February 9, 2015 – Volume 14 Issue 6
FAA Submits Proposed FY2016 FAA Budget To Congress
Last week the Administration presented to Congress its FY2016 budget proposal that included nearly $16 billion for the FAA. Significantly, the Administration dropped a proposal included in previous budgets to impose a $100 per flight fee on general aviation aircraft. Unfortunately, the proposal would repeal depreciation rules designed to encourage the purchase of general aviation aircraft. In response to the proposal, NATA President Tom Hendricks stated: "NATA is pleased that the Administration recognizes the important mission of the FAA by proposing significant increases for FAA operations, system modernization and research; however it will be a heavy lift for the aviation industry. Among other things, the President’s overall discretionary budget proposal, including the FAA, is well above the caps required by law and these increases will face a very skeptical Congress. We also appreciate the Administration removing a proposal from previous budgets to impose user fees on general aviation activity. However, we will continue to vigorously oppose revising the tax treatment for the purchase of business aircraft." A detailed analysis of the FAA budget proposal is available to NATA members.
House To Consider Legislation To Encourage Small Business Investment
This Friday the House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation to retroactively and permanently extend from January 1, 2015, increased limitations on the amount of investment that small businesses can immediately deduct from taxable income. The legislation, H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015, would permanently extend to $500,000 (indexed for inflation) the annual cost of property eligible for expensing under section 179. The change would allow small businesses to deduct immediately from their taxable income larger amounts of investment instead of spreading those deductions out over time. The benefit of the immediate expensing would phase out for total qualifying investment in excess of $2 million, indexed for inflation. The legislation is authored by Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and approved by the House Ways and Means Committee last week. Similar legislation passed the House in 2014 but was not taken up by the Senate.
House Homeland Security Subcommittee Reviews Safety Control Measures at Nation’s Airports
On Tuesday, the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security reviewed access control measures at our nation’s airports following recent security breaches at airports in Atlanta and New York City. Subcommittee Chairman John Katko (R-NY) opened the hearing questioning whether current protocols for employee screening at secure areas is effective and encouraged discussion on ways to document and share employee background information across agency lines. The subcommittee heard testimony from TSA and the FBI as well as industry representatives from Airlines For America and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Following the hearing, Chairman Katko introduced two bills to enhance security measures at airports and to ensure funding is used wisely by the TSA. For more information on the hearing including opening statements and witness testimony, click here.
OSHA Updates Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Rule
As of January 1, 2015, businesses classified as Nonscheduled Air Transportation are partially exempt from OSHA requirements regarding injury and illness recordkeeping. According to OSHA’s website, employers in partially exempted industries “are not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, unless they are asked in writing to do so by OSHA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or a state agency operating under the authority of OSHA or the BLS. All employers, including those partially exempted by reason of company size or industry classification, must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.”
NATA Member of GAJSC Team Nominated for 2014 Collier Trophy
The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced seven nominees for the 2014 Robert J. Collier Trophy, including the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) on which NATA serves as a member. The GAJSC was nominated for their efforts in improving general aviation safety. NAA annually awards the Collier Trophy which embodies “the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.” The winner of the trophy will be announced on March 11th.
NATA Requests Meeting Regarding East Hampton Airport Noise Restrictions
Last week, NATA, NBAA and AOPA submitted a letter to the Town of East Hampton requesting a meeting to discuss noise restrictions and curfew being proposed for East Hampton Airport (HTO). The trade associations explained why it is important that HTO remain open and accessible, both for economic and practical reasons and that the airport’s benefits are not just local but also are an essential part of the national airspace system.
NATA Committees Meet in San Jose
The Air Charter, Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology, Airport Business and Safety 1st Committees convened in San Jose last week preceding the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference. The following are snapshots of what was covered at each meeting. Visit http://www.nata.aero/Committees.aspx for committee updates and resources.
Air Charter Committee
The Air Charter Committee discussed several issues at their meeting. The members reviewed current activities to address the IRS tax issues surrounding aircraft management services and offered suggestions on how possible legislation could be crafted to resolve the matter. Committee members were very concerned about the recent FAA proposal to impose slots on unscheduled operations at New York area airports and will work with staff to develop a formal response that will better reflect the needs of on-demand air charter carriers. During a joint meeting with the Airport Business Committee, the schedule for the 2015 NATA Conference was reviewed and members offered their input on possible session topics and speakers for the event. The Air Charter Committee members also welcomed David Rimmer, President of JFI Jets as their new chairman.
Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee
The Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee meeting was well attended and much was accomplished in a short time. Among the meeting highlights, Skip Madsen from Landmark Aviation was welcomed back to the committee and members selected the 2014 recipient of the NATA Industry Excellence Award Program’s General Aviation Service Technician Award. The committee also discussed the 2015 FAA Reauthorization Bill, implementation of the recommendations of the Consistency and Standardization Aviation Rulemaking Committee and finalized 2015 Performance Plan objectives in support of NATA’s Strategic Plan and Mission.
Airport Business Committee
The Airport Business Committee meeting discussed current and future initiatives to further the committee’s aggressive agenda. The committee worked with the Safety 1st Committee on an Environmental Compliance paper that will be rolled out to members later in 2015. Members reviewed nominations and selected the 2014 recipient of the NATA Industry Excellence Award Program’s Airport Executive Partnership Award. The Airport Business Committee reviewed the recently rolled out Project Outreach developed for members as well as non-members to provide resources for building key relationships and facilitating policy outreach. The committee also discussed beginning an Ambassador Program in 2015 encouraging members to reach out to others to join the growing ranks of NATA general aviation business members.
NATA Safety 1st Committee
The NATA Safety 1st Committee focused on its goals for 2015. The committee concluded it meeting with a preliminary adoption of the following three objectives for 2015: conduct a comprehensive review and update of the Safety 1st Aircraft Ground Service Online (AGSO); develop and implement a plan for revitalizing the PLST recurrent online training content; and identify and develop additional safety resources for the NATA membership. The committee also reviewed the new International Standard – Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) and began organizing comments to present to the IS-BAH Standards Board in May. NATA Safety 1st committee membership is open to all NATA member company employees with a strong background in safety or training. Individuals interested in participating should contact Michael France at email@example.com.
New Jersey State Aviation Conference Slated for May 1-2, 2015
The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition (MAAC) has announced that their annual New Jersey State Aviation Conference will be held May 1-2, 2015. Separated into two days, the conference will provide attendees with the opportunity to meet with New Jersey Department of Transportation officials in a symposium setting at Princeton University as well as participate in airport and Exhibit Hall tours at Morristown Airport (MMU). The two-day event “will weave together areas of interest for pilots, aviation enthusiasts, and future aviators of all ages,” according to an MAAC press release. For more information on the conference events, click here.
Million Air Adds Trio of FBOs to Network
Million Air made several announcements in conjunction with Freeman Holdings Group, the FBO chain’s largest franchisee. The new Million Air location at Mississippi’s Stennis International Airport in Bay St. Louis recently began operations. Due to open next month is another new Million Air facility at upstate New York’s Griffiss International Airport, where the company has been the sole FBO for the past six years. And in May, Freeman will be adding Los Angeles-area Riverside, Calif., to its portfolio of Million Air locations. Read further.
Hawaii FBO Veterans Purchase Air Service Hawaii
Keystone Holdings, a new company comprised of veterans of the Hawaiian private aviation scene, acquired the Air Service Hawaii group of FBOs in a sealed bid offering from Universal Weather and Aviation. Air Service Hawaii, which began as a crop dusting operation on the Hawaiian Islands shortly after World War II, now includes six locations in Honolulu, Hilo, Kahului, Kona, Lanai and Lihue. The FBO group will retain its branding and identity under its new ownership. Read more.
Denver jetCenter’s Jason Ponchetti Receives A Free FBO Success Seminar Registration
On Thursday, NATA held a drawing at the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference for one free registration to the upcoming NATA FBO Success Seminar. Jason Ponchetti, Vice President/General Manager of Denver jetCenter, was this year’s lucky recipient. The seminar takes place March 9-10, 2015 in Las Vegas. 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. Congratulations to Jason. To learn more about this seminar, click here.
Safety 1st Regional Advanced Line Service Workshop Takes Place In March
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 http://www.nata.aero/events.
The Air Charter Safety Foundation Safety 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 www.acsf.aero/symposium or call Bryan Burns at (888) 723-3135 to register.Visit http://www.acsf.aero/ for Air Charter Safety Foundation News.