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NATA News - NATA Concludes Successful Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference


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 June 24, 2019 — Volume 18, Issue 25 
  This Week's Top Stories 

NATA Concludes Successful Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) held its fifth Annual Meeting and Aviation Business Conference last week at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The conference was the most successful yet, with more attendees and opportunities to network and learn than ever before.

The NATA Industry Excellence Awards were presented during the awards luncheon, recognizing, among others, former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Executive Director of the Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) Dorenda Baker; long-time aviation business leader Don Campion, President of Banyan Air Service; and NATA Director Emeritus and former NATA President Martin (Marty) H. Hiller.


Attendees of the conference heard from speakers like FAA Executive Director of Flight Standards Ricardo “Rick” Domingo and U.S. Department of Commerce Director, Office of Business Liaison, Patrick Wilson, as well as panel discussions and presentations covering a wide range of topics from ground handling safety and the evolution of aviation technology to the future of aircraft management and aircraft cybersecurity and connectivity.


Many thanks to the full conference sponsors: Air BP, Atlantic Aviation, Chubb Insurance, Net Jets, Phillips 66, and World Fuel Services.


NATA also recognizes other member companies and industry partners for supporting various conference events, including Aeroplex Group Partners, Air Charter Guide, Assured Partners, Aviation Management Consulting Group, Capital Bank, Duncan Aviation, Executive Jet Management, Hill Aircraft & Leasing Corp., Jet Aviation, Lynx FBO Network, Pentastar Aviation, Priester Aviation, Naples Airport Authority, NATA Compliance Services, NATA Safety 1st, PartnerShip, Porter County Regional Airport, Ross Aviation, Signature Flight Support, SkyMark Refuelers, Solairus Aviation, Sonoma Jet Center, Stuart Jet Center, and TAC Air.To read the full press release, click here.



NATA Announces Changes to Board of Directors

During the National Air Transportation Association’s (NATA) Annual Meeting last week, NATA announced their 2019-2020 Board of Directors. Curt Castagna, President and CEO of Aeroplex/Aerolease Group (Long Beach, CA), was named the new Board Chair. Clive Lowe, the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Atlantic Aviation (Arlington, VA) was appointed as Vice Chair.


Newly appointed to the Board for a term of three years are Donald Haloburdo, Senior Vice President of Flight Services at Jet Aviation; Chris Rozansky, Executive Director of the Naples Airport Authority; and Megan Wolf, Chief Operating Officer of Flexjet, LLC.


Clara Bennett, the Executive Director of the Boca Raton Airport; Andy Priester, President & CEO of Priester Aviation; Christian Sasfai, former COO and Vice President of TAC Air; and Greg Schmidt, President and CEO of Pentastar Aviation, all finished their terms and left the Board last week.


President Gary Dempsey stated, “NATA is excited to bring in these new perspectives to the Board, which provide a well-rounded representation of the many facets of the general aviation community. We strive to strike a balance between the different types of businesses comprising this industry and are eager to see what we can achieve moving forward together. Under the new leadership of Curt Castagna and Clive Lowe, I expect the Association to continue to prosper, provide leadership, and effect positive change for our members and the general aviation industry at large.”


For the full press release, please click here.


NATA's 2019 Summer edition of the Aviation Business Journal is now available online.

Highlights from this issue:

- DEF Contamination


- Carol Kazmierczak’s Journey with Journey Aviation


- FAA Compliance Program: Moving from Beat Cop to Community Policing


- Is This an Inflight Medical Emergency?


- Member Profile: Castle & Cooke Aviation—A Storied Name Takes Flight with FBOs


- NATA Industry Excellence Awards


- Safety 1st Training Center

- Prepare Properly, Reduce Risk for Safer Travels


- And more!


As always, we thank our advertisers and Member Support Level participants. Click here to read.



Christian Sasfai to Join Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems as President

Stevens Aerospace and Defense announced that Christian Sasfai will become President of Stevens starting July 1. Mr. Sasfai is a former NATA Board member, was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of TAC Air, and before that he was with Piedmont Hawthorne/Landmark. Mr. Sasfai worked for Stevens as Director of Business Development and Financial Planning from 1995-2002.

In addition to Mr. Sasfai’s extensive experience in aviation services, he is a pilot and certified flight instructor. Mr. Sasfai is pleased to be returning to South Carolina with his family where he lived for seven years and where his sons attend Coastal Carolina University.

Stevens Aerospace and Defense Systems provides civilian MRO services for Beechcraft, Challenger, Cessna, Embraer, Global Express, Gulfstream, Falcon, Learjet, Piaggio and Pilatus aircraft. Stevens is a U.S. and foreign government prime service provider of depot maintenance, refurbishment and modifications for military versions of general aviation airframes. Stevens (Greenville) is a Class III repair station that is ISO9001: 2015, AS9110C, DCMA 8210.1C, EASA and DGAC certified and GFRC compliant. Stevens’ Greenville and Dayton facilities have DCMA on the field.  Stevens Aerospace operates facilities in Greenville, S.C. (GYH), Dayton, Ohio (DAY), Nashville, Tenn. (BNA) and Macon, Ga. (MCN), and also operates a 24/7 AOG-MRT Division.

For more information, visit


  Industry News:

NATA’s Airport Business Committee Holds Spring Meeting in Washington, DC


On June 17th, NATA’s Airport Business Committee convened in Washington, DC ahead of the association’s Aviation Business Conference and Annual Meeting. Committee Chairman Josh Hochberg (Sonoma Jet Center) held a discussion on the “Know Before You Go” initiative on recommended best practices for the communication of prices and fees. NATA continues to encourage our members to participate in the industry-wide “Know Before You Go” initiative by choosing one of the many options for making prices and fees available online.

Also, at the meeting, NATA staff members provided an update on proposed guidance changes to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 409 – Standard on Aircraft Hangars and discussed an updated draft guidebook on Minimum Standards that will soon be released by NATA in the coming weeks. NATA staff also informed committee members on the recently released recommendations for aircraft operators, fixed base operators, fuel suppliers, and other stakeholders to mitigate the possibility of DEF contamination in jet fuel. The committee will reconvene in November at NATA’s annual Aviation Leadership Conference. If you are interested in joining NATA’s Airport Business Committee, please contact Megan Eisenstein ( 

   Association Highlights:

WellVia Provides Telehealth Services to Members 


NATA is pleased to work with WellVia, a nationally recognized Telehealth leader, to bring its cutting-edge wellness and nonemergency medical care services to the general aviation community. Members across the U.S. now have the opportunity to participate in a program with round-the-clock access to board-certified physicians for nonemergency care via mobile app, web, or phone. 

Connect with a Doctor in three simple steps:

1. Request a Consult
2. Speak with a Doctor
3. Pick up Your Prescription

Get started at


PartnerShip® | NATA's Shipping Program


Did you know that you have access to the most competitive freight rates in the industry?
PartnerShip® saves you time and money on every truckload, less than truckload (LTL), trade show, or expedited freight shipment. Visit to request a free, no obligation rate quote and see how much you can save with the industry’s top freight carriers.
Call PartnerShip® at 800-599-2902 or email with any questions.


Aramark is the Right Fit for Your Business


NATA members are eligible for special savings with Aramark Uniform Services!

Aramark enhances your overall customer and employee experience by offering high-quality workplace uniforms for rent, lease, or purchase with programs that can be tailored to your business needs. Receive a comprehensive array of supply services to help ensure your workplace environment is always clean, fresh and looking like new. Start your new program today:

Rental Programs | Call 800-ARAMARK or visit to speak to a representative. 

Direct Purchases | Call 800-388-3300 or visit to speak to a representative.

Please contact Courtney Bishop at for your special discount code!


Train Your QC Team or Enhance Your Understanding of Fuel Quality Control | Become a Certified QC Inspector with NATA Workshop


This fall, the Certified QC Inspector Workshop will provide attendees with a comprehensive advanced education in fuel handling topics. On September 10-11 (Van Nuys, CA), attendees will enhance their knowledge on fuel characteristics, filtration, sampling and testing, maintenance, and setting up a conformant inspection program. Additionally, this course will cover the importance of QC record keeping and documentation, along with how to prepare for a QC audit. To register, read testimonials, or for more information including the agenda, click here.

   Membership Spotlight:

Jet Linx Celebrates Formal Grand Opening Of New Boston Base Private Terminal at Hanscom Field


Jet Linx celebrated the formal grand opening of its new private terminal in Boston, MA last night with an impressive celebration featuring over 125 guests and aircraft on display from Bombardier, Embraer, Falcon, Gulfstream, and Textron Aviation. The new terminal is the first its kind for the Greater Boston Area, offering both distinguished privacy and unmatched personal service, and welcomes two native Bostonian managing partners, Samuel Byrne, Managing Partner and Co-founder of CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC and David Fialkow, Co-founder and Managing Director of General Catalyst. Both join the team alongside Boston’s Base President Brad Rosse. “We are thrilled to announce the highly-anticipated grand opening of our Boston private terminal and the formal introduction of our unique service model to new and existing Jet Card members in the Boston area,” said Jamie Walker, President and CEO of Jet Linx. “Boston is one of our most valuable markets and continues to show significant growth. We look forward to providing our guaranteed Jet Card and aircraft management program to local clients in order to meet this demand.” Read more.


Solairus Launches Altitude 25, A Private Membership Charter Program


Solairus has revamped and renamed its charter membership service with the recently introduced Altitude 25-hour charter program. Altitude 25 features all-inclusive pricing, guaranteed availability, no positioning charges, streamlined booking, transparent account processing, and interchangeable charter hours with no long-term commitment required. “We believe our commitment to safety, streamlined pricing, and our shorter daily and segment minimums will help differentiate Altitude 25 for our program members,” Senior Vice President of Charter Sales, Paul Class stated. “Prices are inclusive of all taxes and fees, and members can cancel at any time. We wanted to make the booking and payment process as simple as possible so that our clients can focus on what’s important and not on the tedious logistics of sourcing an aircraft to suit their needs and budget.” Read more.


Cutter Aviation Promotes Jon Lassak to Chief Pilot


Cutter Aviation is pleased to announce the promotion of Jon Lassak to the role of Chief Pilot for Cutter Aviation’s Charter and Flight Management Department based in Phoenix, AZ. In his new role, Mr. Lassak is enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead and train a great team of pilots as they grow Cutter Aviation’s charter flight operations and aircraft management services for their domestic and international client base. Mr. Lassak holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and has been a part of aviation for over 20 years. He started in the United States Air Force as an F-16 Crew Chief and completed his flight training at the University of North Dakota. After teaching for four years at UND Aerospace as the Lead Flight Instructor managing over 50 pilots and instructing on the King Air, Jon decided to take his aviation career to the next level by joining Cutter Aviation in 2017. He is Captain of both the HondaJet and Pilatus PC-24. Jon is thrilled to be part of the leadership team as Chief Pilot in Cutter Aviation’s growing fleet of seven aircraft and 13 pilots based in Arizona and Texas. Read more.




Spring 2019

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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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