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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                            Volume 9 Issue 16


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.

Upcoming Events

2010 Day On The Hill - Alexandria, VA - 04/21/2010

Line Service Supervisor Training - Windsor Locks, CT - 5/19/2010

2010 Air Charter Summit - Chantilly, VA - 6/7/2010


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Professional Line Service Training 


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Day On The Hill Event Takes Place This Week
Registration is still open for awards dinner and committee meetings
This week’s Day on the Hill event kicks off with a luncheon on Wednesday followed by individual member meetings with representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Day on the Hill attendees will discuss with Members of Congress and their staff the most important issues facing the general aviation industry today, especially those impacting their business, both nationally and locally.

That evening, the winners of the NATA Industry Excellence Awards will be honored at a dinner at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. NATA’s Industry Excellence Awards are given to exceptional individuals and organizations that have helped improve the general aviation community. There is still time to join us in recognizing the individuals, offices, and organizations demonstrating excellence in their field and the highest level of customer service. Click here to view a press release of the winners.

The $69 registration fee for the Day on the Hill includes the awards dinner and this week’s NATA committee meetings. During this year’s event, NATA will host six committee meetings to address a wide array of issues affecting our membership. These meetings are widely considered great educational opportunities for members to learn the intricacies of the latest issues affecting their business, but also a great networking opportunity to meet with industry peers to exchange information and intelligence. All members are welcome to attend! Click here for more information and to register for the awards dinner and committee meetings.


FAA Suspends Air Operations At Darby Aviation
Last week, the FAA issued an emergency order suspending Darby Aviation’s air carrier certificate. The suspension will be in effect until the operator can demonstrate to the FAA that it can conduct operations in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Darby Aviation, also known as AlpaJet, is a Part 135 operator based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. This is the second time the company’s air certificate has been suspended. In 2005, the FAA temporarily suspended the carrier’s certificate after one of its aircraft, operated by Platinum Jet, overran the runway at Teterboro Airport, broke through the airport perimeter fence, and crashed into a building.

The FAA states that the company has “failed to produce an acceptable Operations Manual or an approvable training program despite repeated FAA efforts to inform the company of the required changes in those documents. As a result, the company has no accepted Operations Manual or approved training program.”

Due to a lack of proper operating guidance and failure to follow regulatory requirements, the FAA has lost confidence in the company’s ability to guarantee operational safety. It was also determined by the FAA that Darby’s chief pilot and director of operations are not qualified to hold their positions.

“The FAA will not let a carrier continue to operate if it doesn’t meet strict qualifications,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “All carriers, no matter what the size, must have approved pilot training programs. Our mission is to keep air travelers safe.”

The company may appeal the emergency order within 10 days of receiving the notice.


Washington State Lawmakers Drop Aircraft Excise Tax Proposal
The Washington State House of Representatives voted on April 11, 2010, to approve a tax revenue bill – without the aircraft excise tax increase that legislators had earlier insisted be included in the bill. Lawmakers had proposed a 0.5 percent annual excise tax on aircraft based in the state. Aviation industry groups all worked hard and on the grassroots level in opposition to the tax proposal. NATA thanks the National Business Aviation Association and the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association for their efforts in ensuring this tax proposal’s defeat.

General aviation provides approximately $3.1 billion to the State of Washington’s economy each year and supports over 7,600 jobs.


NATA Appears At The Aviation Technicians Advisory Council 50th Annual Conference
Last week, NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France appeared at the Aviation Technicians Education Council’s (ATEC) 50th Annual Conference in Mesa, AZ, to provide the group with an update on NFPA 409 and its effect on ATEC member schools. ATEC is a member organization consisting of FAA-approved Part 147 aviation maintenance technician schools, government representatives and other aviation industry professionals. ATEC’s mission is “To advocate for aviation maintenance schools in the areas of curriculum improvement, technical and financial support, while promoting mutually beneficial relations with related government and industry groups.”

France provided an in-depth presentation on the history, current effects and future of NFPA 409. NFPA 409 is the Standard on Aircraft Hangars and is produced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). During his presentation, France addressed the effects changes in NFPA 409 and local fire codes could have on the development and renovation of aviation facilities as well as the necessity to incorporate changes in fire codes into the long-term business planning process.

Last year, NATA lead an industry effort to oppose changes in NFPA 409 that would have required, for the first time, that automatic sprinkler systems be installed in all new aircraft hangars under 12,000 square feet in size. During this process, France was nominated and accepted onto the NFPA committee that oversees the revision process of NFPA 409 and is currently the only general aviation representative on that committee. The proposal to require sprinkler systems in small hangars was defeated late last year, and the new revision of NFPA 409 is expected later this year.

NATA Joins Industry Letter In Support Of Contract Tower Program
The aviation industry sent a letter to the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations supporting $125.3 million in funding for the FAA Contract Tower Program, including an addition funding of $10 million for the continuation of the contract tower cost-sharing program. This funding will ensure the continuation of the safety program and allow non-towered airports to receive the vital safety benefits of a control tower.

To view the entire letter, please click here.


NATA Helps Promote GA During NCSL Spring Forum
Recently, NATA along with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Business Aviation Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association and National Association of State Aviation Officials hosted a reception for state policymakers from all 50 states. State lawmakers were in Washington, D.C. for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) spring forum. The April 8th event showcased the importance of general aviation and included a flight simulator provided from Red Bird Simulators for attendees to experience flight simulation at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The NCSL is a bipartisan organization serving the legislators and staff in all 50 states. This year during the spring forum, the NCSL provided research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.  


VA Airport Moves Toward Profitability Due To Elimination Of Personal Property Tax On Aircraft
Over the past year, hangar rentals have doubled at the Stafford County Airport, Stafford, Virginia. Only three empty hangars remain of the 40 hangars on airport property. Stafford County Airport Manager Ed Wallis attributes the turnaround to the board of supervisors, who voted last year to eliminate the personal property tax on aircraft. Each year, the three member localities – Fredericksburg, Stafford County and Prince William County– have shared a pro-rated burden of the airport's operating costs. Stafford paid $114,285 this fiscal year, but will be asked to pay only $85,214 in the coming fiscal year.

During a board of supervisors budget work session last week, Airport Authority Chairman Hank Scharpenberg said the airport will decrease the operating subsidy it needs from its three supporting localities.

"I'm ecstatic," Wallis said. "We're headed toward self-sufficiency."


Daniel B. Gurley Appointed NATA Director Of Membership And Business Development
As one of the newest staff members of the NATA, Director of Membership and Business Development Daniel B. Gurley, III is working to bring additional value to the NATA membership.

Prior to joining NATA, Gurley was the director of membership and meetings for the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds. There, he was responsible for membership recruitment/retention, affinity programs and meeting production.

Previously, Gurley was the manager of legislative and regulatory affairs for the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) where he worked on federal compliance issues. Before AOPA, he was the senior research manager at United BioSource supporting the pharmaceutical industry and various medical trade associations.

Gurley holds a Masters in Public Administration in addition to his Bachelors in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He has authored several articles and presented to groups that included governors and legislators.

"We are pleased to announce the addition of Daniel to the NATA staff,” said NATA CFO Timothy J. Heck. “His broad experience with membership, meetings and public administration is a real asset to our membership. Daniel’s primary focus is our members – speaking with them, determining their needs and helping to develop products and services to further their prosperity."


John Allen To Join Hickey And Conte At NATA Summit
FAA Regulatory Review Session, June 8
Don't miss the chance to learn firsthand how the FAA's top Part 135 officials view the regulatory landscape at the NATA Air Charter Summit June 7-9 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, VA. Deputy Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety John J. Hickey; Joseph Conte, Office of the Chief Counsel, Enforcement Division; and Director, Flight Standards Service John Allen will provide attendees with updates on current initiatives, including flight and duty time requirements, actions to publish the Part 135 ARC proposals, safety management system implementation and much more.

Also at the Summit:

  • Industry Economic Forecast
  • Charter Brokering Update
  • TSA Update
  • NTSB Leadership Update
  • State Taxes & Applicability to Part 135 Operations
  • Collection of Federal Excise Taxes - The Growing Difficulties for Part 135 Operators when Working with Charter Brokers
  • Dinner with Special Guest Speaker - Olympic Hall of Famer Bruce Jenner

Click here for event details and a link to register and make hotel reservation TODAY. Four weeks remain for guaranteed discounted group room rate of $149!


FREE LSST Preview Webinar April 29
Discover Why Windsor Locks Is The Place To Be May 19-20
NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France will host a FREE LSST Preview Webinar on Thursday, April 29, at Noon. France will walk you through highlights of the Windsor Locks seminar agenda and provide you with some of the best reasons for attending. If you are unable to attend the webinar but would like to submit a question, email your question or comment to France will address your question or concern and a recording of the webinar will be available on the LSST events page. Click here to register for the preview webinar. To visit the LSST Seminar events page, click here.



Operators Encouraged To Complete Safety Survey
The Turbine Aircraft Operations Subgroup (TAOS), part of the FAA’s General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, was formed in 2005 to study and make practical recommendations to the FAA regarding safety practices for turbine aircraft operations. As part of that effort, TAOS has created a short on-line safety survey seeking input from pilots and operators about safety-related practices and programs.  

The survey is available by clicking here. The deadline to complete the survey is April 30, 2010.


Policy Playbook Blog
This week, NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Mike France discusses his passion for aviation in a blog titled, “An American Success Story.” To read France’s blog, please click here.


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NextGen News
A press release issued earlier this month by the FAA addressed the relationship between NextGen implementation and long-term economic growth. The release, Forecast Links Aviation Activity and National Economic Growth, stated:

“Key airspace safety and efficiency modernization efforts will play a vital role in spurring long-term sustained growth in air travel and the nation’s overall economic health…[which] underscores the need for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and continued investment in airport infrastructure projects.”

The relationship between NextGen modernization and economic growth was highlighted in the FAA’s 20-year forecast for Fiscal Years 2010-2030.

“This forecast makes a very strong business case for NextGen,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "Without NextGen, we won’t be able to handle the increased demand for service that this forecast anticipates.”

For more information on the proposed NextGen system, visit the FAA NextGen homepage.


Visit us anytime at

National Air Transportation Association
4226 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-8176

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