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NATA News - Representative Sam Graves Confirmed as Ranking Member of House Transportation Committee in 116th Congress


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View HTML Version of Newsletter   December 3, 2018 — Volume 17, Issue 48 

   This Week's Top Stories 

Representative Sam Graves Confirmed as Ranking Member of House Transportation Committee in 116th Congress

Last week, Representative Sam Graves (R-MO) was elected to serve as Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the 116th Congress. In a press statement released following the announcement, NATA President Gary Dempsey noted the many contributions Representative Graves has made to general aviation. “Throughout his time on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Graves has long advocated for the interests of the aviation business community by supporting FAA reform to improve our aviation system, addressing the pilot and mechanic shortages affecting the industry, and assisting small and rural airports to make investments to support general aviation transportation across the country.” NATA COO Tim Obitts also recognized the Congressman’s efforts to support small business, acknowledging the Congressman’s work as a past Chairman of the House Small Business Committee — “To have a small businessman and an accomplished general aviation pilot help steer such an important committee, while ensuring the best interests for small businesses, will be a true asset for general aviation in the new Congress.” To read more about the Congressman’s goals for the committee in his new position, click here.


Give Back to Help Inspire Aviation’s Future

Give back to the aviation industry this year with a donation to the National Air Transportation Foundation (NATF) and/or Safety 1st Future Development funds. With your donations, we look to expand upon the efforts of the Foundation to fit the needs of our industry and foster the aviation aspirations of our youngest industry members through our scholarships and grants. On the education and training side, donations to the Safety 1st Future Development fund will be crucial in the progress of the new training platform and upcoming updates as we continue to add more courses and make changes based on user needs.

All NATF donations are tax deductible, NATF is the 501(c) (3) charitable arm of NATA to enhance the safety and quality of service provided to the flying public by assisting aviation businesses in the education and training of their employees. All Safety 1st donations: Please be aware that 7% of your dues/donations are not deductible because federal lobbying expenses are non-deductible as an ordinary business expense. 

If you wish to donate, please fill out this form so that we can send you or your company an invoice. You may donate to the Foundation, Safety 1st Development or both. Please contact if you have any questions.


2019 NATA Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference | Save the Date

Following the success and record attendance of NATA’s 2018 Aviation Business Conference, the Association will hold its 2019 Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference on June 17-19 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in D.C. Mark your calendar and look for upcoming registration details soon!


This past June, NATA held its highest attended Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference to date. Aviation business professionals from across the U.S. and worldwide came to discuss and learn about the most important issues facing the aviation industry.


The ABJ Q3 2018 highlights the event, speakers and award winners that contributed to the event’s success. Read more here.


NATA Welcomes Ryan Waguespack as New Vice President

On December 3, the Association announced that Ryan Waguespack has joined the NATA staff as Vice President. Waguespack will focus on membership and serving the needs of the charter, MRO, and aircraft management sectors. A long-time supporter of the aviation business community and NATA, Waguespack recently served as the Chair of NATA’s Work Force Development Committee and Illegal Charter Task Force, as well as Vice Chair of the Air Charter Committee as an association member. 
“Ryan has been an active participant in NATA and is well-versed in our members’ issues and needs; we are thrilled that he is joining the team,” said NATA President Gary Dempsey. “Ryan’s range of aviation experience and vision to elevate and continuously help the industry to evolve in these changing times are invaluable to fulfilling NATA’s strategic goals and mission.” 
Click here to read more.


   From the FAA

FAA’s Baker Retires, New Appointments Announced


On November 30, Dorenda Baker retired as the FAA’s Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) after serving 9 years in the position and a total of 32 years at the agency. Earl Lawrence succeeds Dorenda Baker as the FAA’s new Executive Director for Aircraft Certification. Lawrence was previously the Executive Director for the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office.

The FAA also announced the appointment of Jay Merkle as the agency’s new Executive Director of UAS Integration. Merkle will assume the role after serving as the Deputy Vice President for the FAA Air Traffic Organization’s Program Management Office. The appointments for Lawrence and Merkle are effective on December 9th. Click here to read more.


2019 Drug and Alcohol Random Testing Rates Announced


The FAA has announced the 2019 random drug and alcohol testing percentage rates for aviation employees covered by federal drug and alcohol testing regulations.

For the period of January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019, 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 2018 and reflect the lowest rates permitted under the law.

More information on drug and alcohol testing programs is available on the FAA Drug and Alcohol Testing Program webpage.

   Association Highlights

Aircraft Maintenance & Systems Technology Committee Welcomes James Campbell


NATA's Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee is happy to announce its newest member Mr. James Campbell, Vice President and General Manager of Standard Aero (Springfield, Illinois). James was welcomed at the fall meeting and brings new experience to the committee. James' broad background in developing startup organizations through implementation and growth, accompanied by his strong operational support experience brings a new facet to the support the committee can provide the membership.


Tomorrow Join GKG Law's Free Webinar on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 

Keith Swirsky, President of GKG Law and Chair of the firm’s Business Aviation Practice, will lead a comprehensive webinar for NATA members on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 on December 4, 2018 at 2:00pm ET. The webinar will consist of a review of several TCJA provisions impacting business aviation, including the expansion and increase of bonus depreciation to used aircraft and to 100%, respectively; new restrictions on the deductibility of entertainment and commuting expenses; changes to the applicability of federal excise taxes to managed aircraft; and new limitations on aircraft expense deductions. Click here to register for the webinar.


NATA Industry Town Halls and Air Charter Forums to Return Next Month


NATA's Industry Town Halls provide aviation business leaders across the region the opportunity to sit down together and discuss the challenges, risks and opportunities within our industry — including regional matters and a legislative and regulatory update.

January 16, 2019
NATA Member Host: Aerolease/Aeroplex
Van Nuys, CA

NATA's Air Charter Forums allow attendees to discuss issues impacting the Part 135 community, including illegal charter, federal excise taxes, the pilot shortage, FSDO relationships and more.

January 14, 2019
NATA Member Host: Solairus Aviation
San Jose, CA

January 15, 2019
NATA Member Hosts: Schubach Aviation and Atlantic Aviation
San Diego, CA

RSVP is required, and complimentary lunch is provided for the town halls and forums. Sponsorship opportunities are also available, please contact for more information on supporting these industry events.

   Member Spotlight

Van Nuys Airport Celebrates 90th Anniversary


On December 17, Van Nuys Airport (VNY) will celebrate its 90th Anniversary. The speaking program features Board of Airport Commissioner Jeffery Daar; Flora Margheritis, CM, VNY’s Airport Manager; and Kathryn Purwin, Helinet Aviation, followed by a dedication ceremony for a newly installed helicopter-themed play structure honoring Helinet Aviation's founder, the late Alan Purwin. VNY will also pay tribute to the aviation pioneers and visionaries, who first introduced the San Fernando Valley to the freedom of flight. Click here to register.


Abilene Aero (ABI) and Lubbock Aero (LBB) Complete IS-BAH Registration


Abilene Aero and Lubbock Aero have successfully completed International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) registration. Abilene Aero has been operating at the Abilene Regional Airport (ABI) for 50 years and Lubbock Aero has been operating at the Lubbock/Preston Smith Airport (LBB) since 1990. Both Abilene Aero and Lubbock Aero are full service FBOs offering fueling, aircraft sales, charter, maintenance, avionics installation and parts. "At Abilene Aero and Lubbock Aero, our goal is to provide the best possible customer experience with a focus on providing a safe operating environment," said President Joe Crawford. "The level of standards we've established through the IS-BAH registration program helps us build a framework for a strong internal safety culture for all our customers, vendors and employees." Read more here.

   ACSF News

Club Jet Charter, LLC Charter Joins the ACSF


On November 29, the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) announced that Club Jet Charter, LLC is the newest charter operator to join the ACSF.  Along with 180 other companies, Club Jet supports the ACSF’s vision to advance and enable the highest levels of safety in personal and business aviation through the promotion and facilitation of risk management programs. “At Club Jet, safety is at the foundation of all our services,” said Club Jet President, Brandon Luthens. “Our steadfast dedication to passenger safety and security is supported by a comprehensive and ongoing program of internal review and audits.  Our membership heightens the validity of our commitment to safety, and we’re very pleased to have the support of the ACSF.” Click here to read more.


Q3 2018 Issue

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NATA is the National Air Transportation Association. Founded in 1940, NATA aggressively promotes safety and the success of aviation service businesses through its advocacy efforts before government, the media and the public as well as by providing valuable programs and forums to further its members' prosperity. 
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