click here.

For more information, please contact Diane Gleason.

NATA Weekly Survey
Should the Transportation Security Administration withdraw a recent Security Directive requiring employees of airport tenants who have access to the AOA at commercial airports to undergo a Security Threat Assessment?

Participate in survey.

Aviation's Effect On The Environment - Did You Know?
NATA’s quick facts on the aviation industry's effect on the environment are designed to ensure that members take every step necessary to minimize the effect aviation has on the environment while recognizing the initiatives the industry has taken to reduce global warming.

On March 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first comprehensive national system for reporting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by major sources in the United States.

To view the entire press release on this subject, please click here.

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National Air Transportation Association
4226 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-8176

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