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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                                 Volume 9 Issue 8


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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139 Fire Safety Training Online

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NATA Comments On TSA’s Proposed Repair Station Security Rule
Last week, NATA provided the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with the association’s comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Aircraft Repair Station Security. The NPRM proposed requiring all Part 145 FAA certificated repair stations to adopt and implement a standard security program (SSP), be subject to security directives and allow unannounced TSA inspections. The SSP would describe and require:
  • Access controls for the facility, aircraft and/or aircraft components
  • Measures for identifying individuals with access to the facility, aircraft and/or aircraft components
  • Procedures for challenging unauthorized individuals
  • Security awareness training for employees
  • The name of the facility’s designated security coordinator
  • A contingency plan
  • The means to verify employee background information

NATA’s comments noted that the TSA had addressed some of the wide ranging diversity in repair station operations and facilities that would prevent a one-size-fits-all security approach from being effective but had failed to see the effects of strictly regulating mixed-use facilities.

“Many fixed base operators (FBOs) hold a repair station certificate to allow them to perform additional maintenance tasks.  The actual repair station may only be a single workbench or file cabinet within the larger facility.  The majority of the operations at these types of facilities may be completely unrelated to the repair station certificate… The TSA must ensure that the final regulations address its concerns with security at repair stations and do not, by failing to account for mixed-use facilities, impose unintended burdens on non-regulated entities.”

In addition to addressing the issue of repair station diversity, NATA’s comments also addressed:

  • Exemptions
  • On-airport facilities
  • Off-site maintenance
  • The anti-competitive nature of the proposed rules
  • Sensitive Security Information
  • Certificate suspensions & appeals
  • TSA inspection authority
  • Profile submissions
  • Regulatory Balance & Security Directives

The public comment period for the repair station security NPRM has now closed. NATA’s comments to the TSA may be viewed by clicking here.


Aviation Safety Measures Expediting Passage Of FAA Reauthorization
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) on the first anniversary of the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 outside of Buffalo, New York, persuaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to move ahead with legislation to reauthorize the FAA. The senate version of FAA reauthorization legislation (S. 1451) includes several safety provisions that address concerns the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) listed in its final report on the crash, which investigators blamed primarily on pilot error. The provisions in the bill are significant, including raising pilot-training standards, setting requirements for the airlines’ remedial training programs, mandating that airlines adopt additional safety oversight programs, allowing airlines complete access to the flight records of potential pilots, and boosting inspections of flight school and airline training programs. The bill also calls for an independent study of scientific research on pilot fatigue and would require that the findings be included in the FAA’s upcoming new flight-time and duty-time rules for pilots. Senator Schumer would also like to add an amendment to the bill that newly hired co-pilots at commercial airlines must have 1,500 hours of flying experience, just as pilots must have. The current requirement for co-pilots is 250 hours. These provisions were not included in the U.S. House of Representatives version of FAA reauthorization legislation (H.R. 915) but were introduced in a stand-alone bill on aviation safety (H.R. 3371).

Senate Majority Leader Reid cited two reasons for movement on FAA reauthorization. First, the Senate has passed its version of health care reform, which has occupied the chamber for months and, second, the pending deadline for the current short-term extension of the FAA bill is March 31.

S. 1451 still hasn’t cleared the next hurdle of mark-up in the Senate Committee on Finance. It is unclear whether a formal mark-up will take place before the bill is sent to the floor of the Senate. At this time, it remains unknown whether the bill will be a long-term authorization of three years, as the U.S. House of Representatives has proposed, or a one-year authorization that has been rumored in the Senate.

To learn more about FAA reauthorization, please click here.


Association Announces Top Honors Recipients
On April 21, 2010, the National Air Transportation (NATA) will bestow two of its highest honors, the William A. "Bill" Ong Memorial Award and the NATA Award for Distinguished Service, during its annual Industry Excellence Awards Dinner to be held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. This year’s Industry Excellence Awards Dinner will be held in conjunction with NATA’s Day on the Hill Day, Annual Meeting and Election of Officers.

NATA is thrilled to announce that Gary Driggers, long-time executive at Midcoast Aviation, has been selected as this year's recipient for the William A. "Bill" Ong Memorial Award. Driggers, a former NATA chairman and member of the board of directors, recently retired from Midcoast Aviation after 22 years of service. As senior vice president, Driggers was responsible for managing key customer and vendor relationships and was the company's face to industry organizations and OEMs. He started his career in aviation when he served his country as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Before joining Midcoast Aviation in 1988, he had been a client of the St. Louis-based MRO and completions center. During his tenure, Driggers served Midcoast Aviation in various senior management functions, with the company growing from 100 to 1,500 employees.

“Gary is a long-time supporter and friend of the association and this great industry,” stated NATA President James K. Coyne. “Gary played an instrumental part in the growth of Midcoast Aviation as well as in the development of NATA’s Safety 1st program as an early program advocate and founding member. The NATA Board of Directors is honored to commemorate Gary’s devotion to our industry by bestowing upon him the association’s highest honor, the William A. “Bill” Ong Memorial Award.”

The NATA Award for Distinguished Service will be presented to the Honorable Jerry Costello (D-IL), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation. Costello, a long-time supporter of the general aviation community, began his career shortly after his graduation from high school, working full time as a law enforcement officer while attending college. After graduating from Maryville University, Costello became recognized throughout the state for his creativity and ability in administering the region's court services system. In 1980, he was elected chairman of the St. Clair County Board, chief executive for one of Illinois' largest counties. He took that experience to Congress in August 1988. As a senior Democrat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the second-ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Science and Technology, Costello has had a prominent role in writing several major pieces of legislation while focusing on improving the transportation infrastructure of our nation and his district. Costello is currently in his third year as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Aviation. In 2007, he wrote and led passage of the $68 billion bill in the House to reauthorize the programs of the FAA to ensure that this nation’s air transportation system remains the safest in the world.

“The NATA Board of Directors is deeply honored to celebrate the many outstanding legislative accomplishments achieved by Chairman Costello,” stated Coyne. “Chairman Costello’s drive to advance aviation safety and implement NextGen, in addition to his steadfast leadership in shepherding an FAA Reauthorization bill void of user fees, makes him the perfect choice as this year’s recipient of NATA’s Distinguished Service Award.”

The association will also be honoring winners for the following awards during its Industry Excellence Awards Dinner on April 21 including:

To learn more about NATA’s Industry Excellence Awards Dinner and annual Day on the Hill event, please click here.


NATA Announces New Board Member
NATA President James K. Coyne has announced the recent selection of Robert L. Stallings, III, president of Eastern Aviation Fuels, Inc., to the NATA Board of Directors. Stallings’ appointment takes effect immediately.

Stallings founded Eastern Aviation Fuels in 1975 and has expanded the company since then to become the exclusive U.S. marketing source for general aviation fuel for Shell Aviation. He is a prior NC Aeronautics Council member and holds an ATP Fixed Wing rating with more than 8,500 hours, as well as a helicopter license. Stallings resides in New Bern, North Carolina.

“I am thrilled to have someone of Buddy’s vast experience and working knowledge of the general aviation industry serving on the NATA Board of Directors,” stated Coyne. “Buddy has been a steadfast supporter of the association and its activities for many years and is quite deserving of this important position.”

To learn more about Eastern Aviation Fuels, Inc., please click here.

To learn more about the NATA Board of Directors, please click here.


NATA Announces New Maintenance Organization Award
NATA has developed a new maintenance organization honor open to any full-time aircraft and/or components maintenance or repair business or Part 91, 121, 125, 127, 129, 133, 135, 137, 141, 145 or 147 entity that conducts aviation maintenance. The NATA Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer Recognition Program awards aviation maintenance organizations that encourage and support aviation maintenance technician (AMT) training.

The award is based on the percentage of AMTs employed (directly or indirectly) by a maintenance organization that participate in qualified training events. An AMT must complete at least 12 hours of training each year to be counted towards the organization’s award percentage.

“This award is meant to complement the FAA's Aviation Maintenance Technician Award. Our maintenance organization members found the paperwork for the existing FAA award program to be cumbersome and time-consuming. The NATA Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer Recognition Program will lighten the paperwork burden while acknowledging employers that support education and training within the aviation maintenance industry,” said NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer.

The recognition program was developed in coordination with the NATA Aircraft Maintenance and System Technology Committee. Members of the Maintenance Committee represent some of the world's largest maintenance and repair organizations. At the committee's direction, the award requires maintenance technicians to complete a minimum of 12 hours of training per year in order to be counted towards the employer's award. That training may cover company policies and procedures, safety programs, vendor-conducted equipment or component training, or other aviation maintenance-related topics. On-the-job training also qualifies a technician for the program and is easy to quantify and track for the NATA Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer Recognition Program.

The program will run on a calendar year, so training hours between January 1 and December 31 will qualify for 2010 recognition.

“We believe this program is a benefit not only to our maintenance and repair facility members but also to our charter, management, and training members. Maintenance organizations will be recognized for supporting technicians who complete training above and beyond that required by the FAA, making it easier for aircraft operators to identify repair stations that go the extra mile to ensure technicians are up-to-date. Additionally, we hope the award will encourage maintenance organizations to provide additional safety training, raising the safety bar for the entire aviation industry,” explained Byer.

For more information on the award, please click here


Shawn Pruchnicki - Top Human Factors Scholar And Accident Investigation Expert To Lead Session At Safety Symposium, March 2-3
Making the executive decision to adopt a just safety culture and implement SMS and other programs is only the first step. Now you must effect change in your employees, some of whom will be resistant to change or reject the new concepts as unnecessary. At the Air Charter Safety Symposium, learn how to establish your culture and get your staff to “buy in” to a culture shift and the challenges you can expect to encounter as you build your safety culture.

About Shawn Pruchnicki
Ohio State University’s top aviation lecturer Shawn Pruchnicki is uniquely qualified to speak on this topic as a highly published expert with years of extensive human factors training and hands-on accident investigation experience. Pruchnicki currently teaches aviation safety, human factors and aviation history. Prior to coming to OSU, he flew as a captain with Comair Airlines (Delta Connection) for 10 years. Pruchnicki was involved with both local and national safety work for the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) and held many national and local positions including director of human factors, safety committee vice-chair, and both assistant chief and chief accident investigator for ALPA at Comair. He has also served on or co-chaired several national aviation working groups with the FAA. With ALPA, he has worked numerous accident investigations with the NTSB including the Comair 5191 Lexington, KY accident where he was ALPA’s principle human factors investigator.

Pruchnicki has received specific human factors training at the University of Southern California, the National Transportation Safety Board Academy and with Dr. Sidney Dekker at Lund University in Lund, Sweden. In 2006, he earned a Masters Degree with distinction in Aeronautical Science/Human Factors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

To see an extensive list of Pruchnicki’s published work, presentations, and interviews, click here.

The Air Charter Safety Symposium, March 2-3 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, is the premier event focusing on safety in the on-demand air charter and shared aircraft ownership industry. The symposium is a must-attend event to learn the latest developments and practical techniques for implementation of safety programs. View event details and register at


Regulatory And Legislative Briefings New At Environmental Compliance Seminar
March 15, 2010, Las Vegas, NV at AIE
The NATA Environmental Compliance Seminar for Aviation Facilities is the only event that focuses solely on environmental compliance issues confronting FBOs and general aviation airports. With mounting pressure from the media, the federal government and the public at-large, this seminar is designed to ensure that FBOs and general aviation airports are complying with environmental mandates that affect their daily operations.

George S. Gamble, PE, 2G Environmental, LLC will cover the following topics:

  • Spill Prevention, Control And Countermeasures (SPCC) Regulations And The New Parts Effective As Of November 10, 2010
  • Storm Water Permitting And Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans
  • Waste Issues (hazardous waste, universal waste, waste oil and waste fuel)
  • Underground Storage Tanks

New this seminar, NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Mike France will also provide a brief overview of legislative and regulatory issues that could affect our industry, including:

  • The EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme effect on U.S.-based aircraft operators
  • Future of Lead Regulation
  • De-Icing runoff regulation
  • Future of “Cap & Trade” Regulation
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulation

Why Attend?

  • Increase awareness of all applicable regulations
  • Ensure compliance with new environmental mandates
  • Avoid costly errors and negative press
  • Discuss best management practices
  • Review procedures, equipment and requirements

Who Should Attend?

  • FBO Owners/General Managers
  • Aviation/Airport Managers
  • Regulatory Compliance Managers
  • Environmental Compliance Managers

NATA’s Spring Training Week takes place March 15-17 in Las Vegas at the Aviation Industry Expo. NATA’s LSST, FBO Success and Safety 1st Trainers seminars will also be offered at Spring Training Week. Visit for more details and to register.


Byer’s Weekly Blog: Rushing To Judgment: What We Can Learn from the Austin, TX Accident
This week, NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric Byer discusses how the mainstream media rushed to judgment directly after last week’s Austin, TX aircraft accident.  Click here to view post.

Weekly Web Survey
Should Congress repeal the “fuel fraud tax” that requires FBOs to register and submit documentation in order to receive a refund of the excess tax on aviation fuel?

Participate in survey.


Environmental Fact Of The Week
As reported in earlier editions of NATA News, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized an endangerment finding for certain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions late last year. This endangerment finding is a step in regulating GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act. Basically, the endangerment finding is a statement that the EPA administrator finds, in her judgment and based upon the latest science, that GHG emissions are a threat to public health and welfare.

Last week, the State of Texas filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asking for judicial review of the endangerment finding. Additionally, the state has requested that the EPA reconsider its endangerment finding based upon new information on climate change that has become available since the close of the public comment period. The state charges that the EPA administrator did not conduct a thorough review of the science relating to climate change but rather, inappropriately, relied heavily on a conclusion reached by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The state argues that in recent months many of the IPCC’s conclusions and statements have been proven, or admitted by officials, to be false or misleading.

The State of Texas is asking that the EPA reevaluate the endangerment finding and perform an in-house review of the data suggesting that certain emissions lead to global warming rather than relying on the conclusions reached by groups outside the agency.

Please click here to read the State of Texas’ petition before the U.S. Court of Appeals

Please click here to read the State of Texas’ petition for reconsideration to the EPA



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National Air Transportation Association
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Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-8176

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