September 22, 2014 – Volume 13 Issue 38
Congress Approves Legislation Avoiding a Government Shutdown
Late last week Congress adjourned to begin campaigning in advance of the mid-term elections. Before leaving Washington, Congress approved legislation to fund the government through December 11th. The legislation also contained other provisions including one to arm and train rebels in Syria, additional funding to fight the Ebola epidemic and a nine month extension of the Export-Import Bank. For the FAA it means funding – for the moment at least – below the increased levels recommended for FY2015 by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Congress will return in mid-November for a "lame duck" session. The duration and issues which will be considered during the lame duck will turn on the results of the general election – particularly the battle for control of the Senate.
NATA Supports Petition to Correct Error in Rulemaking on 14 CFR section 145.221
Today, NATA joined other industry groups, including AIA, AEA, ARSA, A4A, NACA and GAMA, in petitioning the FAA to make a correction to the Final Repair Station rule issued August 14, 2014. While the FAA accepted all of NATA’s recommendations during the comment phase, the final rule deleted the word "serious" in section 145.221 addressing the reporting of service difficulties. NATA and the other petitioners requested reinsertion of the word, arguing otherwise repair stations would be required to report any defect regardless of criticality. Read more.
NTSB Study Highlights Importance of Knowing Medication Impact
The NTSB recently adopted a study on the prevalence of drug use by pilots involved in aircraft accidents. The study found an upward trend in the use of potentially impairing medications and illicit drugs. Although the study did not conclude the use of the medications or illicit drugs were causal to the accidents reviewed, it should serve as a reminder to pilots and others in the aviation environment to consider the possible impact a prescription or over-the-counter medication could have on their performance.
For example, the most common impairing drug seen in the study was a sedating antihistamine (diphenhydramine) found in many cold and allergy medications. As a result, the NTSB issued a related safety alert urging pilots to consult medical professionals to learn about the potentially impairing impact of any drug prior to flying while under the influence of that medication. The complete report will be available in several weeks. An abstract is available here.
NATA Joins Industry Effort to Protect Integrity of AIP Grant Assurances Process
Last week, NATA joined AOPA, GAMA and NBAA on a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee concerning proposed legislation to release the St. Clair Regional Airport, in St. Clair, MO, from its grant assurances. The letter points out there is already a process established by statute for the closure of airports that have received federal funding and requests the established FAA process move forward with a decision on St. Clair. Read letter.
NATA Welcomes Megan Eisenstein to its Government and Industry Relations Team
NATA is pleased to announce that Megan Eisenstein accepted the position of Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs effective September 8, 2014. She reports directly to John McGraw, Director Regulatory Affairs. Megan is responsible for monitoring executive branch agency activities, analyzing and drafting responses to regulatory proposals, and representing the association on government and industry working groups. She also serves as NATA staff liaison to the Flight Training Committee.
Prior to accepting this position, Megan worked for a Part 135 air charter operator in a charter sales capacity where she was responsible for worldwide charter sales of super-mid and heavy jet aircraft. She also worked for an international aviation consulting firm where she was responsible for the administration and management of the firm’s aviation safety auditing programs for Part 121 and Part 135 operations. Megan graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Geography and has a Master of Business Administration degree in Aviation Management from Dowling College. She is a Private Pilot working toward her Instrument Rating.