January 12, 2015 – Volume 14 Issue 2
NATA Announces A New Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program
NATA today announced a new Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program that rewards safety by making it possible for participating members to enjoy an annual return on insurance payments whenever annual premiums collected for the program exceed the administrative and claims costs for an individual year.
The program is administered by AirSure Limited, one of the world’s largest providers of insurance brokerage services for the aviation industry. AirSure Limited created the first NATA Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program™ and served as its original administrator for more than 30 years. During that time, financial returns to participating members (called Good Experience Returns) averaged 19.3%.
NATA will contact its membership in the coming weeks to answer questions and provide additional information on the new program, including how to immediately qualify and participate. If you have any questions, please contact Anne Salemmo, Program Administrator of AirSure Ltd. at firstname.lastname@example.org or (321) 751-3197, or Tim Obitts, Senior Vice President for Business Development, Membership & General Counsel of NATA at email@example.com or (202) 774-1504.
Schumer Calls for Extending Airport Screening to All Airport Employees
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is urging the TSA to require physical screening of all airport employees before entering secure airport areas. The request comes after a gun-running operation was exposed in which a baggage handler, one of many ground-based airport employees not required to go through physical security screenings, helped to smuggle guns onto flights from Atlanta to New York City. In a letter to TSA Acting Administrator Melvin Carraway, Schumer cited a “gaping loophole” in airport security that must be immediately addressed to ensure safety among the traveling public. A joint press release from Schumer and Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson was released Wednesday emphasizing the need for everyone, from pilots and flight crew to maintenance and post-security checkpoint employees, to be screened “in order to identify and remove offending employees” before a threat is realized. Schumer noted the possibility of introducing legislation on the issue.
No Modifications to Texas Aircraft and Equipment Tax Rules
NATA has been working with other national aviation organizations to protest the adoption of new damaging sales and use tax rules in Texas that had been on the desk of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs to file. By year-end 2014, Combs had failed to submit rules that, if implemented, would have nearly doubled the tax burden on aircraft and other equipment owned and leased in Texas. Enactment of these taxes would hinder fair competition with neighboring states that do not have a sales and use tax on aircraft and equipment. NATA will continue to work with business aviation advocates to ensure that the proposed rules do not see executive action. Read NATA’s letter to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.
NATA’s Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee Meets with FAA
On January 6th, members from NATA’s Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee began the New Year in D.C. with a tour of NATA’s new office and a meeting with Dorenda Baker, the FAA’s Director of Aircraft Certification Service at FAA’s headquarters. In the meeting, the group discussed the improvements that the Aircraft Certification Service has implemented over the last year regarding consistency of application of policy and their continued work with EASA and other authorities to harmonize certification requirements. NATA has always been a friend of the Aircraft Certification Service and discussed with Ms. Baker our experience and capability to help with projects or committees. It was a very positive meeting and one of the many actions the committee takes to work with the FAA.
Regulation Requiring SMS for Part 121 Carriers Finalized
Last week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a final rule requiring air carriers operating under Part 121 to implement Safety Management Systems (SMS). Although many carriers, including Part 135 on-demand operators, have voluntarily adopted SMS programs, the new rule is the first time the FAA has mandated their use by air carriers. Under the rules, Part 121 carriers are required to submit an implementation plan to the FAA within six months and have an SMS program in place by 2018. SMS requirements are expected to expand to Part 135 operators at some point, however rulemaking has not yet been initiated. Click here to download the final rule.
Register for the Safety 1st Certified Trainer Program by January 23rd
NATA Safety 1st launched the Safety 1st Certified Trainer Program (CTP) this month. The CTP is comprised of six instructor-led, online classes that provide the foundational knowledge and skills required to be an effective trainer. These classes are approximately an hour and a half in length and occur over a three month period.
As an instructor-led, online course, the CTP saves participants time away from work and the cost of travel typically associated with in-person seminars and training classes. The course is derived from basic learning and on-the-job training theory and includes practical implementation strategies that allow attendees to have an immediate positive impact on training and morale.
Registration for the Safety 1st CTP is open until January 23rd, with the first class scheduled for January 28th. Registration is $650 for NATA members. For more information and to register, visit www.nata.aero/events.
NATA to Hold Two Events in Las Vegas this March
NATA’s FBO Success Seminar takes place March 9-10, 2015 in Las Vegas. The NATA FBO Success Seminar is for FBO owners, operators, general managers, new managers, finance personnel and other key FBO employees who are interested in building a more successful FBO. This popular industry seminar, now in its sixth year, will offer attendees new FBO management techniques, essential operational and service knowledge, and a networking forum for sharing experiences and best practices. The FBO Success Seminar will be held in conjunction with the GSE Expo Worldwide and attendees will receive a complimentary registration to attend the Expo. In addition, attendees will also receive a free copy of the new book, FBO Survival. 10 Tips to Keep Your Operation Lean, Mean & Profitable – a $49.95 value. Register today!
NATA Safety 1st is pleased to bring its unique mix of technical and service training to Las Vegas on March 11-12, 2015. The Safety 1st Regional Advanced Line Service Workshop is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed to make your line service team succeed and become new leaders within your company. Register now! Additional dates and locations for this workshop are available at www.nata.aero/events.
NATA Petitions the FAA for Rulemaking Regarding a Repair Station’s Ability to Voluntarily Surrender Its Certificate
On January 9th, NATA signed a petition, along with a coalition of aviation trade associations, that asked the FAA to remove the words “and the FAA accepts it for cancellation,” from sections 145.55(a) and (b); the phrase was added by a final rule effective November 10, 2014.
The new phrase in the regulation is a result of a NTSB safety recommendation that stated, in circumstances where allegations can provide grounds for revocation of an air carrier, operating, or repair station certificate, and the certificate is surrendered prior to the completion of the enforcement investigation, “the FAA should nonetheless complete the investigation to the extent necessary to document all available facts relating to the fitness of the involved individuals.”
By adding the new phrase in § 145.55, the FAA removed the ability of a repair station to surrender its certificate without agency approval and affirmative action. This change ignores the longstanding practice urging surrender of certificates that are in the process of being revoked to prevent further potential unsafe practices. Currently in the regulations, there is no equivalent requirement for acceptance of surrender implemented for mechanic, pilot, other air agency, air carrier or operator certificates. Read more at §§ 61.27, 63.15, 65.15, and 119.61.
In the petition, the coalition recommended the FAA consider a direct final rule making process that would delete the added phrase and return § 145.55 back to the original language prior to the new rule change.
As always, NATA will keep its members updated on the status of the petition along with any proposed FAA action.
Timothy R. Obitts Joins NATA’s Staff
The newest addition to the NATA staff is Timothy R. Obitts as Senior Vice President of Business Development, Membership & General Counsel. Tim leads NATA’s development of benefits and products to assist you in better serving your customers. He also acts as the association’s General Counsel. Tim’s past entrepreneurial experience in starting and operating businesses, coupled with his time as a managing partner of a D.C. law firm that specialized in the representation of nonprofits, including trade associations, is an important asset in NATA’s efforts to provide you with additional value. Read more.
NATA’s France and Mulholland Speak Before UAA Seminar Attendees
On Thursday, January 8th, Mike France, Director of Safety and Training, and Rebecca Mulholland, Manager of Legislative Affairs, addressed students attending the University Aviation Association’s Seminar on Establishing Aviation Policy. Annually, students from UAA’s member institutions visit the nation’s capital and learn how industry associations, government agencies and Congressional staff interact in establishing aviation policy. Mulholland emphasized the importance of developing relationships with incoming Members and their staff while staying connected with incumbent Members and their offices from across the aisle to ensure consensus on the pressing issues of aviation businesses and the legislation that affects their operations. France covered NATA’s Safety 1st Program and other issues pertinent to the industry, such as SMS and safety standards.
Nominations Deadline Extended for 2014 NATA Industry Excellence Awards
NATA is accepting nominations for its awards acknowledging the individuals, offices, and organizations demonstrating excellence in their field and the highest level of customer service to the general aviation community by January 23, 2015. Each year, NATA presents seven awards to the exceptional individuals and companies that have helped to improve the general aviation community.
The recipients of five of these awards are chosen based upon NATA member-submitted nominations and include the following categories:
• Airport Executive Partnership Award
• Excellence In Pilot Training Award
• FAA Service Excellence Award
• ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award
• New this year: The Safety 1st Certified Line Service Professional Award recognizes the achievements of certified line service professionals on an annual basis thereby raising awareness of the positive impact that they have on safety, service and business success.
All nominations for these awards must be received by NATA no later than January 23, 2015. The nomination form is available by clicking here. Members may also obtain a nomination form by calling the NATA headquarters at 800-808-6282 or by e-mailing Elizabeth Nicholson. The awards will be presented during the NATA Industry Excellence Awards presentation lunch in June 2015.
Registration is now open for the Air Charter Safety Foundation Safety Symposium. The symposium is scheduled for March 10-11, 2015. This year’s theme is “How do you know you’re safe?” ACSF also announced the dates for its ACSF Auditor Workshop (March 11-12, 2015, immediately following the symposium). Visit http://www.acsf.aero/ for Air Charter Safety Foundation News.