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  View HTML Version of Newsletter    July 17, 2017 — Volume 16, Issue 29 
  This Week's Top Stories 

House to Consider ATC Privatization Legislation As Early As Wednesday

Opposition from NATA and 116 other general aviation groups to legislation privatizing air traffic control has delayed House consideration of the 21st Century AIRR Act. However, furious behind-the-scenes arm twisting continues by the White House and House Republican leadership, meaning the bill may still be brought up at any time this week. It is important that you express your opposition by immediately calling your member of Congress at (855) 265-9002 or contacting them through NATA’s Legislative Action Center.


NATA and the other major general aviation associations met with Speaker Paul Ryan’s staff early last week, who informed the groups of Ryan’s intention to put the ATC privatization bill on the House floor. In response, general aviation leaders have been vehemently lobbying Congress in opposition to the bill and asking their members to contact Congress.


In separate communications with the House Rural Caucus and House General Aviation Caucus, NATA President Martin Hiller reminded lawmakers the 21st Century AIRR Act, “undermines incentives to invest in rural America and its supporters vastly overstate the effectiveness of provisions purportedly protecting general aviation’s right to access the important airports and airways connecting rural America with the rest of the nation.”


In notes to the NATA membership, Hiller asked aviation businesses to immediately contact Congress stating, “The House Republican Leadership has joined the Trump Administration in utilizing every possible means to convince Republican House members to support a proposal that will end general aviation in this country as we know it. The difference between winning and losing on the House floor will be close, so no Member of Congress, regardless of party, can be taken for granted.”



IRS Takes Significant Step Toward Resolving Applicability of FET to Aircraft Management Services


Last Friday, NATA President Martin H. Hiller informed the membership of the IRS’s decision to no longer pursue existing audits where the agency sought assessment of the commercial transportation federal excise tax (FET) on fees paid for aircraft management services. “NATA appreciates the IRS’s recognition of the urgent need to provide tax relief to impacted companies. It is a significant step toward the ultimate resolution of the FET applicability issue,” stated Hiller.

Recognizing that these tax audits have been ongoing for several years, often in a suspension status, the IRS confirmed to NATA that it is in the process of informing taxpayers that FET audits on the aircraft management fee issue will be closed in the interest of sound tax administration.

According to the IRS, companies that have been under FET audit should expect to receive written notification from the agency soon. Several NATA members have already reported receipt of their IRS notification. Importantly, while companies should expect notification that the management fee issue will be closed, this action from the IRS relates only to that issue and not to any other open audit matters.

“The agency’s decision is a testament to NATA’s regulatory advocacy and is a significant victory for NATA members and the aircraft management industry. We have regularly met with the IRS and Treasury Department, arguing the FET audits are unfair and that management companies deserve a favorable resolution. The association will continue to advocate on this issue at the IRS, Treasury Department, and Congress with the objective of achieving clear and uniform application of the FET consistent with legislative intent,” concluded Hiller.

Key Senators Skeptical of ATC Privatization

Appearing last week before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao heard bipartisan skepticism about the need to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. “I continue to have serious reservations about reforming a system that is not broken,” stated Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). “The public would also not be well-served by exempting any part of the F.A.A. from annual Congressional oversight. Such oversight ensures the F.A.A. maintains a system that works across the aviation industry, including general aviation and small and rural communities. Rural states represented by members on this Committee benefit greatly from services that connect rural America with the larger transportation network.”


Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) was equally critical, noting the Administration’s proposed $250m cut to FAA funding and stating, “The objective of the President’s budget is clear — cut spending to undermine performance, blame government for the resulting inefficiencies, and then hand out public assets to the private sector at bargain basement prices or at no cost at all.” Reed continued, “The private sector does many things well, but it does not do everything better.  In the case of Air Traffic Control, privatization will place the airlines in charge and leave rural America and smaller urban centers behind. It will also compromise access, public oversight and safety.  We have the safest, largest, and most complex air traffic control system in the world. We should not hand it over to a non-governmental entity that is not answerable to Congress or the courts. The risks are simply too great, especially when the benefits of our NextGen investments are yielding positive results.”


RSVP for an Upcoming NATA Air Charter Town Hall This August


NATA’s free Air Charter Town Hall series for Part 135 operators returns this summer, bringing regional aviation businesses together for networking and industry updates. 

RSVP for an upcoming town hall using the links below:

August 3 (Dallas/Ft. Worth –
Alliance Aviation Services)

August 23 (Portland, OR –
Global Aviation)

August 24 (Seattle, WA –
King County International Airport)

NATA is currently seeking sponsors for our regional town halls and other association events tailored for the air charter, FBO, and maintenance communities. These new events are quickly gaining traction throughout the industry — options start at $500. These are great opportunities for companies looking for direct, in-person exposure with our members and other industry attendees.


In addition to the onsite visibility of sponsoring, your business will be featured on the event webpage and emails, and in NATA News. If interested in sponsoring an event, please contact Karissa Uko at or (202) 774-1513.


 Association Highlights

Remembering Clif Stroud, Former NATA Director of Communications


NATA was saddened to learn of the passing of Clif Stroud, former NATA Director of Communications. Stroud was involved in business aviation communications for his entire professional career, holding senior marketing communications positions with Atlantic Aviation and Airwork Corporation, and serving as Editor-in-Chief of two leading aviation trade magazines, Professional Pilot and Aviation Maintenance. He also served as Editor of ATC Market Report, a newsletter covering the air traffic control market. Most recently, Stroud worked in the FAA’s NextGen division as a writer and editor. He was a long-time member of the International Association of Business Communicators and authored numerous articles on business aviation published in Forbes, Aviation International News, Avionics and Airport, among other publications.

 From the FAA

FAA to Host ADS-B Twitter Chat | July 19 at 2pm EDT

The FAA’s Equip 2020 Team — a joint government/industry group designed to help aircraft owners equip with ADS-B Out before the January 1, 2020 deadline — is hosting a live Twitter #ADSBchat to directly answer and address your general aviation questions and concerns. Hosted by FAA representatives and industry experts, the hour-long social media event will take place on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT. To view and/or participate in the Twitter chat, go to To interact with the group, be sure to include #ADSBchat in your tweets. You will need to have a Twitter account to post questions during the event. Sign up here.


Agenda Now Available for NATA’s Certified CSR Workshop | August 22-23 in Chicago


On August 22-23, NATA will hold its popular Certified CSR Program at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Chicago, IL. The two-day seminar will provide attendees with valuable knowledge and skills to 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. To review the agenda, click here. Reserve your seat today. This seminar previously sold-out in April. 


See what previous seminar attendees had to say about the NATA Certified CSR Program.


Register for Upcoming Advanced Line Service Workshop | September 12-13 in Lincoln, NE


Register today for the upcoming Advanced Line Service Workshop to be held on September 12-13 at Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, NE. ALS workshops are designed for Line Service Professionals, both experienced or relatively new to the industry. This workshop also assists managers, owners and even customer service representatives with knowledge and skills that will help them excel in their respective areas.


The registration fee is only $225/person for this two-day event and space is limited. Register here, download the registration form or view dates for the final 2017 workshop.

Build a Better Safety Management System | NATA Ground Handling Safety Symposium September 26-27 in Ashburn, VA


The NATA Ground Handling Safety Symposium is a new annual event developed by the NATA Safety Committee to promote safety at FBOs and other businesses utilizing general aviation ground handling. Held September 26-27 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia, the symposium is designed for safety professionals, directors of safety, line service managers or operations managers — anyone who is responsible for making sure that aircraft are handled safely.


The theme of this year’s program is Building a Better Safety Management System and includes: The Big Picture, Safety Management & IS-BAH; Practical Approaches to Risk Assessment; Safety Promotion and Your Organizational Culture; Safety Reporting & Employee Buy-In; The Intersection of Safety & Service; Emergency Response Basics for FBOs; and Data & General Aviation Ground Handling. The registration fee is $295/members and $370/nonmembers. Click here for more information or to register.
 Member Spotlight

NATA Members Clay Lacy Aviation and American Aero Earn IS-BAH Stage II Registration


Clay Lacy Aviation (BFI) and American Aero FTW recently completed a third-party audit to earn Stage II IS-BAH registration. After securing its Stage I registration, Clay Lacy Aviation was recognized as an International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) “Trailblazer” FBO by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) in June of last year. Chuck Kegley, the General Manager of Gateway USA, LLC dba Clay Lacy Aviation, LLC stated, “Safety is the foundation of our culture. The IS-BAH standards were developed using ‘best practices’ in the international business aviation community and, as such, reflect the high level of operational safety that we continuously work to achieve.” 

American Aero FTW received Stage I certification in 2015. Riggs Brown, American Aero FTW General Manager commented on the latest achievement, "The American Aero FTW team is committed to delivering the highest standards of safety and ground handling practices.” Brown continued, “As the only Stage II registered FBO in Texas and one of the first in the world to achieve this milestone, the American Aero FTW team continues to deliver the best and safest services in the industry." For more information about the IS-BAH Program, click here.

Sheltair CEO Honored in Florida Business Aviation Hall of Fame


Last month, Sheltair’s chairman, CEO, owner and founder Gerald M. Holland was inducted into the Florida Aviation Business Association Entrepreneurial Excellence Hall of Fame for his contributions to Florida’s business aviation industry. Under Holland’s leadership, Sheltair Aviation grew from two FBOs in 1988 to 17 award-winning locations. Sheltair also offers aviation property management and leasing, office and hangar construction, and other services. Holland attributes Sheltair’s success to its people, supporting educational opportunities with scholarships through the Experimental Aircraft Association and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. “Human ingenuity has always been the catalyst for growth in the aviation industry,” said Holland, “and in today’s technology-driven world, this can only come from motivated, passionate and highly-skilled people.” Read more.


World Fuel Services Expands Trip Support Reach with Toluca, Mexico Regional Office


On July 12th, World Fuel Services (WFS) announced that its World Fuel | Colt Trip Support Regional Office is now operational in Toluca, Mexico. To meet the growing demand of business aviation operators, the office focuses on providing full-service flight planning and trip support to Mexican operators flying internationally and all operators flying into Mexico and the greater Latin America region. The Trip Support team, based in Toluca, is positioned to provide regulatory and ground support in local languages. “Operators traveling to and from the region will benefit from the local, in-market expertise this office and its staff provides. With advance knowledge of regional events and regulations, operators can expect higher service levels on trips, faster problem resolution, and better turn-around times on requests,” said Joel Purdom, World Fuel Services’ Senior vice president of global operations. Read more.


Helicopter Association International Opens Nominations for Annual Salute to Excellence Awards


Last week, Helicopter Association International (HAI) announced that the nomination period for its 2018 Salute to Excellence awards is now open through Sept. 25, 2017. The awards program recognizes achievement within the helicopter industry in nine categories, and recipients will be honored at a February 28th dinner held during the 2018 HAI Heli-Expo. Nominations are open to anyone in the helicopter industry. Any individual or organization, whether or not they are an HAI member, may submit nominations or be nominated for an award. For more information or to submit a nomination, please visit




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