November 25, 2013 – Volume 12 Issue 37
Potential Thanksgiving Delays
NATA members may face significant challenges with air traffic along the east coast over the Thanksgiving Holiday. There are several factors that will contribute to the delays, but the principal areas of concern are the ongoing construction of both the ramp and runway at Ft. Lauderdale airport (FLL) and the weather that is forecast for the week. There may also be reduced availability of the offload routes that are normally available off the east coast. Members are encouraged to file flight plans as early as possible so that the FAA can plan for the traffic load. The FAA’s Operational Information System National Airspace Status web page (http://www.fly.faa.gov/ois/) is a great resource on required routes and advisories.
Bipartisan Congressional Response to Sleep Apnea Testing for Pilots
In response to the FAA's recent announcement that would require sleep apnea testing for certain pilots with a neck size larger than 17" and a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40, the Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Rick Larsen (D-WA), and others introduced, H.R. 3578, requiring a public review and regulatory process before any FAA implementation could occur. With the lack of safety data and costs associated with this FAA plan, NATA supports the common sense approach outlined in the legislation. Click here to see legislation.
Government Run Health Care Roll Out & Senate Filibuster Reform Dominate Discussions
The botched roll out of the new government run health care plan continues to dominate the conversation in Washington. Also, for the first time in nearly a half a century, the Senate voted to change a procedural rule that took away the two-thirds vote requirement to end filibusters. Filibusters are used, most often by the minority party, as a delay or negotiating tactic. With this rule change, filibusters, for certain presidential nominations, can now be ended by a simple majority vote in the Senate. This action has helped to further the political divide in Congress.
Budget Negotiations Continue
House and Senate negotiators continue to work towards a narrow budget agreement that would keep the government funded past January 15th, thus avoiding another shutdown and possibly replacing sequestration with other targeted spending cuts. Congress has about 8 legislative days remaining on its schedule for 2013. The outlook for such an agreement is even at best, which is a pretty good prognosis given the current political climate.
FAA and Industry Collaborate on Air Carrier Training
The FAA invited NATA and other industry groups to attend an air carrier training roundtable at FAA headquarters last Thursday. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta opened the event by encouraging government and industry to work together to build on the FAA’s new rules on air carrier pilot training and qualifications. Following the meeting, the FAA announced that there will be a joint government and industry Air Carrier Steering Group established to evaluate and prioritize recommendations made by previous Aviation Rulemaking Committees (ARC) and to collaborate on air carrier training issues. NATA will be reaching out to members to participate as soon as the ARC is formed.
Colorado DOT Study Shows Aviation’s Contributions to State Increasing
Last month, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), along with the Colorado Aeronautics Division, released the 2013 Economic Impact Study for Colorado Airports. The study shows that airports across the state have pumped $36.7 billion into the state’s economy in 2013, an increase of $4.5 billion from 2008. Airports across Colorado were examined on all phases of spending and economic multipliers to determine economic impact, including employment, business development and capital investment across all aspects of the industry, including visitor spending, air cargo, tax revenues and off-airport employment. Click here to read a press release from CDOT on the study.
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 may view the latest notices, rules and proposed rules in a single source by clicking here.
Safety 1st Ground Auditor Workshop
NATA’s Safety 1st Ground Audit Standard allows for two levels of certification: a self-certification level and a third-party audit level. All candidates who meet the requirements to become an accredited auditor will need to be trained on the Ground Audit Standards by NATA. NATA will hold a Safety 1st Ground Auditor Workshop for those candidates January 13-14, 2014 in New Orleans, LA. Click here for more details.
2014 Aviation Business & Legislative Conference
Don’t miss D.C.’s premier aviation business and policy event designed to advance the priorities of aviation businesses across the board. The Aviation Business & Legislative Conference will take place March 2-5 at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center in National Harbor, MD. Conference topics include an FAA regulatory update, a legislative update, a Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) session, an aviation legal session, aviation business planning sessions and more. Mark your calendar to attend.
NATA to Hold Town Hall Meeting In Addison, TX
NATA will hold a Town Hall Meeting at Million Air at Addison Airport on December 11, 2013. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the event begins at 5:30 p.m. Email Rebecca Mulholland at email@example.com no later than Friday, December 6th to RSVP for this event.
NATA will be closed from Noon on November 27th through November 29th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.
Hendricks Honors Tuskegee Airmen at Aero Club LuncheonOn Thursday, November 21st, NATA President and CEO and Aero Club of Washington Board Member Thomas L. Hendricks, was present to honor the Tuskegee Airmen with the Club’s Donald D. Engen Aero Club Trophy for Aviation Excellence. Several original Tuskegee Airmen were in attendance to receive this prestigious award and discussed their history-changing experiences with the audience. Visit www.nata.aero to view a picture of Hendricks with the Tuskegee Airmen at the luncheon.
The 2014 Air Charter Safety Symposium will take place March 4-5. Symposium sponsors include: Signature Flight Support, Global Aerospace, SM4, Baldwin Aviation, Rudy's Inflight Catering, Sheltair, Aviation Services Network, Advanced Jets and NATA. Visit http://www.acsf.aero/symposium to register. Visit http://www.acsf.aero/ for more ACSF News.