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Member Update


     January 20, 2011    

In This Issue

FCC Officially Withdraws 121.5MHz ELT Phase-out Proposal

NTSB Evaluates Airbag Use In General Aviation

Is Your Member Of Congress A Part Of The General Aviation Caucus?

G.I. Flight Training Bill Signed Into Law

AMT Employer Award Application Due By January 30

Corporate Air Achieves ACSF IAS Registered Status

ACSF Adds 1st International Operator To Industry Audit Standard Registry  

Don’t Miss The Future Of Aviation Gasoline Panel

Top Seven Reasons To Attend NATA’s Spring Training Week

Policy Playbook Post - "More On Minimum Standards In February"

FCC Officially Withdraws 121.5MHz ELT Phase-out Proposal

In an official notice posted last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) withdrew its proposal to prohibit the certification, manufacture, importation, sale or use of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) that transmit distress alerts on frequency 121.5 MHz. The FCC said that “no action will be taken regarding 121.5 MHz ELTs until further notice, following an additional opportunity for interested parties to comment.”

In a July 2010 letter to the FCC, the FAA stated that the current supply of replacement 406 MHz ELTs is not sufficient to replace the existing 121.5 MHz versions and expressed concern with the costs involved in replacing the equipment. The agency also said that the frequency still serves a purpose as it continues to be monitored by the search and rescue community.

Last year, NATA voiced its concern with the proposed rule and the rule’s essential potential to ground most general aviation aircraft. NATA is committed to working with the FCC and industry representatives to develop a policy that recognizes the benefits of modern ELTs, while minimizing the impact on the existing general aviation fleet.

NTSB Evaluates Airbag Use In General Aviation

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a public meeting, during which it released the results of a study of airbag restraint system use in general aviation aircraft. The study evaluated:

  • The effectiveness of airbags in mitigating occupant injury in survivable general aviation accidents
  • Any possible unintended consequences of airbag deployments
  • The development of procedures to assist investigators in documenting airbag systems in future investigations

The recent public meeting was the culmination of over three years of data collection and investigation into airbag installations and use. According to the NTSB, airbags have been installed on over 17,000 seats in over 7000 general aviation aircraft and their use “can mitigate occupant injuries in severe but survivable crashes.”

More information, including Opening Remarks, meeting presentation, and a recording of the full public meeting, is available from the NTSB Web site by clicking here.

Is Your Member Of Congress A Part Of The General Aviation Caucus?

The General Aviation Caucus has been reinstated in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 112th Congressional session. The General Aviation Caucus is open to all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives despite party affiliation or committee assignments. In the previous Congress, the caucus comprised more than 135 members, a substantial size for a congressional caucus.

U.S. Congressmen Sam Graves (R-MO) and John Barrow (D-GA) will serve as co-chairmen of the caucus. It is the goal of Reps. Graves and Barrow, along with general aviation industry groups including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, NATA, National Business Aviation Association, Alliance for Aviation Across America, Air Care Alliance, Commemorative Air Force, Recreational Aviation Foundation, Antique Aircraft Association, and International Council of Air Shows, to ensure that the caucus has a large membership to draw upon to highlight important issues facing the general aviation industry. 

The caucus intends to hold regular meetings on issues affecting general aviation, including legislation to reauthorize the FAA, the pending release of the revised rule on the Large Aircraft Security Program, and issues involving aviation security.

NATA released an action call to its members last week asking for their support by requesting their Member of the U.S. House of Representatives to join or re-join the General Aviation Caucus.

The U.S. Senate General Aviation Caucus has not been reinstated at this time; however, it is expected to be in the coming weeks. 

G.I. Flight Training Bill Signed Into Law

On January 4, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill providing war veterans the opportunity to further their education through various programs, including flight training. The bill S. 3447, the “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010,” improves educational benefits for veterans serving three years of active duty in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001. The new law allots up to $10,000 for flight training per year.

Although signed into law, the legislation has to overcome one more hurdle: Congress must fund this program in appropriations legislation this year. NATA supports the efforts made by Congress and the President to provide opportunities to veteran, and hopes that the program will receive the needed funding.

AMT Employer Award Application Due By January 30

Applications for NATA's AMT Employer Award are due by January 30, 2011.  Participating in the program is easy; simply download and complete the short application form and submit it to NATA via fax or e-mail. Your commitment to the training of your employees is a vital component in maintaining the excellent safety standards we enjoy in our industry. The AMT Employer Award program is open to any full-time aircraft, components maintenance, Part 91, 121, 125, 127, 129, 133, 135, 137; 141 145 or 147 entity that conducts aviation maintenance. 

For a detailed program description, go to

The application and list of qualified training/technicians may be submitted via fax to 703/845-8176 or completed and submitted online by sending the application form to Dennis van de Laar at (preferred). Please ensure that you provide valid contact information so we may notify you with up-to-date program information.


Corporate Air Achieves ACSF IAS Registered Status

The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) recently welcomed Corporate Air, LLC, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the latest charter operator to be added to the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) Registry.

“Corporate Air is extremely proud to be among the industry-leading companies that have earned registration by the Air Charter Safety Foundation,” said Michael W. Vargo, director of sales and marketing with Corporate Air, LLC. “Safety and unparalleled service are the foundation of our organizational culture. The ACSF registration is yet another milestone in our quest for continual improvement.”

The ACSF developed the most robust, comprehensive standard for the Part 135 and 91K community in the marketplace today. The IAS audit process and registry were developed to position an operator, through a single audit, to gain world-wide recognition of its Safety Management System program.

The ACSF audit program evaluates operators every 24 months, and was established to advance charter and shared aircraft ownership industry standards and practices and to promote the universal acceptance of safety management systems. The IAS continues to grow, with 23 operators successfully making the registry.

“Becoming an approved operator of the Air Charter Safety Foundation has been the next step to improve safety and professionalism as our industry demands,” said Randy Hlavsa, chief pilot for Corporate Air, LLC. “We welcome the improvements that we have gained as a result of this endeavor.” 

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

Operators interested in learning more about the ACSF IAS are encouraged to visit From this Webpage, you can download the complete Operator Standards Manual, which walks an operator through every aspect of the IAS. Operators wishing to initiate the audit process should contact Russ Lawton or Alison McHugh at 1-888-SAFE-135 (888-723-3135).

ACSF Adds 1st International Operator To Industry Audit Standard Registry

The ACSF recently announced Skyservice Business Aviation, of Quebec, Canada, as the first international charter operator to be added to the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) Registry.

The IAS is an industry-wide single system-safety audit that verifies compliance with regulatory requirements and evaluates an operator’s level of compliance with recognized Safety Management System (SMS) standards.

“Skyservice is delighted to achieve this milestone,” said BC Campbell, vice president of flight operations for Skyservice Business Aviation. “The audit standards are designed to ensure that an operator demonstrates on a daily basis the highest levels of safety, quality and customer service. That describes our commitment and culture.”

Don’t Miss The Future Of Aviation Gasoline Panel
NATA FBOLC February 7-8, Savannah, Georgia

The 2011 NATA FBO Leadership Conference will be held at the Savannah Westin Harbor on February 7-8. On February 8, NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France and AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman will lead a session titled “The Future of Aviation Gasoline.” General aviation is now the largest single remaining source of lead emissions in the U.S. During this panel discussion, experts from the leading aviation associations will review the history and future of lead regulation as well as the efforts our industry is undertaking to work proactively towards a lead-free future.

  • Plan to succeed - NATA's FBOLC sessions on security and airport minimum standards, the motivational breakfast with PGA golfer Bobby Clampett and the AvGas update, as well as the NATA/NBAA session on how to maximize your time at the S&D Conference, will provide the information and inspiration you need to stay on the leading edge of the industry.
  • Gain Leadership Insight - Find out how the political landscape will change in 2011 and what impact these changes will have on general aviation in the political leadership session and learn the latest developments from general aviation industry's top leaders at the opening luncheon.
  • Expand Your Business Horizon - Take time at NATA's FBOLC social events, NBAA's S&D Conference and the Safety 1st session to find out how best to serve your customers' needs and challenges.

NATA is pleased to present once again a great opportunity for members by holding its 2011 FBO Leadership Conference on February 7-8 in conjunction with NBAA's Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference. Business leaders can enhance their Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference experience by meeting with their customers and learning about the latest challenges and opportunities facing our industry. Visit for more details and to register today!

Top Seven Reasons To Attend NATA’s Spring Training Week

Minimize your time away from the office and travel expenses, while maximizing your training at NATA’s 2011 Spring Training Week (February 21-24). NATA’s Environmental Compliance Seminar, Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar and Safety 1st Trainer Seminar will all be held in the same convenient location in conjunction with the Cygnus Aviation Expo (February 23-25) in Las Vegas.

7.) Las Vegas – It's not difficult to mix a little fun with business in Las Vegas. Go to to find out what events start after the Cygnus Aviation Expo closes.

6.) More Chances to Win - Visit NATA's booth 1804 at the Cygnus Aviation Expo for more information on our products and services as well as a chance to win NATA’s Spring Training Week “Sports Trivia Challenge.” Grand prize is a gift card and second chance prize is a registration to a NATA E-learn webinar. All qualified attendees and exhibitors have a chance to win a 2011 Ford F-150 at Cygnus’ FREE Exhibitor and Attendee Networking Party on February 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Enjoy live music, drinks, food and networking with industry leaders (must be present to win).

5). Information You Can Use – What happens at Spring Training doesn’t stay at Spring Training, even if it is held in Vegas.  Take back tips, ideas and techniques to begin using in your operation right away.

4.) Cygnus Aviation Expo – The 2011 Cygnus Aviation Expo (February 23-25) promises to be bigger and better than ever! In partnership with NATA, it is the only aviation industry trade show that brings together 250+ exhibitors from ground support, FBO/aviation services and aircraft maintenance. Taking a break between your NATA seminars? Don’t forget to network with industry peers and check out the latest and greatest in technology products and services on the show floor.

3.) Environmental Compliance Seminar – With mounting pressure from the media, the federal government and the public at-large, this seminar is designed to ensure that FBOs and general aviation airports are complying with environmental mandates that affect their daily operations.

2.) Safety 1st Trainer Seminar – In just one day, learn how to present NATA's Professional Line Service Training (PLST) Online program and be motivated to guide your organization through the training process. 

1.) 14 CFR Part 139 Fire Safety Training Certification – Get the certification and training you not only need to perform your job at the highest level, but also to lead others with confidence at NATA’s popular Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar.

Visit for event details and links to register today!

Policy Playbook Post
“More On Minimum Standards In February”

By Michael France, NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs

In a Policy Playbook blog post last year, I addressed the value of comprehensive, updated airport minimum standards to both on airport businesses and airport sponsors. The post, titled THAT’S NOT FAIR!!!-a little work now can help avoid problems later”, examines how minimum standards work to facilitate a vibrant, fair and open relationship between aviation businesses and airport operators.

At next month’s NATA FBO Leadership Conference, I will moderate a panel consisting of FBO, airport management and FAA representatives who will discuss the value of minimum standards to your business.

Click here to read more.



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