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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                                 Volume 9 Issue 12


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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Topics in this Volume:
Ø Senate Debate On FAA Reauthorization Continues As House Passes 12th Extension To The Legislation
Ø House Approves Sweeping Health Care Reform Legislation; Senate Next Step
Ø Florida State Senate Amendment On FBO Restrictions Withdrawn
Ø NATA 2010 Spring Training Week Scores One For The Books
Ø Raise Your Voice For Aviation Business During NATA’s 14th Annual Day On The Hill April 21st
Ø Bruce Jenner To Speak At 2010 Air Charter Summit
Ø  Deadline Extended, One Week Left To Participate In NATA's 2010 Compensation Survey!
Ø NATA’s RA Check, Automated Risk Assessment Tool, Launched At Safety Symposium
Ø Van De Laar Hired As NATA Manager, Regulatory Affairs
Ø Byer’s Weekly Blog: So What Will This New Health Care Reform Bill Mean To America’s Small Aviation Businesses?
Ø Weekly Web Survey
Ø Quick Facts On Aviation Fuel Quality Control


Coyne Testifies Before Aviation Subcommittee On FAA’s Oversight Of On-Demand Aircraft Operators
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing on March 17, 2010, on “FAA’s Oversight of On-Demand Aircraft Operators” in which James K. Coyne testified as president of the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF).

On July 13, 2009, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General (IG) released a report titled “On-Demand Operators Have Less Stringent Safety Requirements and Oversight Than Large Commercial Carriers” that failed to present an accurate picture of the Part 135 regulatory environment. The report cited numerous examples of differences between Part 135 and Part 121 regulations but did not offer adequate explanation for the reason for the variances. For instance, Part 121 is homogenous in regard to the type of aircraft and operations while Part 135 includes every possible mission profile and type of aircraft from a single-engine piston to a large cabin jet – the requirements are indeed different. The report fails to explain the wide-variety of aircraft included in this classification. This variation presents a unique challenge when attempting to draw safety conclusions.

Coyne highlighted in his testimony how Part 135 accident rates have steadily improved in recent years, with two fatal accidents occurring in 2009. In addition, fleet trends and advancing technology promise continued safety improvements. Also testifying before the subcommittee were Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel, FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Margaret Gilligan, National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen, and Helicopter Association International President Mathew Zuccaro. To view the testimony of the panelist, please click here.

To view a copy of the complete written testimony, please click here.

To view the Air Charter Safety Foundation press release, please click here.


Senate Debate on FAA Reauthorization Continues As House Passes 12th Extension To The Legislation
The United States Senate adjourned last Thursday evening after spending much of the week debating legislation to reauthorize the FAA. While the bill was on the floor much of the week to discuss various amendments, it appears the deadline for passage may occur this evening at 5:30 p.m. The remaining amendments to the bill include the use of airport slots for flights beyond the perimeter rule at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The amendment seeks to allow carriers to move up to 15 round-trip flights per day that are currently serving large hubs inside the perimeter to large hubs outside the current perimeter rule at the airport. The amendment is being offered by Senator John Ensign (R-NV). In addition, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has a pending amendment to consider a curfew on over flights in the Grand Canyon National Park by commercial aircraft.

In the meantime, last week the U.S. House of Representatives decided to pass the 12th extension to the last FAA reauthorization act, the Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (P.L. 108-176), on which the current extension runs through March 31, 2010. If the Senate does not reach final passage on the legislation next week, they will have to pass H.R. 4853, which will extend the financing of aviation programs through July 3, 2010. NATA is hopeful that the Senate will pass FAA reauthorization today.


House Approves Sweeping Health Care Reform Legislation; Senate Next Step
The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved ground-breaking legislation reforming America’s health care system. By a vote of 219 to 212, the House approved H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. NATA is currently reviewing this legislation and will provide members with a comprehensive legislative report later this week that will include details as to how this bill will impact America’s aviation businesses.

A summary of this new health care reform legislation may be viewed by clicking here.

To view the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the cost of H.R. 3590, please click here.

To view how your U.S. House Representative voted on this bill, please click here.

For more information, please contact Kristen Moore on the NATA staff.


Florida State Senate Amendment On FBO Restrictions Withdrawn
Thanks to the support of NATA members in Florida, as well as the Florida Aviation Trades Association (FATA), Florida State Senator Carey Baker (R-Eustis) withdrew his amendment to Florida Senate Bill 1500 (SB 1500). The amendment sought to control the price of fuel at fixed base operators if they are the sole contractor at a public-use airport. In addition, it would have prohibited storage, landing or departure fees on aircraft located on public-use airport property for less than 90 minutes. However, the bill, SB 1500, was passed last week by the Florida Senate Transportation Committee. The bill gives commercial airlines a tax break if they buy their fuel in Tallahassee, an incentive to get more commercial flights to the capital city. State Senator Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) sponsored the bill that is expected to save commercial airlines approximately $500,000 a year if they take advantage of it.


NATA 2010 Spring Training Week Scores One For The Books
The 2010 NATA Spring Training Week at AIE started strong last Monday with increased attendance and finished full steam with positive participant response. The Spring Training Week seminar lineup was revamped this year and included NATA’s FBO Success, Line Service Supervisor Training, Environmental Compliance and Safety 1st Trainer seminars. From top-notch training and business relationship development to friendly competition and a fun locale, NATA 2010 Spring Training Week had something for everyone.

“We hit one out of the park with this year’s event. Las Vegas was once again the most valuable destination for ground service safety information, training skills, products and business intelligence,” said NATA Director of Safety & Training Amy Koranda. “We saw an overall jump in attendance over the past two years’ figures and many participants said that they would like to return in the future.”

To help its members get into the Spring Training spirit, NATA added a few fun challenges this year. Shawn Mack of Banyan Air Service won the “NATA Training Times Customer Service Idea Sweepstakes” in January that gave him a free seminar registration at Spring Training as the prize. Early this week, the Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar attendees participated in a “Wii Batting Team Challenge” with the blue team emerging as the victors, click here to visit NATA’s Facebook page for a list of the winning team members. Finally, on Wednesday, Bill Odierno of Avitat Boca Raton was dubbed the MVP of the “Spring Training Week Wii Batting Challenge” and winner of the Wii system with 9 home runs totaling 5,009 feet.

“I am particularly pleased with the enthusiastic participation of the Spring Training Week attendees. We have found a winning combination of event location, seminars and overall timing, but we plan to adjust next year’s schedule to give attendees even more flexibility to register for multiple seminars,” added Koranda.


Raise Your Voice For Aviation Business During NATA’s 14th Annual Day On The Hill April 21st
Legislation to reauthorize the FAA has finally made it to the Senate floor, almost three years after it expired in 2007. While aviation is a current priority for Congress, now is the time to meet with your Members of Congress and promote general aviation's needs and priorities. Join NATA President James K. Coyne as he discusses NATA's 14th Annual Day on the Hill event - and how your involvement will garner support on Capitol Hill for your business and the industry.

Title: NATA 2010 Day On The Hill Preview Webinar

Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time: 12:00 Noon - 12:30 PM (EDT)

To register for this webinar, please click here.

To learn more about NATA’s 14th Annual Day on the Hill, including how to register, please click here.


Bruce Jenner To Speak At 2010 Air Charter Summit
Plan To Attend
NATA’s 2010 Air Charter Summit will take place on June 7-9 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia. The summit provides an important opportunity to learn about the Part 135 regulatory landscape straight from government officials. Industry leaders will also get the latest intelligence, tactics and strategies from nationally recognized experts, be inspired, find new solutions to current business and economic challenges, and network one-on-one with their peers.

Summit Topics:

  • Industry Economic Forecast
  • FAA Regulatory Review
  • Charter Brokering Update
  • TSA Update
  • FAA Leadership Update
  • Flight, Duty & Rest – What New Rules Will Mean To The Charter Community
  • State Taxes & Applicability To Part 135 Operations
  • Business Terms And Conditions For Providing Services To Customers, Including Brokers

The Olympic spirit comes back to life this June with an Air Charter Summit dinner event featuring special guest speaker Bruce Jenner.
Bruce Jenner, the world’s greatest athlete, became an American champion in the decathlon and won a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics, setting a world record. Jenner is also an entrepreneur, commercial spokesperson, television personality, actor, producer, author and pilot. He inspires audiences with the message that any person who makes an effort can achieve something great – greatness is at the core of every man, woman and child who wants it.

Visit for event details and to register today!


Deadline Extended, One Week Left To Participate In NATA's 2010 Compensation Survey!
Wednesday, March 31 is the last day to submit your information for inclusion in the NATA Annual Compensation Survey. Survey participants will receive a free PDF copy of the survey at no charge - a $50 value. The Compensation Survey is a unique and valuable reference to help you manage your business more profitably.  The survey is scheduled for publication in late April 2010.

For more information on the 2010 Compensation Survey, click here.

Click the following link to start the survey: Please contact ARI at with any questions about the survey.


NATA’s RA Check, Automated Risk Assessment Tool, Launched At Safety Symposium
NATA launched a revolutionary tool effectively combining safety management system-required risk assessment with convenience at the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s 2010 Air Charter Safety Symposium on March 3.

The association’s new online risk assessment tool, NATA RA Check, combines a highly comprehensive FAA-endorsed risk assessment tool with the automation necessary to make its use quick, easy, and accurate.

NATA RA Check fully automates the FAA-published Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT), a worksheet-based tool designed to consider the probability, severity and weighted value of 38 leading accident causal factors. Developed by FAA officials, respected aircraft operators, and other industry representatives, the FRAT is designed to identify potential hazards prior to flight and weigh the risk associated with each hazard through a five-step process.

To use the FAA-published tool, operators must create numerical thresholds that trigger additional levels of scrutiny prior to a flight. RA Check removes subjectivity and standardizes results, saving operators time and money while improving safety.

RA Check streamlines data-entry processes and provides further convenience as it is fully integrated with the Computing Technologies For Aviation (CTA) Flight Operating System (FOS).

Also at the symposium, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Hart commented on the importance of creating a balance between safety and productivity in the pursuit of safety management.

“RA Check fulfills a vital role in safety management programs with the perfect combination of sound safety risk assessment methodology and convenient automation features,” said NATA President James K. Coyne. “Safety and compliance tools such as RA Check and IC Check are greatly improving the business balance between safety and productivity.” 

RA Check key benefits include:

  • Streamlines processes
    • Automates the criteria of the Turbine Aircraft Operators Subgroup (TAOS) Flight Risk Assessment Tool formula and returns an online response.
    • Integrates with CTA’s FOS, limiting manual data entry.
    • Features automatic and user-generated email alerts for risk assessment reports and risk factor questionnaires, which may be viewed and addressed on your Smart Phone.
  • Raises situational awareness by focusing only on factors that pertain to each particular flight.
  • Alerts crewmembers about proactive safety measures for a particular flight.
  • Reduces training time, standardizes results and removes subjectivity.
  • Sets realistic operational thresholds.
  • Takes the most comprehensive risk assessment methodology and makes it as easy to implement as the most basic of models.

The program was developed, hosted and managed by NATA. A free 30-day trial registration and further information are available online at


van de Laar Hired As NATA Manager, Regulatory Affairs
The association announced today the hiring of Dennis van de Laar as its new manager, regulatory affairs.

Van de Laar comes to NATA from Southern Illinois Airport Authority where he served as a graduate assistant while completing his master’s degree in public administration at Southern Illinois University. During his work as a graduate assistant, van de Laar participated in a host of training and regulatory compliance projects with the airport authority. Prior to his work with the airport authority, van de Laar served as a graduate assistant with the Southern Illinois University Department of Aviation Management and Flight where, under an FAA grant, he co-authored a Safety Management System manual.

As NATA's manager, regulatory affairs, van de Laar will be responsible for regulatory items affecting aircraft maintenance as well as assisting in issues involving airport and FBO operations and environmental compliance. Van de Laar will also serve as the NATA staff liaison to the Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee.

"We are very pleased to have Dennis join the NATA government affairs team," said NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer. “With his experience and education, we are excited about the impact Dennis will have on advancing NATA’s regulatory agenda.”

Van de Laar graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management and completed his Masters in Public Administration in 2009.


Byer’s Weekly Blog: So What Will This New Health Care Reform Bill Mean To America’s Small Aviation Businesses?
This week, NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer discusses how the new health care reform bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last evening with impact America’s small aviation businesses. Click here to view this week's blog. To view all of Byer's Inside Washington blogs, click here.


Weekly Web Survey
Do you believe that the health care reform bill that the U.S. House of Representatives approved yesterday will increase costs for your business?

Participate in survey.


Quick Facts On Aviation Fuel Quality Control
Previous editions of this column have discussed the important role equipment design and function play in the quality control chain. Perhaps the most important equipment, however, are the eyes of a trained and experienced technician. There is no physical equipment or fuel test that can replace a visual inspection performed and evaluated by an experienced technician.

Sumping fuel tanks is a process that should occur, at minimum, on a daily basis and should always include a visual examination of the resulting fuel sample. The process for obtaining a sample is relatively simple but should be done consistently to ensure the comparability of results.

The first step in obtaining a sample (also known as sumping a tank) is to clear the line. Clearing the line ensures that the sample and any contaminates found are actually from the tank and not just the sampling piping. The amount of fuel that must be drawn to clear the line effectively will vary depending on the length and size of the sampling piping run.

Once the line has been cleared, a sample of fuel should be drawn into a clean, dry sampling container. When drawing the sample, the technician should be sure to open the sampling valve as far as possible, without risking spillage, to ensure a high enough flow rate to capture any contaminates near the bottom of the tank. This sample should then be evaluated and rated for contaminate content (a topic for a future column). If this sample does not meet an acceptable rating standard, the technician should continue drawing fuel from the tank until an acceptable rating is achieved.

Daily sampling of fuel tanks will allow your staff to quickly become experts on the quality of fuel in your tanks and the nature of your quality control system. These experts will then become your best weapon for identifying any discrepancies that could lead to a quality chain breakdown.



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