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  June 27, 2016 — Volume 15, Issue 26 
  This Week's Top Stories 

FAA Issues Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule

Last Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new rule for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) (Part 107) — which includes all pilot and operating rules and will be effective August 2016. The final rule provides safety regulations for unmanned aircraft drones weighing less than 55 pounds and are conducting non-hobbyist operations. According to the FAA, “The rule’s provisions are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. The regulations require pilots to keep an unmanned aircraft within visual line of sight. Operations are allowed during daylight and during twilight if the drone has anti-collision lights. The new regulations also address height and speed restrictions and other operational limits.” The FAA is not requiring small UAS to comply with current agency airworthiness standards or aircraft certification, rather it is the operators’ responsibility to ensure a drone is safe before flight. NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs, John McGraw, applauded the agency’s efforts, “NATA is pleased with this very important first step; however, clearly much work remains to integrate unmanned aircraft systems safely and efficiently into the National Airspace System. NATA looks forward to working with other stakeholders to achieve this aim.”



NTSB Holds Public Forum on Pilot Weather Reports

Last week, the NTSB held a two-day, public forum titled PIREPs: Pay it Forward…Because Weather for One is Weather for None, focusing on improving pilot weather reporting and dissemination, and how technology can improve pilot awareness of weather conditions in the cockpit. Panelists included representatives from the FAA, trade associations, the National Weather Service and academia. Speakers discussed the use and significance of PIREPs to weather services, air traffic control, and research; submission, solicitation, and dissemination; training, education, and operations; and future improvements. NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt, the forum’s presiding board member stated, “We cannot control the weather but we certainly can plan for it when we receive reports about conditions experienced by others along our intended route. For PIREPs to be most effective they must be accurate and made quickly available in the National Airspace System. There are several problems degrading the effectiveness of PIREPs and it is our intent to use information gathered during our forum to find ways to best improve PIREP handling and use.” For more information or to view the forum webcast, click here.


NATA Urges New Jersey Lawmakers to Oppose Increasing Aviation Fuel Taxes

In a letter to the leadership of the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks requested lawmakers oppose an increase in the state aviation fuel tax noting the proposal, “will likely not have the intended effect of raising revenue but rather reduce investment and good paying jobs in New Jersey.” Legislation may be considered as early as today in the New Jersey Legislature that will raise the state tax on avgas and jet fuel from its current 2 ¾% to 7% and index it annually thereafter to inflation. NATA represents 39 member companies in New Jersey, part of a general aviation infrastructure that represents 16,200 jobs in the state with a contribution to its GDP of $1.78 billion. Hendricks told lawmakers, “The legislation fails to recognize the unique nature of aviation, which allows stakeholders to simply fly to the state that affords the best value. In fact, these proposals are outside of what NATA sees nationally, where states are adopting tax statutes to make their aviation businesses more, not less, competitive with those in adjoining states.” For more information, click here.


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

On June 22nd, NATA staff met with FAA representatives and industry at the Equip 2020 Plenary & Working Group meeting. NATA participates in the “General Aviation Equipage & Education Working Group.” During the meeting, the Working Group discussed the General Aviation ADS-B Rebate Program and the status of the FAA’s Traffic Information Service-Broadcast (TIS-B) Safety Risk Management Panel (SRMP). Meeting participants also reviewed the status of educational outreach to general aviation and the status of non-performing emitters. FAA personnel provided updates on the plenary on air carrier avionics upgrades; the ADS-B general aviation rebate; ADS-B equipage and avionics performance; and the status of privacy of transponders. 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 & Working Group Meeting is scheduled for September 2016. For more information, please contact Megan Eisenstein at

 Association Highlights

NATA Attends General Aviation Joint Steering Committee Meeting


Last Thursday, NATA staff attended a General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) meeting focusing on advancing general aviation safety through data-driven, consensus-based risk reduction efforts. Committee members, comprised of industry and government representatives, reviewed general aviation safety performance data for FY16, received an EASA update, and discussed the status of several ongoing Safety Enhancements (SEs) and the FAA General Aviation Activity and Avionics survey — the industry and agency’s primary mechanism for understanding active fleet and flight activity. The FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) also briefed the committee on Part 23 and how the rule will facilitate new technologies on future fleet designs. The next GAJSC meeting is scheduled for October 12th at NATA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

   From the FAA

FAA Issues Updated Advisory Circular on Pilot Records Improvement Act (PRIA)


Last week, the FAA issued advisory circular (AC) 120-68G, Pilot Records Improvement Act of 1996, canceling AC 120-68F, Pilot Records Improvement Act of 1996, dated May 31, 2012. The updated AC will assist parties that request or respond to PRIA records including the pilot/applicant and hiring/former employers. The agency is currently developing a new application called the Pilot Records Database (PRD) and “will soon begin to replace PRIA and provide electronic responses within a fraction of the time that the current process requires. The PRD will be used to facilitate the gathering and sharing of pilot records among the FAA and air carriers in a clearinghouse managed by the FAA. Air carriers and operators will have direct, uninterrupted access to pilot records in order to make a more informed hiring decision through PRD rather than submitting multiple requests and waiting for the return of those records from multiple sources.”

  Member Spotlight

Duncan Aviation Hosts Celebration of Michigan’s Success in Aviation


Michigan recently celebrated aviation's role in the state at NATA member Duncan Aviation's Battle Creek location. Michigan Senator Gary Peters praised the state's aviation businesses, "The type of engineering talent and the type of skilled labor that goes into these aircraft that we see here with us today and are produced and maintained in Michigan are cutting edge state of the art. It's very exciting." General aviation supports 23,000 jobs in Michigan, and has more than a $4 billion economic output annually. To read more, click here.


Golden Isles Aviation Funds New Terminal and Hotel at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport


At the end of the year, the McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport in Brunswick, Georgia plans to open its new terminal building and 83-room hotel. "They are finalizing the exterior, doing landscaping and so forth. They are still planning to open at the end of this year," Robert Burr, executive Director of the County Airport Commission said. "So it's all good news. It's moving along nicely and it's starting to look pretty." The $15 million project is entirely funded by NATA member Golden Isles Aviation and S&J SSI. "It's an outstanding opportunity for this area. It very unique that an airport for general aviation — that is one without carrier service — can justify, business-wise, a hotel," Burr said. The new terminal will feature 6,000 square feet of space which will host the FBO that serves aircraft, pilots and passengers, as well as rental car agencies, lobby space, conference rooms, a pilots' lounge and an outdoor event space. For more information, click here.


ARGUS International Releases May 2016 Business Aircraft Activity


According to ARGUS’ research, May 2016 overall activity recovered from an April drop, rising 2.2% over May 2015. May business aviation flight activity posted an anticipated month over month increase from April, finishing up 3.5%. Results by operational category were all in the black for the month, notably fractional operators posted the largest monthly increase, up 5.3%. The Part 135 and Part 91 sectors recorded a solid rise from April, up 5.2% and 1.9% respectively. Aircraft categories saw gains as well with the turboprop market leading the way for the largest monthly increase, up 7.4% from April. The small and large cabin markets followed, posting increases of 2.3% and 1.9%, in that order. Mid-size cabin aircraft posted a slight 0.9% increase for the month. The largest monthly change, for an individual segment, occurred in the fractional turboprop segment, up an astounding 33.3% from April. A full copy of this report can be found at TRAQPak Business Aircraft Activity Reports. Click here for more information.


New NATA Safety 1st Advanced De/Anti-Icing Training Is Coming to Salt Lake City


On September 20th and 21st, NATA Safety 1st will hold its new Advanced De-Icing Workshop at TAC Air in Salt Lake City, Utah. The workshop will provide instruction on safety protocols associated with de-icing procedures, advanced de-icing techniques and hands-on de-icing training. All attendees will be provided the Safety 1st De/Anti-Icing Online Training module which must be completed in advance of the workshop. The preliminary agenda is available here. For questions regarding registration or sponsorship opportunities, contact Elizabeth Nicholson at (202) 774-1532 or


Agenda Now Available for Popular Aviation Leadership and Management Workshop


On August 2nd and 3rd, the Aviation Leadership and Management Workshop, presented by NATA and Aviation Management Consulting Group, will provide the knowledge and tools you need to be a better leader — whether you are a general manager, customer service manager/supervisor or an aspiring manager. During this two-day workshop, you will learn proven leadership and management principles, best practice approaches, innovative strategies, and creative techniques from industry experts who have decades of experience leading and managing people and making business decisions. Sponsorship opportunities are available here. Click here to view the workshop agenda. For more information, please visit


Conklin & de Decker Associates and NATA Bring Refreshed Commercial Operators Tax Seminar to Omaha


On July 13th, Conklin & de Decker Associates, Inc. and NATA will once again offer the only tax seminar designed for commercial operators. This year, the Tax Seminar is tailored as a one-day session and will be held at the Jet Linx headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar looks at tax issues that you face every day in your operations including: federal excise taxes, state taxes, audits, international fees, and depreciation and passive activity loss rules. For the seminar agenda, click here. To register for the tax seminar, click here. Sponsorship opportunities are available, please contact Shannon Chambers at




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