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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                            Volume 9 Issue 24


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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Participation Spikes At 2010 NATA Air Charter Summit
NATA concluded its popular 2010 Air Charter Summit earlier this week with significant increases in attendance and sponsorship support. Participation in the 2010 NATA Air Charter Summit was up 50% over last year and included a record number of overall event sponsors and table top display sponsors. NATA President James K. Coyne said, "I am excited by the strong turnout of this year’s Air Charter Summit. We have seen an increase in attendance at all of our events so far this year, and the Summit was no exception."

The Summit has quickly become the on-demand air charter industry's most popular event with its wide array of business, regulatory and legislative topics on issues affecting the aviation community at-large. This year's summit included a robust agenda with issues that touched on all facets of the Part 135 and 91k communities, including state taxes, federal excise taxes, the economic forecast for the industry, an FAA regulatory update with the agency's top leadership, charter brokering, the latest on the Large Aircraft Security Program, and a flight, duty and rest update as well as a fractional ownership leadership session.

Andy Cebula of Sensis Corporation and Paul Fontaine with the FAA’s ADS-B office kicked off the program with a discussion on NextGen. Fontaine opened with the comment that the FAA had done the NextGen program a disservice by estimating that it would be 2025 before the program would be completed. He outlined for the attendees the agency’s implementation plan with a goal to have 320 ground stations finished before the end of the year and 800 completed by 2013. Cebula ended the session by telling attendees that the FAA is seeking input from the industry on NextGen and advising them to participate in this process.

John J. Hickey, Deputy Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, began the FAA regulatory review session by thanking NATA for recognizing the South Florida FSDO and flight instructor Arlynn McMahon with NATA Industry Excellence Awards. He said that NATA’s survey on FAA regulatory interpretation inconsistencies is helping the agency discover areas in need of standardization.

Tuesday evening, well-known Olympian, aviation business owner and accomplished pilot Bruce Jenner gave an inspirational presentation on his Olympic experience, tying it into the success of America’s aviation businesses. Jenner also made himself available to writers from NATA’s Aviation Business Journal (ABJ) magazine. Look for the interview in the third quarter issue of ABJ.

"This year’s Summit provided an outstanding forum for speakers to highlight some of the most pressing issues confronting the charter industry," Coyne concluded. "The large jump in registration and sponsorship support is a clear indicator that the Air Charter Summit is becoming a must-book-event on the calendar of Part 135 operators large and small."

Visit for copies of presentations as well as links to sponsors and display companies from the 2010 NATA Air Charter Summit.


Flight Training Providers In California Express Concern Over Proposed Regulations
Early last week, the California Bureau of Private Post Secondary Education held a public hearing to receive comment on regulations proposed to implement the requirements of Assembly Bill 48 (AB48), signed into law last year. AB48 reconstituted the Bureau of Private Post Secondary Education (BPPSE) and provided it the authority to regulate all post secondary education in the State. AB48 did not contain an exemption for flight training providers as the previous authorizing legislation had.

The regulations proposed by the BPPSE cover flight training providers operating within the state.  Covered training providers will be required to submit an application for approval to operate within the state by August 2, 2010, or submit an application for exemption if they meet the requirements set forth in the statute. In order to receive approval to operate, training providers must submit the following fees and meet the following requirements:

  • $5000 Application Fee
  • $1000 Annual Fee
  • Second Annual Fee in the Amount of 0.75% of gross revenues (not to exceed $25,000)
  • Submit Audited Financial Statements
  • Demonstrate a 1:1 current assets to current liabilities ratio
  • Meet the BPPSE’s educational quality standards

In conversations with BPPSE staff, NATA has learned that the BPPSE does not consider any of the statutory exemptions relevant to flight training except possibly the avocational/recreational education exemption for flight training facilities not providing any commercial pilot instruction.

A significant number of flight training business owners and providers appeared at last week’s hearing to provide information to the BPPSE on the impact of the proposed regulations. Many of the speakers indicated that the extreme fees and the requirement for audited financial statements would cause their business to close. In fact, in a recent NATA survey of California flight training providers 90% of the respondents indicated that their training facility would no longer be able to operate under the proposed regulations.

NATA has been working closely with its members and the industry in general to respond to these threatening regulations. NATA drafted and submitted comments to the BPPSE suggesting that a large segment of the flight training industry is already exempted from the bureau’s authority by the statute. Additionally, NATA addressed other changes in the way the BPPSE implements its responsibilities that could lessen the impact of the proposed regulations. NATA’s comments to the BPPSE are available here. NATA will be continuing to work with the BPPSE, California legislators and the industry in general to help prevent these regulations from destroying flight training in California.


GA Leaders Meet On Avgas, Request Extension
Leaders from the general aviation and petroleum industries met recently and formed a coalition to work together to develop a process to reduce lead emissions from general aviation aircraft, balancing environmental benefit with aviation safety, technical feasibility and impact upon the general aviation industry. The group wants to ensure that a stable aviation fuel supply exists in the near term while the long-term solution is identified, certified, and implemented. At this stage, all potential solutions, including lower octane fuels, higher octane candidates, and chemical or bio additives, remain as possible options.  

The coalition’s first meeting in May was attended by decision-makers, including several of the group’s CEOs, from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Air Transportation Association, the National Business Aviation Association, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

As its first action, the coalition has requested a 120-day extension to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) in order to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible to the agency. The extension will allow time to gather and evaluate data from the Coordinating Research Council on an ultra-low-lead fuel as a possible near-term interim solution, and to provide aircraft and engine manufacturers time to assess further the technical, economic, safety and performance impacts associated with the possibility of moving to an unleaded fuel in the long term.

The aviation and petroleum industries have been working diligently for two decades to develop a seamless, high-octane replacement unleaded avgas that meets the requirements of the entire general aviation fleet. To date, no such fuel has been proven to be available or viable, although work continues in this direction. The collaborative program being undertaken by this group will evaluate the body of research that has been conducted over the past twenty years and will further evaluate the work currently being performed in order to arrive at the best possible solution.

The organizations participating in this coalition are committed to working with the EPA, the FAA, and the petroleum and aviation industries. The regulatory affairs staff from all of the associations are continuing their coordination with government agencies on the myriad of technical, safety, logistical, and economic issues. It is critical that aircraft owners and fuel distributors have sufficient time and information to comply with a realistic standard to reduce lead emissions from general aviation aircraft.

More information on lead in AvGas can be found here.


TSA Nominee Pistole Testifies Before Senate Committee
John S. Pistole, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on June 10, 2010. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, urged Pistole, currently deputy director of the FBI, to resist pressure from federal employee unions to secure bargaining rights for nearly 50,000 transportation security officers. In addition, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) said collective bargaining would have a “direct negative impact” on airport security because it would hamper the agency’s “ability to deploy people at any time.” Pistole did not offer any opinion about bargaining rights at the agency; however, he said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had asked him to review the bargaining issue if he is confirmed. In his review, he promised to “engage all stakeholders.”

To view John Pistole’s full hearing testimony, please click here.

Key Air Makes ACSF Industry Audit Standard Registry
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) last week announced the addition of Key Air, LLC, of Oxford, Connecticut, to the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) Registry. Key Air makes the 11th operator to have completed the IAS audit and achieved Registered status with the ACSF.

The IAS is an all-inclusive audit tailored for Part 135 and 91K operators that consists of a rigorous review of an operator’s processes, procedures, and regulatory compliance, as well as the operator’s implementation of and adherence to an SMS.

Key Air is proud to be among the highly respected companies that have achieved registration by the Air Charter Safety Foundation. The Air Charter Safety Foundation has created a high-quality measurement tool that gets at the very core of aviation safety culture,” said Robert Marinace, president and chief executive officer for Key Air, LLC.

Currently 10 other operators have completed the on-site portion of the audit process for this year, and a total of 28 operators are scheduled to go through the program by December 2010.

The ACSF has made an extensive investment to create a comprehensive audit where both operators and their customers can be assured of process integrity and transparency.

Customers should look for the ACSF IAS registered logo and encourage their preferred charter provider to participate in the program. The ACSF makes its operator registry and key company details available at no charge, so verification of IAS registration is quick and easy. Charter consumers can view the registry at

Supporting materials are available at Operators wishing to initiate the audit process should contact Russ Lawton at 1-888-SAFE-135 (888-723-3135).


Lear 60 Operators Required To Check Tire Pressure More Often
An airworthiness directive issued last week requires operators of Learjet Model 60 aircraft to conduct more frequent checks of tire pressure. Beginning July 13, 2010, all operators of the Lear 60 will need to check tires for proper inflation every four days. This requirement could present scheduling difficulties for Part 135 operators as the check (and any necessary servicing) must be completed by a mechanic. 

The requirement is a direct result of a 2008 fatal accident where the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that low pressure on the Lear 60 led to the failure of the tire during takeoff. This contributed to the severity of the accident, and the NTSB concluded that the Lear 60 is more at risk for failures and for those failures to cause additional damage to the aircraft such as occurred in the 2008 accident.

The final rule, including disposition of comments received by industry, is available for review.


NATA Requests NPRM Extension On NY North Shore Helicopter Route
The FAA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled “The New York North Shore Helicopter Route” Docket Number FAA-2010-0302 requiring helicopter operators to use the New York North Shore Route when operating in that area of Long Island, NY The NPRM would require helicopter pilots to adhere to a flight path out over the Long Island Sound when traveling to Gabreski Airport in Westhampton and East Hampton Airports. When turning south to fly over land, pilots will be required to maintain an altitude of 2,500-feet over less populated areas. The proposal would mandate use of a route that is currently voluntary.

Aviation industry groups such as the Eastern Regional Helicopter Council, the Helicopter Association International, the National Business Aviation Association, the National Air Transportation Association, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association have submitted a request for a 60-day extension of the NPRM deadline of June 25, 2010.

The FAA has been working with stakeholders and industry groups on the issue such as developing the visual flight rules for the North Shore route to address the noise concerns by directing helicopters over water when transiting the area. The FAA acknowledges that a number of conditions may occur that would require helicopters to deviate from the route, and says "provisions are included that take into consideration the wide variety of helicopters, their associated performance and mission profiles, the dynamic weather environment along the route and the pilot's responsibility to maintain safe operations at all times."

To view the proposed regulation, please click here.


Register Today For June 17 Webinar
Strategies for Negotiating with Airport Authorities
NATA will host its first E-Learn Webinar “Strategies for Negotiating with Airport Authorities: Utilizing the Sponsor Assurance to Ensure Fair Treatment Among FBOs” on Thursday, June 17, at noon (EDT). This webinar will provide strategies to use when negotiating a new FBO lease, seeking an extension of an existing lease, preparing to invest capital into an existing business when purchasing a new FBO business and whenever everyday issues arise that affect your business at an airport.

The webinar discussion will highlight sponsor assurances (commitments made by airport sponsors in return for federal funding) and the three advisory circulars that interpret them. These assurances provide guidance on, among other things, competition among FBOs and other aeronautical users, promote safety and efficiency in all airport activities, and are supposed to reduce or eliminate the incidence of unfair treatment among FBOs and other aeronautical users. The webinar will examine how the sponsor assurances can be used to get the best results during negotiations and how they can protect your FBO from unfair treatment by an airport sponsor.

With the current downturn in the economy, the issue of fair competition at general aviation airports has become even more important to the FBO industry. Learn about your rights as an airport tenant, and how to protect your investment and improve your negotiating power.

This webinar is offered at the low cost of $49.95 and at the convenience of your own office. Sign up here to attend


Tax Questions Answered At Seminar Tailored To Charter Operators
This August, NATA and Conklin & de Decker’s Commercial Operators Tax Seminar will provide air charter operators with the details necessary to understand the Federal Excise Tax (FET) application, collection and remittance. During the seminar, attendees will benefit from concrete examples and are provided ample opportunity to ask questions and interact with speakers.

In addition to a thorough explanation of FET, the Commercial Operators Tax Seminar will provide details on state taxes, international fees, personal use, and depreciation, as well as FAR and IRS regulations so attendees walk away with real clarity on these issues! Also, this year the seminar will include a discussion on the evolving issues surrounding transactions with air charter brokers.

The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar is August 17-18, 2010, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Discounted registration fees are available for early registrants. Click on the Events Calendar at to learn more or to register.


Byer’s Weekly Blog: 
This week, NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer discusses why it’s time for Congress to approve a long-term FAA reauthorization bill.

To read Byer’s blog, please click here.


Environmental Fact Of The Month
NATA’s quick facts on the aviation industry's effect on the environment are designed to ensure that members take every step necessary to minimize the effect aviation has on the environment while recognizing the initiatives the industry has taken to reduce global warming.

With tens of thousands of gallons of oil flooding into the Gulf of Mexico every day, it is an understatement to say that environmental issues are on everyone’s mind. There is a danger though in only seeing the big picture in terms of environmental impact, huge oil spills, lead emissions, and climate change. There are a series of environmental regulations that affect you business right now. Failing to understand or comply with these basic rules can cost your company in both fines and lost reputation.

Therefore, NATA has developed a series of environmentally conscious best practices for aviation companies. These best practices were created by an industry leading engineer who specializes in aviation environmental compliance and have been approved by the NATA Environmental Committee. The following environmental best practices are available to NATA members:

  • Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC)
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Storm Water Pollution Prevention
  • Used Batteries
  • Used Oil
  • Used Fluorescent Lamps

NATA recommends that member companies customize these policies and procedures to their operation and incorporate them into standard operating procedure. Doing so will help members continue to minimize their impact on our environment.

NATA’s environmental best practices can be viewed here.


Weekly Web Survey
Do you believe that Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will ever reach pre-9/11 operational activity levels for charter and general aviation operations?

Participate in survey.


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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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