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NATA News - NATA and NBAA on Behalf of an Essential Industry

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View HTML Version of Newsletter   May 25, 2020 — Volume 19, Issue 21 

   This Week's Top Stories 

NATA President & CEO Tim Obitts and National Business Aviation Association President & CEO Ed Bolen have sent several letters to the editor speaking out against inaccurate representations of the Air Charter industry in response to recent articles by Bloomberg and CNBC. The letter to Bloomberg can be found here, and the letter to CNBC can be read here.


While the authors of the Bloomberg article did include a few of the points in reference to the steep decline in business for our industry and the reality that most of our members are small businesses, both articles failed to highlight the immense importance of the jobs and, even more so, the people represented by business aviation. In the letters to the editor, NATA and NBAA emphasized why it is so critical for aviation businesses to be included in relief programs.


Business aviation supports more than one million jobs and $247 billion in economic activity in the U.S. alone, as well as providing important infrastructure to empower other essential businesses everywhere. As our country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, charter airplanes are flying medicines, specimens, testing supplies, medical personnel and patients in need of specialized care (including patients with compromised immune systems), repatriation flights, and other critical missions. In fact, members from all sectors of business aviation are doing their part to support their employees, customers, communities, and country. Click here to read just some of these stories of essential service.


Responses Needed for GAO Survey on Retail Fuel Sales at Airports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) – the investigative arm of Congress – recently sent a survey to more than 3,000 NPIAS airports in the 48 contiguous states. This survey is in response to a mandate contained in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act.


The survey asks about the fuel service available at your airport, if any. Even if your airport doesn’t have any retail fuel sales, please fill out the questionnaire. In this instance, it should take less than five minutes to complete. If your airport does have retail fuel service, there will be a question about the amount of fuel sold during 2019.


For airports that provide the retail fuel sales, additional questions will be asked about the decision to provide fuel for sale. It will also include questions about how that fuel is provided and the amount of fuel sold in 2019. For these airports, the survey will take less than 20 minutes to complete. Your responses will provide the GAO with important information needed in order to accurately report to Congress. 


We hope that you’ll take this opportunity to provide accurate and useful information to the GAO when you receive the survey. Any questions about the questionnaire can be directed to Chris Jones at 206-287-4825 or Nick Nadarski at 206-287-4797. A dedicated survey e-mail can also be used to ask questions (

NATACS Updates: Be Prepared for FAA/DOT Inspections | Webinar May 27, 1PM EDT

During this COVID-19 disruption, to ensure compliance with the Anti-Drug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program requirements, the FAA will continue to conduct FAA/DOT inspections.


To follow social distancing guidelines, FAA inspectors may be performing these inspections remotely, which means you might receive a request to send required records to them electronically.


If you are scheduled for an FAA/DOT inspection, the team at NATA Compliance Services (NATACS) is here to assist you with your preparation. Contact us.


NATACS will also be hosting a Drug Program Managers webinar this Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 1PM EDT, to register please click here.


Final Free May NATA Safety 1st Webinar Wednesday

The NATA Safety 1st team will host their final free webinar, “Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC),” in the May series to allow for continuing education and professional development during COVID-19. The webinar is scheduled for this Wednesday, May 27 at 2PM EDT.

The webinar is offered at no charge and will be 30-40 minutes in length, allowing time for questions at the end.


Register here or, if you have any questions or suggestions for future topics, please contact Safety 1st at


If you missed last week’s informative webinar, you can view the recording at no charge after completing online registration. NATA will be announcing the continuation of this popular series for June. Stay tuned!


   Association Highlights:

Successful Online Air Charter Roundtable and Monthly Series Details


NATA would like to thank Colby McDowell of VanAllen, Elleana Spanos of Air Charter Service, Noel Fournier of Worldwide Jet, and Todd Weeber of Magellan Jets for serving as panelists on its first “Air Charter Roundtable: Forging Ahead” online webinar. We experienced such great participation and feedback that NATA plans to host these webinars on the third Wednesday of every month. Registration details coming soon!


The online “Air Charter Roundtable” webinar series was developed to encourage engagement and discussion of topics related to assisting our members in forging ahead. Participants can learn more about important relief programs and valuable resources, which will not only assist them now, but also in the future. Other topics include illegal charter and the challenges, risks, and opportunities facing our industry today.


Last week, NATA’s Safety Committee and Part 135 COVID Task Force released guidance for FBOs and Aircraft Operators in the form of best practices and standardized protocols for COVID-19 management during the transition back to “normal operations.” The guidance emphasizes that establishing standard protocols and adhering to them is SAFETY CRITICAL in creating consistent handling and habits. We encourage all FBOs and aircraft operators to join as an industry in adhering to this guidance.


FedEx is Giving $1 million to Small Businesses


Small businesses strengthen the economy and make the world more vibrant, creating jobs, as well as unique products, services, and spaces. Communities depend on small businesses, especially in these trying times.


Many small businesses are hurting right now. Whether you’re making the move to selling and shipping online or you’re ramping up your safety and cleanliness measures to keep customers and employees safe, you’re putting your all into not just surviving, but becoming more creative and resilient than ever.


To honor that spirit, FedEx is committing to provide $1 million in grants for small businesses in the U.S. Each grant recipient will receive $5,000, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more.


NATA members can apply beginning May 25 at Before you start, make sure you’re signed up for FedEx discounts through the NATA Shipping Program. If you’re not already taking advantage of this free benefit, enroll today.


NATA and Others Petition for Reconsideration of Ligado’s 5g Network Approval


NATA joined a coalition of leading aviation industry organizations as joint petitioners in the proceedings considering Ligado’s ancillary terrestrial component (“ATC”) proposals.


NATA, and the other participating groups, members have a strong interest in a robust Global Positioning System (“GPS”) environment and reliable access to satellite communications (“SATCOM”). Our members rely upon GPS and SATCOM to support safe, efficient aviation that delivers myriad benefits to the U.S. economy. The Commission’s Order and Authorization (“Order”), which grants Ligado’s license modification applications, recognizes that GPS receivers and SATCOM terminals are entitled to protection from interference caused by Ligado. The record in this proceeding does not substantially support the decisions the Commission made. As a result, the Order does not impose technical and operational parameters that will deliver appropriate protection to GPS and SATCOM. In an attempt to make up for this failing, the Order adopts a long list of license conditions. But these have numerous deficiencies and arbitrarily shift much of the burden for protection upon the aviation industry itself, putting air safety and aviation operations at risk. Read more.


NATA Award Programs Call for Nominations | Submit Exceptional Aviation Businesses and Colleagues


Nomination forms are available for the 2019 Industry Excellence Awards and the 2019 Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer Award Program. Each year, NATA presents awards to the exceptional individuals and companies that have helped to improve the general aviation community. The recipients of the following awards are chosen based upon NATA member-submitted nominations:

Airport Executive Partnership Award
ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award 
Excellence In Pilot Training Award 
Safety 1st Certified Line Service Professional Award 

   - FBO CSR Award


The nomination deadline is August 4, 2020. Submit an online nomination here. For more information, please click here.

   Membership Spotlight:

Priester Aviation Brings on Four New Sales Executives for Business Growth


Priester Aviation, LLC, announced that four new sales team members have joined Priester Aviation’s existing sales team in various regional positions, with the goal of capturing growth opportunities as business recovers during these unprecedented times. New team members Toby Batchelder, Greg Cummings, Deborah W. Maestas, and G. Scott Shatzer come to Priester Aviation with decades of aviation experience in previous positions ranging from Vice President of Sales to Chief Operation Officer and Operations Manager. Their combined talent and experience will play an integral role in achieving the company’s growth goals. “I’m thrilled to add this group of experienced professionals to the sales team. We had great growth goals in 2020 to begin with, and having them onboard now is even more important,” said Andy Priester, President and CEO for Priester Aviation. Each of these individuals have great experience growing specific markets within the industry and together create a versatile and highly skilled sales team. Read more.


MRO Touts Major Aircraft Mx During COVID Slowdown


California-based aviation services provider Sun Air Jets has completed a major inspection project on a customer’s Gulfstream G550 at its Part 145 repair station. With the industry facing reduced demand for private jet charter, the client viewed this as an opportunity to conduct the project, which included 12/24/36/48/72 and 144-month inspections. “Aircraft owners are looking at their schedules for the rest of the year and are choosing to utilize the current slowdown to conduct large-scale maintenance events, helping free up the airplane for the rest of the year,” said Rob Cox, the company’s Executive VP of Maintenance. “We schedule all other minor maintenance events around the owner's normal schedule, minimizing the required downtime for scheduled maintenance.” Read more.

   Air Charter Safety Foundation:

Executive Aviation Corp Joins the ACSF and the Aviation Safety Action Program


Executive Aviation Corporation, a charter and aircraft management company based in West Palm Beach, Florida, has joined the Air Charter Safety Foundation, and will be among the more than 175 companies participating in the ACSF’s adjunct service, the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP). “Safety is a ‘job-one’ priority for us,” said Gregory McDermott, President of Executive Aviation Corporation. “It has to permeate everything we do. That’s why we’ve joined the Air Charter Safety Foundation and will participate in the Aviation Safety Action Program. We want to be in a position to continually seek out opportunities to enhance our safety record.” Read more.


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