September 14, 2015 – Volume 14 Issue 37
NATA Responds to DOT IG Report Comparing FAA to Foreign Air Traffic Systems
Last week, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT IG) issued an audit report requested by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee comparing the U.S. air traffic control system with the air navigation service providers of Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. NATA responded to the report concluding, “The DOT IG’s report validates why Congress should proceed very cautiously in contemplating massive structural changes to America’s air traffic control. This report clearly demonstrates these international air traffic control systems are much smaller and less complex than our own. Also reported by the IG, these air traffic control providers, unlike the FAA, ‘do not embark on large, comprehensive modernization efforts such as NextGen transformational programs or conduct extensive aviation research and development.’ Instead, as the report notes, these air traffic providers rely on small, incremental changes using off-the-shelf technology. But just as important, the report highlights the risks these models pose to continued American leadership in aviation.” Read more.
South Dakota Aviation Businesses Oppose Creation of Air Traffic Control Corporation
On September 8th, in a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator John Thune (R-SD), aviation businesses spanning the breadth of South Dakota expressed opposition to using the upcoming FAA reauthorization legislation to create a user-fee funded air traffic control corporation stating, “It will undermine the national air transportation system by denying rural America access to cutting-edge technology and hinder South Dakota’s economic development.” The letter followed a briefing for South Dakota businesses on the status of FAA reauthorization conducted by NATA President and CEO Tom Hendricks. “South Dakota businesses recognize their important position and ability to support the nation’s entire general aviation community. We deeply appreciate their lending their voice to this important policy debate,” said Hendricks. Read more
Change to Workers' Compensation Insurance Landscape
On Friday, USAIG, a leading international provider of a full spectrum of insurance coverage to aviation organizations, announced it will end its Workers’ Compensation pool as of Dec. 31, 2015. USAIG was the long-time underwriter of the NATA program prior to 2012. NATA thanks USAIG for its service to the general aviation industry and our members for many years.
NTSB Stresses Importance of SOPs and Checklist Discipline
During the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) public meeting to determine the probable cause of a Gulfstream G-IV in 2014, the failure to follow preflight checklists led the flight crew to attempt take off with the gust lock system engaged. The aircraft accelerated to takeoff speed before the crew discovered the controls were locked. The NTSB investigation determined that the control checks were routinely skipped, having been completed on only two of the previous 175 flights. The NTSB announced it will soon publish a Safety Alert for all pilots on the importance of following standard operating procedures (SOP) and using checklists. Additional information on this accident is available from the NTSB.
FAA Posts Draft AFS Order in Response to CRI ARC Recommendation
On Thursday, September 10th, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) posted on its website a draft Order FS 8000.AFSGDD, Flight Standards Service Guidance Document Development. The draft Order provides policy and guidance to Flight Standards Service (AFS) policy divisions and other AFS support staff that develop, update, or change AFS directives and advisory circulars. The document incorporates the Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (CRI ARC) recommendation to “Develop Instructions for FAA Personnel with Policy Development Responsibilities.” NATA’s Regulatory Affairs staff actively participate on the CRI ARC and urges NATA members review the document and provide comments to both NATA and FAA. The guidance will be available for public comment for 30 calendar days. Please contact Megan Eisenstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details or information.
FAA Agrees to NATA Request to Extend Comment Period for Order 8110.54B and AC 20-ICA, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness
Last week, the FAA agreed to extend the public comment period by 30 days for Order 8110.54B and Advisory Circular 20-ICA, Instructions for Continued Airworthiness. The extension is in response to a joint industry letter submitted to the FAA in late August from eight aviation associations, including NATA, representing thousands of large and small certificate holders that will be impacted by the guidance. The associations stressed that “the draft guidance documents will impact hundreds of design and production approval holders as well as thousands of repair stations, air carriers and general aviation operators.” The FAA updated their website to reflect the extension. For further details, please contact Megan Eisenstein (email@example.com).
FAA Issues New Flight Standards Compliance Policy
On September 11th, the FAA's Flight Standard Service (AFS) issued its new Flight Standards Service Compliance Policy in FAA notice N8900.323. The Notice revises and clarifies the current AFS compliance policy contained in the FAA Safety Inspector Handbook, Order 8900.1 and Order 2150.3B, the policy that covers the FAA's Compliance and Enforcement Program. While this policy is geared towards its safety inspectors and field offices, it is good information for the aviation industry to be aware of. Effective October 1st, the policy encourages the inspector to use interdependence, critical thinking, and problem-solving approaches and reinforces the use of education when applicable. Click here to view the FAA Notice.
GAO Reports on GA Liability Insurance
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, “Observations Related to Liability Insurance Requirements and Coverage for Aircraft Owners” providing general information about uninsured or underinsured owners and operators of general aviation (GA) aircraft. GAO contacted NATA, other aviation associations, attorneys, state aviation officials, insurance providers and others in an effort to determine the existing liability requirements for GA aircraft, the premiums for such insurance and factors to consider in determining whether to adopt a federal liability insurance mandate. The report to Congress notes that 11 states impose some type requirement for liability coverage or fiscal-responsibility and cited several factors to consider in evaluating whether a federal mandate is appropriate. .
EPIC Applauds FBO Partners Supporting Aerial Firefighting Operations
EPIC Aviation LLC has dispatched more than two-million gallons of aviation fuels since the beginning of July to Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs) and fire bases supporting aerial firefighting operations in the Western United States. Aviation fuel and ground-support resources used in aerial firefighting operations have been in very high demand with multiple wildfires burning at the same time within California, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington. EPIC works closely with its partner FBOs in the region to assist their efforts in supporting firefighting operations in the Pacific Northwest. Locations such as Redding Jet Center at Redding Airport (KRDD), Gemini Flight Support at Castle Airport (KMER) in Atwater, California and Glacier Jet Center at Glacier Park International (KGPI) in Kalispell, Montana, have all seen significant action since the 2015 fire season began. Read further.
TWC Aviation Rebranded to Landmark Aviation
TWC Aviation, an international charter and aircraft management company, has rebranded to Landmark Aviation. TWC will now operate under Landmark’s logo and trade name. During the rebranding process, TWC’s former office in White Plains was relocated, and it is now housed in Landmark Aviation’s FBO facility at Westchester County Airport (HPN). Landmark acquired TWC in April 2015 through its aircraft management and charter subsidiary. Read more.
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Safety 1st Training?
The final NATA Safety 1st Certified Trainer Program (CTP) for 2015 begins September 16th. 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 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. Don’t miss the first class! 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 Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) is pleased to announce the selection of Steve Cok, Director of Operations & Chief Pilot at Northern Jet Management, and Robert Hamel, Safety Manager at JetSuite to the ACSF Board of Governors. The next Air Charter Safety Symposium takes place March 8-9, 2016. Visit www.acsf.aero for more ACSF news.