November 2, 2015 – Volume 14 Issue 44
Congress Approves Legislation Reducing Chances for Government Shutdown
Last week, Congress and the Administration dramatically reduced the chances of business critical FAA operations being closed due to a government shutdown by approving the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.” The legislation adjusts the federal discretionary spending limits for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and raises the nation’s debt ceiling through March 2017. NATA President Tom Hendricks praised the legislation noting, “Aviation businesses depend upon certainty to create jobs and make investment decisions. This legislation addresses two threats to our industry - the ramifications of defaulting on our nation’s debts and the potential shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration. Its enactment will move us beyond the seemingly endless series of political confrontations that create drag on our economy.” To read more about the agreement and the final steps necessary to preventing a government shutdown click here.
Rep. Pompeo Files Fuel Fraud Amendment
On Friday, Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) filed an amendment to the highway legislation scheduled to be considered this week by the full House of Representatives that directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on how much non-commercial jet fuel tax revenue, paid for by business and general aviation, is diverted to the Highway Trust Fund as a result of a 2005 highway bill provision related to so-called “fuel fraud.” In a letter to the House Rules Committee in support of the amendment, NATA President Tom Hendricks questioned the need for 2005 provision and discussed its implementation as “nothing more than a bureaucratic roadblock draining the Airport and Airway Trust Fund of revenues needed for airport improvements and the deployment of a modernized air traffic control system.”
NATA’s 3rd Quarter Aviation Business Journal is Available
The third quarter Aviation Business Journal is available in digital format. In this issue: member profile on Directional Aviation Capital, LLC, a recap of the 2015 Aviation Business Conference, NATA’s Safety 1st Digital Emergency Response System, NATA’s acquisition of IFBOA, and more. This edition also features NATA’s 2015 Buyers’ Guide. The printed ABJ should arrive in your mailbox soon. As always, we thank our advertisers and Member Support Level participants. Click here to access the digital third quarter ABJ.
APHIS Rule Increases Costs for Commercial Operators
A final rule, published last week by the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), substantially increases the fee imposed on international commercial aircraft arrivals. Despite strong opposition from NATA, A4A and other industry groups the final rule increases the APHIS international commercial aircraft fee to $225 beginning on December 28, 2015. The fee imposed on passengers is decreasing to $3.96/passenger.
All commercial aircraft arriving in the U.S. from international locations are, with limited exceptions, subject to passenger and aircraft inspection fees imposed by APHIS. The fees are intended to reimburse APHIS for the costs incurred to perform Agricultural Quarantine Inspections (AQI). APHIS rejected all arguments against the aircraft fee increase, maintaining that the 218% increase is necessary to ensure it is adequately reimbursed for AQI costs. Operators should review the rule and ensure the new fees are appropriately collected and remitted to APHIS.
NATA and Industry Request Comment Period Extension for 14 CFR Part 147 Proposed Update
Last week, NATA joined other aviation and education industry groups to request an extension to the comment period for the FAA's proposed update to 14 CFR Part 147. The group requested more time to consider and analyze the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to help the agency produce an effective final rule.
“Static curriculum requirements in the current Part 147 do not support industry needs. AMTS lack the flexibility to teach the skills required to work on modern aircraft, forcing schools to stretch resources and industry to bear additional costs to ensure graduates are capable of completing the basic tasks required to maintain state-of-the-art, technically sophisticated equipment,” the group explained. “With the additional time requested, the aviation industry and its partners in technical education will help the agency develop a rule that supports schools, aids students at the beginning of a rewarding career and serves an important and growing industry.”
NATA Hosts 1st Committee Meetings at Headquarters
In early October, the association hosted its fall committee meetings at NATA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The following are highlights from each meeting:
NATA Aircraft Maintenance Technology Committee
The NATA’s Aircraft Maintenance Technology Committee brainstormed training and workshop ideas to promote maintenance within the NATA membership and industry. The Maintenance Committee also welcomed two new members, Mr. Phil Stearns of Stevens Aviation and Matt Matevey of Priester Aviation. Stay tuned for more from the Maintenance Committee throughout the upcoming months.
NATA Air Charter Committee Convenes for Biannual Meeting
The Air Charter Committee discussed current legislative and regulatory issues impacting the general aviation industry including FAA Reauthorization, FET on management services, Air Carrier Training Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ACT ARC), FAA Compliance Philosophy, Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (CRI ARC), and TSA’s Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC). The Committee also held discussions on existing customs/immigration enforcement issues effecting Part 135 operations nationwide. For further information, please contact Jacque Rosser at JRosser@nata.aero.
The NATA Safety 1st Committee Requests Your Help!
During the fall meeting, the Safety 1st Committee developed several sub-committees and working groups and is soliciting assistance from the association’s membership. This is an opportunity for NATA members to continue building the gold standard in general aviation and business aviation ground handling training. For more information on how you can help, click here.
NATA Airport Business Committee
The Airport Business Committee reviewed the issues impacting multiple segments of general aviation businesses, including fuel changes and misfueling, the FAA reauthorization, aircraft taxes, Safety 1st compliance, and the potential corporatization of air traffic control. The committee also discussed undertaking a grass roots approach to improve communication, networking, and outreach amongst NATA members and the association. Two subcommittees were created — Membership and Airport Sponsor — to further support growing NATA membership.
Sun Aviation Becomes the 2nd U.S. FBO to Achieve IS-BAH Certification
NATA member Sun Aviation recently received certification for the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH). A joint program between International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and NATA, the IS-BAH certification is a global code of best practices for the FBO and business aviation handling agent community. The family owned and operated, full-service aviation services provider is the second FBO in the United States to earn this distinction. Pete Holman, Sun Aviation’s Director of Operations recognized his business’ continued improvement and dedication to safety.
NATA Safety Net Blog Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
NATA Safety 1st
continues its bi-weekly series of blog posts featuring frequently asked questions and answers about our online training. The latest installment covers how to manage your student roster for Safety 1st
training. “The Safety Net”
blog is a great place for trainers and administrators to share thoughts on safety and training issues, ask questions, share comments or even make suggestions for using Safety 1st
online training more effectively. Subscribe to “The Safety Net”
to stay informed and engaged with the Safety 1st
NATA Seeking Training Facilities for ALS and Safety 1st Events
NATA is currently seeking FBO locations to utilize for our 2016 Advanced Line Service and other Safety 1st
training workshops and seminars. Please note, the training space must have the capacity to host 20-25 attendees comfortably. This is a great opportunity for FBOs looking for direct, in-person exposure with our members. In addition to hosting our NATA members at your facility, your business will be featured on the workshop’s webpage, in NATA News, and in other advertisement opportunities. If interested, please contact Elizabeth Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 Aviation Business Conference – June 8-10
Save the date for NATA’s 2016 Aviation Business Conference. Next year’s conference will take place June 8-10, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Mark your calendar and look for upcoming registration details!
Don’t miss the upcoming 2016 Air Charter Safety Symposium scheduled for March 8-9, 2016 at the Courtyard Dulles Town Center. Dr. Charlie Justiz, Managing Director at JFA Inc., will provide a keynote address on “Maximizing Safety Bang for the Buck — Lessons Learned from NASA.” Visit www.acsf.aero for more ACSF News.