April 20, 2015 – Volume 14 Issue 16
NATA Aviation Business Conference Highlight – Buying and Selling Aviation Service Businesses
Mark Chambers, Managing Partner of Aviation Resource Group International, will lead a session titled “Buying & Selling Aviation Services Businesses” at NATA’s Aviation Business Conference in June. Topics covered in this valuable session include transactional trends from the past 15 years, business valuation metrics, and business owners as buyers and sellers. Join us June 15th-18th for the main event of the year for all aviation businesses.
NATA Calls for Congress to Enact Pro-Investment Policies as Part of Comprehensive Tax Reform
Responding to a request for views from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) on how to best stimulate aviation business investment, NATA President Tom Hendricks urged the Senate to “be bold and develop legislation that includes the full and immediate expensing of capital investments.” NATA has been one of the leading supporters of permanently extending bonus depreciation and Section 179 expensing for small businesses at a level of $500,000, however Hendricks suggested that an effort to overhaul the tax code provided an opportunity “to look beyond the immediate horizon and enact a tax policy that is truly forward looking and promotes investment.” Hendricks took firm exception to the Administration's proposal to lengthen the depreciation schedule for general aviation aircraft purchases saying, “The proposal demonstrates a continued lack of appreciation for the benefits of general aviation, a uniquely American industry with good-paying jobs.” He concluded that “the full and immediate expensing of capital investments will unleash this sector and cement this nation’s continued global dominance of the aviation industry.”
Senate Commerce Committee Opens Hearings on FAA Reauthorization, Hearings to Continue this Week
On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee began its hearings on FAA reauthorization legislation with an appearance before the committee by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Chairman Thune (R-SD) opened the hearings noting that, "If the U.S. is to remain at the forefront of aerospace manufacturing and innovation, the FAA must be able to review and approve new aircraft in a timely and effective manner. Cutting edge technologies, from fly-by-wire airliners to unmanned aircraft systems, need to get to market quickly with FAA’s gold standard safety certification." During Q&A, Senators sought Administrator Huerta's opinion about alternative management structures for the agency. Huerta, while open to the possibility, also struck a cautious note asking Senators to be clear about the problem to be solved and what the solution would look like. Huerta noted that "we need to ensure no unintended consequences by moving too quickly." The Administrator also responded to questions about the agency's use of organizational delegation authority (ODA) stating the ODA process "is getting better and will keep getting better." He acknowledged that while there is no bias against it at leadership levels of the agency, it is a cultural change that also must be addressed on the front lines. Hearings continue this week with a review of the agency's certification reform efforts on Tuesday and airport funding on Thursday.
NATA Introduces NATA Aviation Solutions – Individualized Operational and Regulatory Consulting Services
NATA is pleased to introduce NATA Aviation Solutions as the consulting arm of the association, providing individualized operational and regulatory consulting services. NATA Aviation Solutions utilizes a stable of well-known, professional subject matter experts to address local, tactical and strategic issues specifically related to individual businesses. Contact Megan Eisenstein at (800) 808-6282 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your specific issue, needs and goals. Click here for a list of services.
FAA Clarifies Single Pilot CVR Requirements
Last week, NATA was notified by the FAA Office of the Chief Counsel that a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) is not required in aircraft operated in accordance with §135.105 by a single pilot with an approved autopilot. The Chief Counsel was responding to an inquiry from NATA and others challenging an interpretation issued in October 2014 that stated a CVR was required in those single pilot aircraft which caused significant confusion and problems for many air charter operators. Read more.
Homeland Security Announces Additional U.S. Airport Security Enhancements
Today, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced additional security enhancements to address potential insider threat vulnerability at U.S. airports. The enhancements are a result of the recommendations the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) Airport Access Control Working Group identified in its report to the agency on April 8, 2015. John McGraw, NATA's Director of Regulatory Affairs, is a member of the ASAC working group and NATA President Tom Hendricks praised the Secretary’s action stating: “NATA commends Homeland Security Secretary Johnson and Acting TSA Administrator Carraway for developing this new policy to enhance security at the nation’s airports. Using a joint government-industry team greatly improved key stakeholder communications and ensured a clear path forward for rapid implementation.”
NATA Disappointed in East Hampton Decision to Impose Airport Restrictions
Last week, the East Hampton Town Board adopted laws that restrict night-time operations at East Hampton Airport (HTO). Beginning this summer, a curfew will take effect banning all flights between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. year round. Aircraft classified as “noisy” are banned from taking off or landing between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. year round. Finally, aircraft classified as “noisy” are allowed one takeoff and landing per week between May and September. NATA submitted comments on the negative impacts of these proposals on general aviation businesses on or operating into the field.
DOT Approves Electronic Drug & Alcohol Testing Form
The Department of Transportation authorized the use of an electronic Custody and Control Form (eCCF) by employers required to have federal drug and alcohol testing programs. The paper CCF and the eCCF are used to ensure that collected specimens are actually that of the tested employee. Use of the current paper CCF remains authorized and a switch to the eCCF is only permitted once the laboratory used is properly certified. The FAA published a document with additional information about the eCCF and the process to begin using the new electronic format.
NATA Participates in Airman Certification Standards Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ACS ARAC) Meeting
NATA’s regulatory affairs staff attended last week's ACS ARAC meeting. The ACS Working Group is responsible for the implementation of the ACS, which will replace the preceding Practical Test Standards (PTS) to reach a more systematic approach to airman certification. The committee reviewed and discussed the progress on standards, guidance, and testing. Additionally, the committee focused their attention on reports from the Commercial, ATP, Authorized Instructor and Prototype subgroups. The next ACS ARAC meeting is scheduled for June 23-24, 2015. For more information contact Megan Eisenstein at email@example.com.
NATA Maintenance Committee Members Participate in MRO Americas Conference
NATA’s Maintenance Committee attended the MRO Americas Conference last week in Miami. The continued trend of investments in the aerospace market was a highlight from the opening forecast session. ICF International Vice President Kevin Michaels stated, “You’re seeing [new] heavy maintenance facilities in the Americas, we’re going to see more widebody maintenance done in North America.” In addition, as labor costs become more competitive in China, it is predicted that more maintenance will be re-patriated back to the U.S. The conference’s IT Roundtable, held in a workgroup setting, produced an interesting discussion on how “big data,” or data that is generated by state of the art aircraft, and “predictive maintenance” can improve performance from maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies and suppliers. Finally, NATA Maintenance Committee liaison, Carol Giles, moderated the “Regs and Reality: The Status of FAA’s Plans for the Future” session on the latest developments in regulations.
Avfuel Announces Branding Partnership with Million Air Medford
Avfuel announces that Million Air Medford, a full-service location on the West ramp of the Medford-Jackson County International Airport in Medford, Oregon, has chosen Avfuel as their fuel supplier and branding partner. Read further.
Castle & Cooke Eyes International Traffic at Van Nuys
Fixed-based operator (FBO) Castle & Cooke continues to experience a pick-up in traffic from China at its Honolulu, Hawaii, facility, but the company is also hoping to capture more traffic at its base in Van Nuys with the opening of a new U.S. Customs office at the California airport, which is near Los Angeles. Read more.
New Million Air FBO Opens at Stennis on Gulf Coast
Freeman Holdings Group last night hosted a grand opening event for the latest addition to the Million Air FBO chain at Stennis International Airport in Mississippi. The new facility includes a 7,500-sq-ft FBO building; 25,000 sq ft of hangar accommodation; and more than 500,000 sq ft of ramp space. Read more.
2015 Aviation Business Conference - Housing Reservations Deadline is May 22nd!
The Air Charter Summit + Aviation Business & Legislative Conference
NATA is combining the best of the Air Charter Summit with the best of the Aviation Business & Legislative Conference into one industry-wide event – the NATA 2015 Aviation Business Conference. NATA’s new conference provides important advice, access and information to give your aviation business a competitive edge and to provide insights into what is happening in Washington that could impact your bottom line. One event also means more opportunities to catch up with your business associates. Register by clicking here.
Second Safety 1st Regional Advanced Line Service Workshop Takes Place in Teterboro
NATA Safety 1st is pleased to bring its unique mix of technical and service training to Teterboro, NJ on May 12-13, 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.
ACSF’s Russ Lawton will speak on “Using ASAP to Enhance Your SMS and Build a Positive Safety Culture” at the 2015 Business Aviation Safety Summit in Weston, FL on May 14th. Visit http://www.acsf.aero/ for more ACSF news.