September 29, 2014 – Volume 13 Issue 39
NATA Asks City of Houston to Amend Proposed Lease Agreement at Houston Hobby
NATA expressed its opposition to the approval of a lease granting a new entrant fixed base operator status at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). In a letter sent Friday to the City of Houston’s Mayor and City Council, the association urged the Council to amend the lease to create a level playing field among all FBOs at HOU. The proposed lease is scheduled for consideration by the City Council on September 30th (Agenda Item 24).
In writing to the Council, NATA President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks proposed amending the lease to accelerate the amount and tempo of investment made by the proposed new entrant and clarify that at least one new hanger be designated for the exclusive use of third party customers. Hendricks observed that absent such language, the City of Houston “will be creating an unequal level of competition among FBOs at the airport, a clear violation of FAA grant assurances.” In July, NATA had written the City recommending that before adding a new FBO at Hobby it should develop airport minimum standards. Read more.
NATA Safety 1st Launches Resources for Aircraft Operators
Adding to its array of industry-leading safety programs, the National Air Transportation Association’s Safety 1st Program announces the launch of RA Check and Self-Fueling & Ramp Safety Training. “We are very excited to expand NATA’s Safety 1st program with the launch of these exciting, newly integrated programs featuring RA Check and the Self-Fueling & Ramp Safety,” said NATA President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks. “Our mission is to empower our members to be safe and successful and we believe these programs well help aircraft operators achieve those goals.” For more information on RA Check or the Self-Fueling & Ramp Safety Training program visit http://www.nata.aero/safety1st.
FAA Expands Check Pilot Authority
Part 135 Check Pilots have the opportunity to perform additional functions under new guidance issued by the FAA. Notice N8900.270, Part 135 Check Pilot (Check Airman) Functions, explains that a check pilot may, with proper training and approval, provide portions of pilot initial and recurrent checks even though that check pilot does not hold the same type rating as the pilot being checked.
These additional functions must be specifically authorized by the carrier’s Principal Operations Inspector (POI). POIs will review the operator’s check pilot training program to ensure adequate education and oversight of check pilots who will provide checks to pilots for aircraft in which they do not hold a type rating. Operators wishing to have these additional functions available to their check pilots should carefully review Notice N8900.270 and contact their POI to initiate the approval process.
Lawmakers React to DOT IG Assessment of ADS-B
Last week, aviation leaders in Congress responded to a recent DOT IG report on ADS-B that among other things concluded, “the final cost and timeline needed to fully implement ADS-B -- and achieve the extent of its benefits -- remain uncertain.” In a joint statement, House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and its Aviation Subcommittee Chairman, Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) stated, “Now with the Department of Transportation Inspector General’s report on the FAA’s inability to effectively deploy a significant component of NextGen nationwide, Congress must thoroughly reexamine whether the FAA’s organizational structure will allow the agency to successfully execute new technology programs safely and cost-effectively in the decades ahead.” NATA will be participating in an FAA “ADS-B Call To Action” on October 28th.
2014 Fall Committee Meetings Wrap Up
Four of NATA’s committees met in Savannah on September 15th and 16th. The following updates were provided by each committee liaison:
Air Charter Committee
The Air Charter Committee meeting included discussion of several key issues for operators. During the meeting, progress on the association’s efforts to prevent the application of federal commercial excise taxes for aircraft management services was discussed as well as a review of work conducted by members participating on the FAA’s Air Carrier Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee. Members had the opportunity to coordinate with the Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee and the Airport Business Committee on issues of importance to charter operators, including the evaluation of events and programs for the air charter community.
Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee
The Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee reviewed and commented on a petition developed by NATA and other industry associations to correct the new repair station rule issued on August 12th. The amendment includes the improper removal of the word “serious” from a paragraph requiring repair stations to report a failure, malfunction or defect of an article to the agency within 96 hours. The Committee also discussed the frequency of audits of repair stations by commercial Part 135 operators. Depending on the circumstances, a medium size repair station may easily have 15-25 audits a year, from 135 operators as well as the FAA, and other vendors. The committee discussed developing a concept similar to NATA’s ground audit standard or options that would allow operators to share audit information and receive credit through the process of sharing audit results.
Airport Business Committee
NATA’s Airport Business Committee met in Savannah with nearly 20 members, guests and staff in attendance. The committee worked on finalizing member resources such as the Project Outreach initiative, How Many Airport Businesses are Enough white paper and Environmental Compliance guidance. Chairwoman Andi Montgomery of Montgomery Aviation led the group’s activities and members elected a new Vice Chairman – Robb Bergeson with Edwards Jet Center.
Safety 1st Committee
The NATA Safety 1st Committee discussed a number of issues impacting the safety of operations for aviation businesses. Misfueling prevention was one of the leading topics reviewed. The committee began development of tools and resources that can be used by NATA member companies to educate their teams on the dangers of and steps to preventing aircraft misfueling. The Safety 1st Committee also had the opportunity to meet with Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH Program Director for the International Business Aviation Council and discuss the role IS-BAH will play in increasing SMS implementation across our industry.
Aviation Business Roundtable Highlight: Perspectives on the Potential for Corporate Tax Reform in the 114th Congress
NATA welcomes Jon Traub, managing principal of the Tax Policy Group of Deloitte Tax LLP’s Washington National Tax Group, to the Aviation Business Roundtable speaker lineup. Jon leads a team that identifies, evaluates and monitors legislative proposals and interprets the practical issues surrounding the application of tax proposals on behalf of Deloitte’s clients. Previously Jon served as staff director for the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives. During his tenure as Staff Director, Jon was responsible for developing legislative policies and strategy on issues in the Committee’s jurisdiction, including taxes, healthcare and trade. Jon will share his perspectives on the potential for corporate tax reform.
NATA’s Aviation Business Roundtable assembles business executives from all segments of the aviation community and provides a unique opportunity to discuss important and relevant issues with key government officials and other top industry leaders. The Roundtable will begin Wednesday, November 5th, at noon with a luncheon and conclude Thursday, November 6th, at noon. Registration for this event is $2,000 and is extended to senior level executives. Please contact Rebecca Mulholland, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 647-6407, to register for the Aviation Business Roundtable or if you have questions.
Mark Your Calendar for Winter Committee Meetings
NATA’s Winter Committee Meetings are scheduled for February 2, 2015. The meetings will precede the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in San Jose, CA. More details to follow.
ABJ Q3 Now Available in Digital Format
The third quarter Aviation Business Journal is now available for download. The printed edition will arrive by mail in the next few weeks and will also be available at NBAA’s annual convention in Orlando. In addition to the 2014 Buyers’ Guide, this expanded issue features articles on the new IS-BAH, networks and 20 groups, engaging employees, the importance of hearing protection on the line, limiting FBO liability, excise taxes and more! As always, NATA appreciates the support of our members and advertisers.
New Mexico Governor Continues to Advocate for Aviation with Proclamation
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed a proclamation declaring September 2014 as “New Mexico Aviation Appreciation Month.” The proclamation highlights aviation’s contributions to the businesses, communities, job and economic growth, and competitiveness for New Mexico and its citizens. Earlier this year, Governor Martinez, an advocate for aviation, signed into law legislation that eliminated the sales tax on the purchase of aircraft in the state over 10,000 pounds. “The aviation industry is an integral part of New Mexico’s economy” Governor Martinez stated in a press release. “But we can do better to develop it, expand it and create more jobs for New Mexicans,” the Governor said, adding that signing the bill is a start to ensuring that the state remains competitive in the industry with neighboring states.
NATF Announces Scholarship Recipient
The National Air Transportation Foundation (NATF) is proud to name Evan Austin Reese, a freshman at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, as its 2014 Navigate Your Future Scholarship recipient. The scholarship assists rising professionals in continuing their education in aviation-related fields. Reese is a graduate of Rolling Meadows High School and carries a GPA of over 4.00. He is an AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. Evan looks forward to higher education propelling him to a very bright future in the aviation community.
Sheltair Offers Specials for NBAA2014
For this year’s National Business Aviation Association convention (NBAA2014), Sheltair Aviation’s FBO at Orlando Executive Airport will provide special offerings, including continuous free shuttles between Sheltair ORL and the NBAA static display of aircraft, buses to and from the static display to the Orange County Convention Center, and daily barbecues at the Sheltair facility. Click here to read more.
Save the date for next year’s Air Charter Safety Foundation Safety Symposium. The symposium is scheduled for March 10-11, 2015. Visit http://www.acsf.aero/ for Air Charter Safety Foundation News.