June 29, 2015 – Volume 14 Issue 26
Opposition Grows to Corporatizing FAA Air Traffic; Draft Legislation to be Released this Week
The announcement by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) Chairman Bill Shuster at NATA's Aviation Business Conference that the committee's draft FAA reauthorization will seek to establish a user-fee funded air traffic control corporation is drawing opposition from across the aviation spectrum. The draft legislation is expected to be released between now and July 3rd. As conference participants learned from T&I Ranking Member Peter DeFazio and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Rick Larsen, there will be a hearing on the bill on July 8th and committee action July 9th. NATA's President and CEO Tom Hendricks has been long concerned about this approach telling lawmakers, "NATA cannot support any de facto “leap of faith” proposals that would put general aviation’s fate in the hands of undefined management structures or leave unresolved its contribution to the system."
Others are now adding their voices. Delta Airlines recently stated "that uprooting the current system would result in organizational disruption, silos between the organizations, unforeseen transition costs, a loss of experts and institutional knowledge and an ATC operation that is separate from the safety oversight of the FAA." In a June 17th meeting with Chairman Shuster, AOPA President Mark Baker reiterated AOPA’s long-held position that user fees on GA are not acceptable and that the current system of fuel taxes is an efficient and fair way to fund the FAA. In a letter last week to the T&I Committee, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told lawmakers on behalf of its FAA employee members that separating the air traffic function from the FAA will not solve the agency's funding problems nor further its modernization efforts. Late last week, NBAA President Ed Bolen issued a related member alert. Full details about the proposal and steps NATA members can take to be heard on this issue will be posted on NATA's website during the week.
Senate Committee Sets FAA Funding Levels for FY2016
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation that includes funding levels for the FAA for FY2016 that begins on October 1st. The bill proposes $16 billion for the agency, $294 million above current levels and $175 million above the Administration request. The bill also contains NATA supported funding levels for the Contract Tower program and Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative. In addition, the Committee expressed its opposition to establishing a separate air traffic control corporation noting, "The Committee believes that splintering the FAA and exempting certain lines of business from the appropriations process would limit congressional oversight, reduce air traffic services for small communities, restrict opportunities for public input and negatively impact the cost of air traffic for the consumer."
Senators Roberts and Stabenow Introduce Depreciation Legislation
Last week, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced legislation to encourage investments and economic growth by making permanent a fifty percent depreciation bonus on new equipment and property purchases. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) joined as original cosponsors. The bill is companion legislation to the NATA supported bill H.R. 2510 introduced in the House by Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH). NATA recently joined 17 other associations including the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber, and GAMA in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee asking for its immediate consideration. Also this week Senator Stabenow (D-MI) introduced legislation extending bonus depreciation for an additional two years.
NATA SafetyNet Blog
Read the latest SafetyNet Blog post, “Refueling Discipline,” submitted by NATA’s Safety 1st Program Manager Elizabeth Nicholson.
Governors from Seven States Acknowledge Importance of General Aviation – Encourage Stable Funding for Industry
Governors from Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming signed proclamations declaring June 2015 as General Aviation Appreciation Month. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval noted the importance of funding for general aviation, stating “Nevada and our nation’s aviation infrastructure represent an important public benefit, and Congressional oversight should be in place to ensure stable funding of this system.” Idaho Governor Butch Otter echoed Governor Sandoval’s statement, stating that general aviation’s contributions are “worthy of” steady funding streams.
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, testing, and processes. Additionally, the committee focused their attention on reports from the Prototype, Private, and Authorized Instructor subgroups. The next ACS ARAC meeting is scheduled for September 15-16, 2015. For more information please contact Megan Eisenstein at email@example.com.
FAA Releases NPRM on Aviation Training Device Credit for Pilot Certification
On June 16th, the FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) stating “A person would be permitted to credit a maximum of 20 hours of instrument time in an approved ATD toward the requirements for an instrument rating. Devices that qualify as AATDs would be authorized for up to 20 hours of instrument time.” Earlier this year, the FAA announced it was withdrawing a direct final rule published on December 3, 2014 regarding aviation training devices due to two comments submitted which were against the ruling. All comments are due on or before July 16, 2015. Further information on the NPRM can be found in the Federal Register.
NATA Staff Attend Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) Conference
Last week, NATA staff attended an ALPA conference titled Airline Pilot Shortage? Myths, Facts, and Solutions. The conference brought together airlines, educators, professional pilots, aircraft manufacturers, regulators and associations to discuss ways to attract young people to join the aviation industry. Conference attendees actively engaged in discussions on airline pilot training and qualifications; ways in which airlines can provide new pilots with an adequate compensation and career path; and potential means and avenues to attract the next generation to aviation. Read more.
FAA Launches New Equip ADSB Website
Responding to the GA industry’s need for accurate and timely information about ADS-B airspace and equipage, FAA has set up a new website. This site, located at http://www.faa.gov/go/equipADSB, is an excellent source for finding up-to-date information that GA aircraft owners can use to help make informed and timely equipage decisions.
Hill Aircraft Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Hill Aircraft, a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) located at Fulton County-Brown Field in Atlanta, Georgia (KFTY), is celebrating their 60th anniversary. The FBO began operations on October 15, 1955. To celebrate and thank their loyal customers, Hill Aircraft has planned prize giveaways for visiting customers on the 15th of each month this summer (July, August, and September). The summer’s festivities will culminate with a grand 60th anniversary event scheduled for October 15, 2015. Read more.
L.J. Aviation Announces Senior Management Change
L.J. Aviation, a Latrobe, Pennsylvania based Aircraft Management and Charter Company, announces the retirement of Director of Operations Jim Rice after 13 years of service. Under Jim’s leadership, L.J. has obtained ACSF and IS-BAO certification, while also receiving worldwide commercial operations approval. Jim will retire at the end of June with over 46 years of aviation experience and 12,500 hours of flight experience. Terry Lascher will take over as Director of Operations. Terry started at L.J. in 2006 and has assumed increased responsibilities, in his previous role as Manager of Training and Standards he was instrumental in developing L.J.’s SOPs, and training programs. Read further.
Conklin & de Decker Release 2015 Version of Aircraft Performance Comparator
Conklin & de Decker has announced the release of their 2015 Aircraft Performance Comparator with the most comprehensive aircraft comparison data available to the industry. Part of a family of innovative software products created by Conklin & de Decker, the Aircraft Performance Comparator is a must-have tool for anyone that is acquiring a Business Jet, Turboprop, Piston, or Helicopter, and needs to compare aircraft performance data, quickly and easily. Read more.
Commercial Operators Tax Seminar – Special Offer for NATA Members
NATA and Conklin & de Decker are holding their Commercial Operators Tax Seminar in Chantilly, VA on July 14-15, 2015. This Seminar is held every year and is truly the only Seminar designed for Charter Management companies. The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar covers taxes that you, the commercial operator, face every day in your operations. Are you concerned with the IRS Chief Counsel Advisory relating to the application of the commercial FET to owner flights and management fees? This seminar will provide insight on this and other IRS opinions and how to prepare and survive an IRS audit. In addition, a comprehensive review of the Federal Aviation Regulations, Ops Spec A008 and language that should be included in charter/management and management agreements will be provided on the first day. If you, or someone else within your company is interested in attending, please call the AZ Conklin & de Decker office at (928) 443-8676 and we will extend the 20% discount off the full price of $995 (10% early bird and 10% NATA member discounts). For more information, click here.
Final Safety 1st Regional Advanced Line Service Workshop in 2015 Takes Place in Fort Lauderdale
Following on the success of the Wheeling, IL Advance Line Service Workshop, NATA Safety 1st is pleased to bring its unique mix of technical and service training to Fort Lauderdale, FL on October 20-21, 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. This is the last Advanced Line Service Workshop in 2015. Don’t miss out, register now!
The next Air Charter Safety Symposium takes place March 8-9, 2016. Visit www.acsf.aero for more Air Charter Safety Foundation news.