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  View HTML Version of Newsletter    January 16, 2017 — Volume 16, Issue 03 
This Week's Top Stories 

DOT Secretary Designee Chao Acknowledges Need for National Consensus on ATC Reform

Last week, the incoming Trump Administration’s choice to lead the Department of Transportation, The Honorable Elaine Chao, appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee at her nomination hearing. In response to a question on the House proposal to create an air traffic corporation separate from the FAA, Chao stated the incoming administration has not yet made any decisions on ATC reform, acknowledging it is a huge issue that needs “national consensus” and dialogue. Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) emphasized the need for government/agency collaboration in passing a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill that does not upset the partnerships within and between the FAA and other government agencies. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), pointed out that one way to diminish the need for a separate ATC system is to implement NextGen and get the technology in place for the latest, most updated, advanced system as soon as possible. The Committee is expected to act on Secretary Chao’s nomination as early as this week with full Senate confirmation shortly after the inauguration of President-elect Trump. 


NATA Praises U.S. Supreme Court Decision Supporting FAA In Flytenow Case


The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case last week, requested by attorneys representing the online application Flytenow, to overturn lower court decisions in support of the FAA’s legal interpretation that pilots using its online flight-sharing website are likely in violation of the agency’s common carriage requirements. In a statement released following the announcement, NATA President Marty Hiller praised the decision, noting that the Supreme Court “did not grant cert in this matter because it is neither a novel question of law nor are there any disputes between the lower courts as to the FAA’s interpretation of the Flytenow model.” The FAA’s ruling does not impact how pilots communicate – neither internet freedom nor the expansion of the share-economy is at risk. Hiller also noted, “it is simply not acceptable to allow the general public to ‘ride-share’ with private pilots who have potentially little flight time or training for challenging weather conditions.” NATA will continue to educate lawmakers on the Flytenow model and the risks it poses to the safety and security of the flying public. 

FAA Issues Final Rule on General Aviation Pilot Medicals

Last week, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the release of the highly anticipated final rule for general aviation pilot medical reform. Effective May 1, 2017, small aircraft pilots will be allowed to fly without holding a FAA medical certificate under the new medical certification regulations called BasicMed. BasicMed is not mandatory as general aviation pilots can continue to use their FAA medical certificate if they so choose. According to the FAA, pilots must comply with the following requirements under BasicMed:

Basic Pilot Requirements:
- Possess a U.S driver’s license
- Have held a medical that was valid at any time after July 15, 2006
- Have completed a medical education course described in FAA Extension, Safety, Security Act of 2015 (FESSA) within the past 24 calendar months
- Have received a comprehensive medical examination from a State-licensed physician within the previous 48 months
- Is under the care and treatment of a physician for certain conditions
- Make certain health attestations and agree to a National Driver Register check

Basic Aircraft Requirements:

- Any aircraft authorized under federal
law to carry not more than 6 occupants
- Has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds

Basic Operating Requirements:

- Carries not more than five passengers
- Operates under VFR or IFR, within the United States, at less than 18,000 feet MSL, not exceeding 250 knots
- Flight not operated for compensation or hire 

Draft Guidance for Reliance on FAA Inspectors for Instruction and Checking Published: Draft Notice N 8900.CKP


NATA, in coordination with its Air Charter Committee, will review and develop comments for FAA draft guidance to inspectors emphasizing the regulatory requirement for air carriers to have sufficient instructors and check pilots.

NATA has raised issues regarding the inability of some operators to get their local FAA officials to approve check pilots. Operators are often informed that they don’t have enough aircraft or pilots to be eligible for a check pilot, leaving these operators totally reliant upon the FAA for resources. FAA resources are stretched thin and the draft guidance emphasizes that carriers should not generally rely upon the agency for these services. Notably, the draft guidance makes no mention of need to surpass a certain threshold of aircraft or pilot numbers to have a check pilot or instructor authorized.  

NATA believes that this guidance, once finalized, could be useful for operators who have individuals qualified to become instructors or check pilots to ensure that local FAA officials don’t impede their ability to become a check pilot for the carrier.


Members are also encouraged to provide their own comments.


Draft Notice N 8900.CKP, “Regulatory Requirement to Provide Enough Flight Instructors and Check Pilots/Check Flight Engineers” is available from the FAA here. Comments are due by February 27, 2017 and commenters are encouraged to use the document comment grid provided on that same FAA webpage. 

Association Highlights

Nomination Forms Now Available for 2016 NATA Industry Excellence Awards


NATA is seeking nominations to recognize individuals, offices, and organizations demonstrating excellence in their fields and the highest levels of customer service to the general aviation community. Each year, NATA presents awards to the exceptional individuals and companies that have helped to improve the general aviation community. The recipients of these awards are chosen based upon NATA member-submitted nominations. Nominations for these awards must be received by NATA no later than March 24, 2017. The nomination form is available by clicking here. Members may also obtain a nomination form by calling the NATA headquarters at 800-808-6282 or by e-mailing Karissa Uko.



Time Is Running out to Register for Two Upcoming NATA Air Charter Operators Town Halls


Join your colleagues from across the region for networking and industry updates. These events bring operators together to discuss shared concerns and interact with the association’s Air Charter Committee.


Topics will include discussion of regional matters, as well as legislative and regulatory updates.


Long Beach Town Hall
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

10:30 am - 3:00 pm
Long Beach, CA


Southeast Town Hall
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Greer, SC


Get Fast, Free and Straightforward Freight Quotes with PartnerShip®


This free member benefit provides access to the most competitive freight rates in the industry.

PartnerShip® saves time and money on every LTL (less-than-truckload), truckload, trade show and small package or expedited freight shipment. Get your free quote at and see how much you can save with the industry’s top freight carriers. Learn more.


Build A More Successful FBO with the 2017 FBO Success Seminar

NATA’s FBO Success Seminar returns by popular demand. Join your colleagues March 7-8, 2017 at the Chateau LeMoyne French Quarter in New Orleans, LA, to learn new FBO management techniques, gain essential operational and service knowledge, and connect with fellow attendees at a networking forum. This seminar is designed for FBO owners, operators, general managers, new managers, finance personnel and other key FBO employees who are interested in building a more successful FBO. Please visit here for agenda, hotel information and registration details.

Develop Successful Customer Service Skills at NATA’s Certified CSR Workshop


On April 18-19, 2017 in Tampa, FL attendees will gain valuable knowledge and skills that will create successful customer service experiences. Attendees will also learn how to deal with disgruntled customers and turn a marginal customer transaction into a fulfilled client transformation. New for 2017, NATA is excited to partner with Air Culinaire Worldwide to provide attendees with an Aviation Food Safety Certification. This one-day course will instruct on handling food safely and best practices specific to the unique situations of food handling at FBOs. Learn more and register here.



2017 NATA Aviation Business Conference | Early Bird Registration Available

NATA's 2017 Aviation Business Conference takes place June 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. The conference kicks off with a reception Tuesday evening and concludes Thursday afternoon. Early bird registration is now open and runs through Friday,

April 7, 2017 — save $95! For more information, please visit

Member Spotlight

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Starts Operations at New Pazos FBO Services Facility in San Juan, Puerto Rico


Pazos FBO Services opened a new general aviation processing facility at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (LMMIA) located in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The new state-of-the art facility was built in full compliance and adherence to CBP standards and guidelines to provide inspection of international flights and travelers. Read more



Duncan Aviation Offers Customers ADS-B Slot Reservations


Duncan Aviation recently launched a customer program encouraging business aircraft operators to solidify their upgrade plans for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Duncan Aviation has allotted two slots per satellite per month for ADS-B upgrades, allowing operators to reserve slots. Read more.


Register for the 2017 ACSF Safety Symposium


The 2017 ACSF Safety Symposium will take place March 7-8, 2017 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, VA. Topics will include Reducing Risk, Emergency Response Plans, Leadership, Ground Handling and more. ACSF members can register for $685 (nonmembers $795). Registration includes admittance to the two-day event, all scheduled group meals, breaks, and social functions, and transportation to and from hotel to events. To learn more or to register, click here.




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