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 NATA News

January 24, 2011                                                                           Volume 10 Issue 4



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

NATA's 2011 FBO Leadership Conference - Savannah, GA - 02/07/2011

NATA's 2011 Spring Training Seminars - Las Vegas, NV - 02/21/2011

Line Service Supervisor Training - 02/21/2011

NATA Safety 1st Trainer - 02/23/2011

Environmental Compliance Seminar - 02/24/2011

E-learn Webinar Series:




FAA Changing Duty Rules For 135
Comments Due Today!

NATA is encouraging all Part 135 operators to submit their comments on an FAA proposal to eliminate existing interpretations that permit flight crews to extend their duty day when unexpected circumstances, such as late arriving passengers and cargo, occur.

Regulations for on-demand operators require that at the end of a duty period the operator must be able to look back over the prior 24 hours and be able to identify a minimum 10-hour rest period (14 CFR 135.276(d)). This essentially creates the opportunity for a planned duty day of up to 14 hours. Existing FAA interpretations of that specific regulation stipulate that it is permissible to have the duty day extend beyond the originally planned time if reasonably unforeseen events occur.

A 1992 FAA interpretation of the regulation states:

"The key to the applicability of § 135.267(d) is in the final phrase "planned completion time of the assignment" (emphasis added). If the original planning is upset for reasons beyond the control of the crew and operator, the flight may nevertheless be conducted, though crew duty time may extend beyond the planned completion. This assumes, of course, that the original planning was realistic.

As to what circumstances are beyond the control of the operator and crew, the FAA has taken the position that delays caused by late passenger arrivals, maintenance difficulties, and adverse weather constitute circumstances beyond the certificate holder's control." Interpretation 1992-4 to Fred R. Hutson.

With the Notice of Proposed Interpretation, published late last year, the FAA has announced its intention to reject those prior interpretations of §135.267(d) in favor of an interpretation issued in 2000 that related to Part 121 regulations. That interpretation, known as the "Whitlow Letter," required Part 121 air carriers to evaluate their compliance with rest requirements on a per-flight segment basis whereas previously the airlines followed a "good to start, good to finish" policy when evaluating crew duty and rest compliance.

Under the new interpretation, if adopted, Part 135 operators would no longer be permitted to extend a crew duty day for unforeseen circumstances that occur prior to departure of the final flight segment. Prior to each take off, the crew and operator must be able to determine that the flight should reasonably be completed in sufficient time to ensure that the end-of-the-duty-day-24-hour-look-back will show a 10-hour rest period. Otherwise, the flight may not be initiated.

NATA's comments advise the FAA to allow the existing interpretations to stand until a full re-write of the Part 135 flight, duty and rest rules is initiated. NATA and other industry participants recommended a comprehensive set of crew flight, duty and rest rules during the Part 135 Aviation Rulemaking Committee. Establishment of a hard duty limit was one recommendation, but it was balanced by a host of other regulatory changes. The FAA has never responded to that recommendation.

All affected operators are strongly encouraged to submit their views on this issue to the FAA. The comment period on the Notice of Proposed Interpretation closes today, January 24, 2011; however, the FAA typically accepts and reviews late-filed comments.

CRM For Part 135 Now Mandatory

Under a final rule published last week, formal crew resource management (CRM) training for Part 135 air carriers will become mandatory.

Any Part 135 operator that is required to have a training program will need to incorporate CRM training within two years. Many operators already have CRM training programs and the new rules permit operators to receive credit for prior training. The rules will require both initial and recurrent CRM training.

Click here to review the final rule on CRM training.


Bipartisan Letter Sent To White House Opposing Aviation User Fees

U.S. Congressmen Jerry Costello (D-IL) and Thomas Petri (R-WI), senior members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure sent a bipartisan letter to President Barrack Obama, which included 116 signatures, urging him not to include aviation user fees in the fiscal year 2012 budget.

Representative Costello said he favors maintaining the current mechanism of using fuel taxes to support the aviation trust fund. "This is an issue that we have had bipartisan agreement on in recent years, and there is no reason to reconsider it. I will not support a budget or an FAA reauthorization bill that includes user fees," he said

The president's budget is expected to be released the second week in February. 


House Transportation Committee Assignments Announced

Representative John L. Mica (R-FL), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, announced chairmen, vice chairs and membership of the Subcommittee on Aviation for the 112th Congress. 

"The message from the voters in November was clear. The committee must find ways to create jobs, cut waste in government, and do more with less," Chairman Mica stated. "This important work begins at the subcommittees, and I am confident these experienced chairmen and members will provide dedicated, effective leadership as the subcommittees work to improve our nation's infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner."

In addition, Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, released the roster of Democratic Members and announced the Democratic Caucus of the Committee had selected Subcommittee Ranking Members for the Subcommittee on Aviation. 

"Democrats stand ready to work with Republicans to make the necessary investments that will fuel our economy and keep America on the road to recovery. I look forward to working with Chairman John Mica and the Members of the Committee as we create jobs and get Americans back to work," Ranking Member Rahall said.

Majority Aviation Subcommittee Members
Thomas E. Petri (WI), Chairman
Chip Cravaack (MN), Vice Chair
Howard Coble (NC)
John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ)
Sam Graves (MO)
Jean Schmidt (OH)
Tom Reed (NY)
Frank Guinta (NH)
Randy Hultgren (IL)
Blake Farenthold (TX)
Billy Long (MO)
Patrick Meehan (PA)
Stephen Fincher (TN)
Steve Southerland (FL)
James Lankford (OK)
John Mica (FL), (ex officio)

Minority Aviation Subcommittee Members
Ranking Democratic Member: Jerry F. Costello (IL)
Russ Carnahan (MO)
Daniel Lipinski (IL)
Peter A. DeFazio (OR)
Bob Filner (CA)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)
Leonard Boswell (IA)
Tim Holden (PA)
Michael E. Capuano (MA)
Mazie Hirono (HI)
Steve Cohen (TN)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
Nick J. Rahall (WV) (ex officio)

For a complete list of the full Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, please click here.

The first hearing of the Subcommittee on Aviation is tentatively scheduled for the week of February 7, 2011, on the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization legislation that the committee expects to release out of committee before the end of February. 

Chairman Rockefeller Announces Committee Agenda, Includes General Aviation Security

U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) announced his priorities and goals for the committee in the 112th Congress. Chairman Rockefeller stated "I look forward to working with my colleagues to tackle issues that are critical to America's future. In the new Congress, I will continue my fight to promote high-tech job creation and competitiveness, and keep Americans safe, secure, and on the move. I intend to not only complete a number of top priorities that I began in the 111th Congress, but also take on a number of new challenges Americans are facing every day."

Key priorities for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in the 112th Congress include focusing on creating jobs, economic security and growth while bolstering our infrastructure through necessary investments in our nation's aviation infrastructure and air service development. Always a top priority for Chairman Rockefeller is homeland security wherein he intends to reinforce constructive advancements to Transportation Security Administration screening and improve security for all modes of transportation. However, Rockefeller did state that improving security for general aviation and air cargo are a top priority. In the past, NATA has opposed some of the chairman's ideas on how to better secure general aviation aircraft. 

  • General Principles of Regulation
  • Public Participation
  • Integration and Innovation
  • Flexible Approaches
  • Science
  • General Provisions

Is Your Member Of Congress 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 recently 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. 


TSA Proposes Moving Up Date for 100% Screening Of Inbound Cargo 

Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in a letter to the freight forwarding and international shipping community, proposed moving the date for 100% screening of all inbound, international cargo shipped on passenger airliners from 2013 to December 31, 2011. The TSA intends the proposed change to be implemented by way of an update to air carrier standard security programs.


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, or 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.   


NATA Launches RA Check Version 2.0
Popular Automated Risk Assessment Tool Updated 

One year ago, the NATA launched a revolutionary automated risk assessment tool called RA Check. This online tool combines a highly comprehensive FAA-endorsed Risk Assessment Tool with the automation necessary to make its use quick, easy, and accurate.

Since its inception last year, RA Check has fulfilled a vital role in safety management programs with the perfect combination of sound safety risk assessment methodology and convenient automation features. Safety and compliance tools such as RA Check are greatly improving the business balance between safety and productivity. So far, more than 100 companies have utilized RA Check for risk assessment and today this tool becomes even more convenient and accommodating with its second major release.

The new version of RA Check includes several enhanced features:

  • RA Check can now also be used as a stand-alone tool without integrating with Computing Technologies for Aviation's Flight Operating System (FOS).
  • It is now possible to customize criteria settings - operators can set parameters to their own specifications and even eliminate and add criteria as necessary.

The key benefits of RA Check include:

  • Streamlines processes -
    • Automates the criteria of the Turbine Aircraft Operators Subgroup (TAOS) Flight Risk Assessment Tool formula and returns an Online response.
    • Can still integrate with CTA's (FOS) limiting manual data entry.
    • Automatic and user-generated email alerts for risk assessment reports and risk factor questionnaires that may be viewed and addressed on your Smart Phone.
  • Raises situational awareness by focusing only on factors that pertain to each particular flight.
  • Alerts crewmembers to proactive safety measures for a particular flight.
  • Reduces training time, standardizes results and removes subjectivity.
  • Sets realistic operational thresholds.
  • Takes the most comprehensive Risk Assessment methodology and makes it as easy to implement as the most basic of models.

The program is developed, hosted, and managed by NATA. A free 30-day trial registration and further information are available online at



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!


Directory Deadline In Less Than Three Weeks
Ensure Correct Aviation Resource Directory Listing And Get The Most From Your NATA Membership

January 31, 2011, is the deadline to provide updated information for NATA’s 2011 Aviation Resource and Membership Directory.

Members can now provide updated profile and company information at to ensure:

  • Correct information in NATA’s Aviation Resource and Membership Directory
  • Up-to-date information on NATA’s online directory
  • The right people within your organization receive important information:
    • Legislative & Regulatory Reports
    • Action Calls
    • Press & News Releases
    • Seminar, Workshop & Training Information
    • Summit, Conference & Special Event Invitations
    • Webinars & Social Media Postings
  • Delivery of relevant NATA publications:
    • Aviation Business Journal
    • Aviation Resource and Membership Directory
    • NATA Safety 1st eToolkit
    • NATA Safety 1st Flitebag
    • NATA News
    • ASC Monthly Update
    • Arrival Times
    • Plane Facts
    • Training Times
  • Receipt of information about NATA’s valuable products and services:
    • Workers’ Compensation Insurance
    • Compliance Services
    • And much more…

To ensure that your information is up-to-date and accurate: Visit, LOGIN and then click on Update Your Profile to make sure that your information is up-to-date and that you get the most from your membership. Follow NATA on Twitter at and become a fan on Facebook at

If you need assistance, please contact NATA Director of Membership Daniel Gurley at or by phone at (800) 808-6282 x113.


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Byer’s Blog

NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer's latest blog highlights the association's upcoming FBO Leadership Conference in two weeks.   

To read Byer's blog, please click here.

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Fact Of The Week: Aviation Fuel Quality Control

Recently, NATA conducted a webinar on aviation fuel quality control for general aviation facilities. The webinar was based upon the 2011 revision of NATA's publication Refueling and Quality Control Procedures for Airport Service and Support Operations. One of the topics addressed in the webinar was fuel tank sampling, a key item in any quality control regimen.

Fuel tank sampling is the process of drawing an amount of fuel from a storage tank for the purpose of evaluating its contamination level. Part of that process is continuing to remove fuel from the tank after the evaluation has been made if any contaminates are observed. By drawing fuel until no contaminates remain, technicians ensure that any contaminates or water that find their way into a tank are removed on a regular schedule.

One misconception that has permeated the industry is that, because the sampling process removes all contaminates from the tank that a finding of contaminates should not be noted on recordkeeping forms. This couldn't be more incorrect! The purpose of rating a sample drawn from a storage tank and recording the results is to create a record of contaminates found over time. This allows a technician to notice changes, such as finding more water than usual after a heavy rain. Being able to compare findings to a recorded history allows the technician to identify possible breakdowns or failures in fuel handling equipment.



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

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