Last Monday, October 18, NATA’s committees met to conduct their quarterly meetings. Recaps from these meetings follow:
The Air Charter Committee covered an array of issues, including recent proposed rules for helicopters and air ambulances, the numerous safety provisions within the Airline Safety Act that could impact Part 135 operations, concerns over potential restrictions on the transfer of pilot training and checking between operators and the implications of the Part 121 flight, duty and rest rulemaking on the industry.
The committee members were joined by Dayton Lehman, the Department of Transportation (DOT) deputy assistant general counsel for aviation enforcement & proceedings. Lehman gave an overview of the progress made to release a notice of proposed rulemaking related to the regulation of brokers and/or brokering activity in the on-demand air charter industry. The committee members engaged in a lengthy discussion about the merits and scope of any regulation. Lehman also provided detailed information on the DOT’s current authority to protect consumers from any unfair or deceptive practices and gave examples of prior enforcement actions the department has pursued.
Aircraft Maintenance And Systems Technology Committee
Good attendance, a variety of guests, and an overall productive discussion highlighted the Fall 2010 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. FAA and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials spoke at length with the committee members about some of the issues facing the maintenance world.
Carol Giles, manager of the FAA’s Maintenance Division (AFS-300), as well as Marty Bailey, FAA Repair Station branch manager (AFS-340) spent the day with committee members discussing some of the major agency initiatives affecting them. Attendees were briefed on key issues such as the Part 145 rewrite, Airworthiness Directive ARC, Maintenance Away Teams, Satellite Repair Station guidance, Training Requirements and Navigational Database Updates. Giles also mentioned she was seeking active industry participation in the agency’s Maintenance Seminar next year. TSA Repair Station Branch Manager Celio Young provided the committee with an in-depth look at the administration’s handling of foreign repair stations as well as the proposed repair station security rule. The representatives of both the FAA and TSA expressed their commitment to work closely with NATA and the committee on facilitating the successful implementation of the proposed regulations.
NATA President James K. Coyne addressed the group about the upcoming elections and stressed its importance to the aviation community. Coyne expressed his frustration with a continued delay in FAA re-authorization and his hope that we will soon see Congress’ inaction turn into action. NATA Legislative Affairs Director Kristen Moore pointed out some of important elements in the latest version of the FAA reauthorization bill and how it would affect maintenance activity.
The committee is also pleased to announce the confirmation of new committee member Michelle A. Schopp, director, flight technical programs with Executive Jet Management. Also attending was Ronald Donner, editor for Aircraft Maintenance Technology. Donner has a rich background in aircraft maintenance and is considering increased participation in the committee’s activities. As the committee continues to look at ways to enhance the benefit to NATA’s maintenance base, it is actively seeking committee membership from interested individuals representing the OEM world.
For more information, please contact staff liaison Dennis van de Laar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Airports And Environmental Committees
The Airports Committee discussed a number of topics including security, through-the-fence and airport sponsor-tenant relationship issues. One of the prime topics of discussion was the association’s effort to increase the use of airport minimum standards at public use airports. Minimum standards, when developed, implemented and enforced properly, provide benefits to airport sponsors, airport tenants and individuals desiring to provide on-airport aeronautical services. The committee will continue to work across the industry to educate and promote the importance of updated, comprehensive minimum standards.
NATA’s Environmental Committee received updates on and discussed several important topics relating to the industry role in environmental responsibility, including spill prevention, control and countermeasures (SPCC) plans and the industry’s response to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rulemaking on lead in aviation gasoline. The committee also explored ways in which the association could assist its members in ensuring compliance with existing environmental regulations.
Both the Airports and Environmental Committees will hold their next meeting later this year via teleconference.
Business Management Committee
Members of the Business Management Committee discussed business in today’s economy, current NATA membership programs and services, and new initiatives. The committee reviewed PLST Online, NATA Compliance Services, Educational Seminars, Workers Comp Program, NATA’s Web site and the Safety 1st program. Also discussed were the new ARAMARK Uniform Services discount, Hertz rental car discount and additional programs to be researched by NATA staff.
Members stated that they are feeling cautiously optimistic regarding the economy. Most FBOs are focusing on fuel costs, which are based on changing buying patterns and are being negotiating through brokers and contract fuel programs. It was also stated that insurance rates are at an all time low for FBOs with low incident occurrences.
The NATA Workers Compensation program was reviewed, and data on insurance payouts will be analyzed to see if NATA can provide targeted training to members in order to promote safe working environments.
For additional information on this meeting, please contact NATA Vice President, Financial Operations, Tim Heck.Safety & Security Committee
With nearly twenty members, guests and staff in attendance, NATA's Safety & Security Committee discussed safety, training and security initiatives.
Members discussed the feasibility of providing a ground safety audit process to create a consistent operational safety standard for fixed base operators, airport and other aviation service providers while increasing operations’ overall safety levels. The ground safety audit would provide on-demand charter, fractional and corporate aircraft operators with an alternative to costly proprietary audits. Although only in the beginning stages of discussions, members were intrigued to entertain a world that would entail fewer audits and more business pertinent to the bottom line with a safety focus.
Other committee discussions included NATA’s Safety 1st Professional Line Service Training (PLST Online) additional module offerings to members and non-members alike covering De/Anti-Icing and Customer Service, Safety and Security (CSSS). De/Anti-Icing includes crucial training for line service specialists gearing up for the winter season consisting of the importance of aircraft de/anti-icing, in-depth de/anti-icing fluid facts and safety aspects, pertinent de-icing and anti-icing fluid procedures and final departure responsibilities of line crews. The customer service, safety and security includes four modules taken from the PLST Online to familiarize other FBO staff on the line service specialists’ position and general aviation environment as well as crucial safety and security concerns at an FBO.
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Click here for additional information on the Safety & Security Committee.
Other Safety & Security member offerings:
Company ground manual: Click here for NATA’s Operational Best Practices (OBP)
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