April 7, 2014 – Volume 13 Issue 14
Hendricks to Participate on Panel at 2014 Aviation Week MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition
On Wednesday, April 9th, NATA President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks will participate on the “Inconsistencies of Regulatory Interpretation” panel at Aviation Week’s 2014 MRO Americas Conference and Exhibition in Phoenix, AZ. Mr. Hendricks will be joined by John Duncan, Director of Flight Standards Service for the Federal Aviation Administration and Jason Dickstein, General Counsel for the Aviation Suppliers Association. The panel will discuss the need for a more consistent, standardized interpretation of FAA regulations, ways to improve interpretation of regulatory requirements and approaches to improve communications between the government and certificate/approval holders. Click here for more information on the panel and the MRO Conference.
Senate Finance Committee Approves Two-Year Extension of Bonus Depreciation
Late last week the Senate Finance Committee approved the “Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act,” legislation that includes a provision extending 50 percent bonus depreciation to qualified property purchased and placed in service before January 1, 2016. In a recent letter to the congressional leadership, NATA was joined by other associations including NAM, the U.S. Chamber, and A4A in requesting the extension. NATA President and CEO Tom Hendricks praised the efforts of Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and the other members of the Finance Committee, noting that a two-year extension of bonus depreciation “encourages NATA member companies to make additional, immediate investments in the U.S. economy.” The legislation will next be considered by the full Senate.
Key House Committee Expresses Opposition to User Fees, Support for Contract Tower Program
On Thursday, the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee held a budget review hearing with the modal administrators of the Department of Transportation that included FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. The Chairman of the Subcommittee, Representative Tom Latham (R-IA), was critical of the administration’s proposed $100 per flight general aviation user fee noting such proposals had been “repeatedly rejected by Congress in the past and I expect the same will happen.” Administrator Huerta conceded that there is “a significant challenge” in enacting the proposal. In addition, a senior member of the Subcommittee, Representative Charles Dent (R-PA), discussed funding for the Contract Tower Program, noting the “widespread bipartisan support” for the program in Congress as well as its safety and cost-effectiveness record. Administrator Huerta responded that if Congress were to approve the proposed FY2015 funding level of $140m, the program would be in a good place in 2015.
Industry to Review FAA Sleep Apnea Guidance
The FAA sent draft guidance on sleep apnea for key industry medical representatives to review within 14 days. The draft guidance outlines the FAA’s policy of identifying and treating obstructive sleep apnea among pilots. Click here to read the outline of the draft guidance.
FAA to Begin Rulemaking on Third Class Medical Certificate
Last week the FAA announced that it will begin the rulemaking process to determine the viability of allowing pilots to substitute a valid drivers license in lieu of a third class medical certificate. Pilots would be limited to noncommercial VFR flight at an altitude up to 14,000 ft not to exceed 250 kts, in an aircraft weighing up to 6,000 lbs and carrying no more than 5 passengers. The decision for rulemaking was sparked by the introduction of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act that was introduced in December of 2013.