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 December 14, 2015 — Volume 14, Issue 50 
  Top Stories 

Congress Looks to Wrap-up Spending and Tax Legislation before Adjourning

Congress returns today for its last week of the year. Two major issues remain, approval of a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that includes the FAA’s funding for the balance of the fiscal year and a tax extenders package. On Friday, Congress passed another short-term spending bill, through Wednesday, to allow for additional negotiations over policy provisions to accompany the spending bill. Congress is also seeking to pass an extenders package, including provisions supported by NATA related to bonus depreciation and section 179 expensing. The goal is to make some extenders permanent but at the least are aiming for a two-year package to provide businesses with investment certainty going into 2016. 


IFBOA Workers' Compensation Insurance Program Participants Receive 22% GER

NATA announced last week the distribution of a Good Experience Return (GER) of over three million dollars to participants in the Independent Fixed Base Operators Association (IFBOA) Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program. NATA purchased IFBOA earlier this year in part to expand this industry-leading Program to include both IFBOA and NATA members. The exclusive NATA and IFBOA member-only Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program provides a proven option to combat the increasing cost of insurance premiums. This year's return is just another example of the program’s success, which has a projected 22% ultimate return to its participants, payable over a 5-year GER payout schedule. Learn more.

Pilots Bill of Rights 2 Approved by Commerce Committee, Heads to Full Senate

Last week, the Senate Commerce Committee approved an amended version of S. 571, the Pilots Bill of Rights 2, which will reform 3rd class medical requirements for general aviation pilots. Among the new requirements: pilots must present a medical checklist to guide discussions with physicians during a health exam, take a medical education course and follow up with regular medical exams. The legislation will now go to the full Senate for consideration. 


EASA Modification to TCO Procedure Benefits Air Charter Operators

Last week, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced changes to the process for obtaining approval to operate new aircraft under an operator's Third County Operator (TCO) authorization.  EASA TCO authorization is required as a prerequisite for EU Member States to issue operating permits. This change is a significant improvement for air charter operators and further streamlines the TCO process. TCO Authorization holders should review the full EASA announcement. Read more

  From the FAA 

2016 Drug and Alcohol Random Testing Rates Announced


The FAA has announced the 2016 random drug and alcohol testing percentage rates for aviation employees covered by federal drug and alcohol testing regulations. For the period of January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, the random drug testing rates are:
• Drug testing = 25% of safety sensitive employees
• Alcohol testing = 10% of safety sensitive employees

These rates remain unchanged from 2015 and reflect the lowest rates permitted under the law. More information on drug and alcohol testing programs is available from the FAA Drug and Alcohol Testing Program webpage.


FAA Issues Draft Revision to AC 43-210A, Seeks Comments


The FAA published a draft revision to the data approval advisory circular AC 43-210A that is open for comment until 1/7/16. This advisory circular describes a standardized procedure for requesting approval of technical data associated with major alterations or major repairs for certificated products. It also provides information that can help distinguish whether a proposed repair or alteration requires a field approval, and explains how to obtain such an approval (including a field approval checklist). Email comments to


FAA Releases Small UAS Registration Rule


Today, the FAA released the aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds including payloads. The FAA states, “Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft. Under this rule, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of any other UAS purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21, 2015 must register before the first flight outdoors.” Owners are able to register their UAS through a web-based system at The registration fee is $5; however, the FAA is waiving this fee for the first 30 days from December 21, 2015 to January 20, 2016. For more information on the registration process and the rule, click here.

   Association Highlights

NATA Participates in ADS-B Equip 2020 Plenary and Working Group Meeting


NATA’s regulatory affairs staff joined other industry and FAA representatives last week at the Equip 2020 Plenary and Working Group Meeting. NATA participates in the “General Aviation Equipage Working Group,” which focuses on monitoring the equipage of ADS-B Out in the GA community as well as confronting issues relevant to availability of equipment and its installation. For all the latest information and news on the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out mandate, please visit the FAA’s Equip ADS-B website. The next Equip 2020 Plenary and Working Group Meeting is scheduled for March 18, 2016. For more information, please contact Megan Eisenstein at


NATA Participates in Unleaded Avgas Meetings


Last week, NATA staff participated in several meetings related to the development of unleaded aviation fuel through the Piston Aviation Fuel Initiative (PAFI). On Monday, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), who reports to the PAFI Steering Group (PSG), met to discuss the status of Phase I and next steps for Phase II. On Tuesday afternoon, the PSG held a meeting where FAA and industry engaged in discussions on the progress, plan, and schedule of Phase I: Lab Tests, Emissions & Toxicology Assessments and next steps for Phase II which includes full scale engine and aircraft testing. Phase II testing is scheduled to occur toward the end of 2016 into 2017 and 2018. The next PAFI Steering Group meeting is scheduled for early February, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. For more information, please contact Megan Eisenstein at 


The NATA Safety 1st Committee Requests Your Help!


The Safety 1st committee developed several sub-committees and working groups for 2015-2016 and needs your expertise to advance the industry’s gold standard in general aviation and business aviation ground handling training and resources. The following working groups have openings:
Safety 1st Globalization
PLST Restructuring
Transport Category Aircraft Servicing
Aircraft Towing
Aviation Specific OSHA Compliance

Each of these working groups will complete most their work through online meetings and will not require any travel (some meetings may be held in person at industry events for those who choose to attend). If you are interested in participating, please contact Elizabeth Nicholson at

  Member Spotlight

Eagle Creek Aviation Completes Purchase of Montgomery Aviation


Eagle Creek Aviation Services has completed the purchase of Montgomery Aviation's three North-Central Indiana locations. It includes the fixed base operations (FBO), flight school, and maintenance facility at Indianapolis Executive Airport (TYQ), the FBO at the Frankfort / Clinton County Airport (FKR), and the FBO at the Grissom Aeroplex (GUS).  The Montgomery Aviation name will remain for the time being and customers can expect to see the same friendly faces on the line and behind the counter supporting customer needs.


Cutter Aviation Acquires Atlantic Aviation’s FBO at Phoenix, Deer Valley


Cutter Aviation finalized the purchase of Atlantic’s FBO at Phoenix, Deer Valley (Arizona) Airport December 8th, 2015. During the consolidation, Cutter will operate from both facilities (Cutter and former Atlantic) as the provider of FBO services at Deer Valley Airport. The acquisition of the Atlantic facility builds Cutter’s current operational presence at Deer Valley and allows it to expand services and facilities. Future plans include building new hangars as well as a modern, welcoming FBO facility offering superior customer amenities for passengers and crews.


Upcoming NATA, Safety 1st and ACSF Events


Early Bird Registration for the 2016 Aviation Business Conference Is Now Open
NATA's 2016 Aviation Business Conference will take place June 8th-10th at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. The conference will kick off with a reception Wednesday evening, June 8th and the conference will conclude Friday afternoon, June 10th. Early bird registration will run through Friday, April 8th. Please visit to register today! 

Upcoming Safety 1st Events, Click Here
Advanced Line Service Workshop in Anchorage, Alaska - February 14-15, 2016
FBO Success Seminar in New Orleans, Louisiana - March 8-9, 2016
Advanced Line Service Workshop in Dallas, Texas - March 15-16, 2016

ACSF Symposium
Registration is now open for the 2016 Air Charter Safety Foundation Safety Symposium at the NTSB Training Center in Dulles, VA on March 8–9, 2016. The event theme is Safety: A Smart Investment for a Rich Future and will touch on the following subjects: system safety, reducing risk, safety metrics and much more. Visit for more information and to register online today!




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