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 NATA News

February 14, 2011                                                                        Volume 10 Issue 7



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 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:




House Transportation Leaders Introduce Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Legislation

Late last Friday, leaders of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure introduced H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011. H.R. 658 is a four-year bill that provides over $59 billion in funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and would “create and protect more than 600,000 jobs” over the duration of the legislation. According to the Committee’s press release, H.R. 658 would also provide $4 billion in savings compared to current funding levels. Highlights of the bill include:

  • Streamlining and providing funding for NextGen air traffic control modernization projects
  • Phasing out of the Essential Air Service Program over the next four years
  • No passenger facility charge increases
  • Overall funding set to FY 2008 spending levels for the remainder of FY 2011 and all of FY 2012
  • Repeal of a new unionization election rule that was implemented in May 2010
  • Expansion of the contract tower program

A complete summary of H.R. 658 can be found by clicking here.
H.R. 658 is slated to be marked-up by the Committee later this week. The association will be producing a comprehensive legislative report for member review later this week as well.




Senate Committee Approves Tax Title Of FAA Reauthorization Legislation
On February 8, 2011, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance approved a bill reauthorizing the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and extending various aviation taxes. The bill will now be attached to S. 223, the FAA Reauthorization bill that is currently being debated the Senate is currently debating on the Senate floor.

Under the committee’s bill, general aviation fuel taxes would rise to 35.9 cents per gallon from the current 21.8 cents. Last year’s bill included a similar increase, but that legislation did not get through Congress. Also carried over from last year is an allocation of $400 million per year to modernize the air traffic control system, to be paid by jet fuel taxes from the trust fund.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) indicated that senators are working on a compromise over one of last year’s sticking points—easing limitations to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport’s slot rules. The $35 billion FAA reauthorization bill has been languishing for years. “We’ve been trying for years – years! – to get this bill passed,” exclaimed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on the chamber floor Tuesday. The Senate is expecting to finalize Floor proceedings on the bill next week.


NATA Submits Testimony On FAA Reauthorization

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held two consecutive hearings regarding legislation to reauthorize the FAA. Administrator Randy Babbitt testified before the committee on February 8, 2011, highlighting the admirable safety record of aviation in the United States. “Approximately 50,000 flights are operated on any given day. We move approximately 750 million people through the system on an annual basis. Yet, even as the number of passengers and flights increase, the accident rate continues to decrease. In calendar year 2010, there were zero commercial passenger fatalities,” stated Babbitt. In addition, Babbitt voiced concern over the continued delay of FAA reauthorization legislation, saying, “The failure to enact long-term aviation legislation has had troubling impacts on the agency. While there has not been a gap in the authorization of FAA’s programs, there is always uncertainty about the passage of the next extension. Many of the extensions have been for relatively short periods of time, which has made managing and funding our programs, particularly the airport grant program, extremely difficult.”

The following day, the committee heard testimony from aviation industry stakeholders. NATA submitted a statement for the record on the hearing. Much of the discussion was on proposed budget reductions as the House Committee on Appropriations announced major cutbacks for fiscal year 2010 funding levels and beyond. Specifically, the FAA’s operating budget for modernizing air traffic control or the Next Generation Air Traffic Modernization (NextGen) will be reduced by $234 million. The FAA and aviation industry stakeholders share great concern over this funding reduction as further delay of this vital project will ultimately prove more costly for the FAA the longer NextGen is delayed. The deadline for the current FAA reauthorization extension is March 31, 2011. It will be difficult for both the House and Senate to finalize and pass multi-year bills before the deadline.

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President To Announce FY 2012 Budget Today

President Obama will announce his Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget today. Early reports are that the President’s Budget will call for a reduction in spending of $1.1 trillion over the next ten years. NATA staff will be reviewing the budget in the areas critical to the association’s membership, including funding for the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration. Look for NATA’s Legislative Report on the President’s FY 2012 budget this week.

For more information, please contact Kristen Moore on the NATA staff.



More Members Sign On To House General Aviation Caucus

As the 112th Congress kicks into full swing, the General Aviation Caucus has gained 64 members, and is still growing. U.S. Representatives Sam Graves (R-MO) and John Barrow (D-GA) re-established the caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives for the current session. The caucus is open to all House Members despite party affiliation and committee assignments. It is the goal of Representatives Graves and Barrow, the caucus co-chairmen, along with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Air Transportation Association, 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.

In the previous Congress, the caucus had over 125 members. The eventual goal for this session is to surpass 150 members, which is why you should ask your Member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives to join the General Aviation Caucus.



FAA Announces New Policy – Enforcement Actions No Longer Expunged

Under a new policy implemented in November 2010 and formally announced last week, the FAA has ended its practice of expunging records related to enforcement actions against individuals, including airman certificate holders.

Under the old policy, the FAA would expunge records of enforcement action involving certificate suspension or a civil penalty after five years, while records of administrative actions were expunged after two years.

Last year, Congress passed legislation mandating changes to the current pilot background check process used by air carriers, changes that include establishment by the FAA of an extensive pilot information database. In order to comply with the legislative mandate, the FAA now explains that it can no longer expunge certain records.

The FAA last expunged records on November 1, 2010. Records of enforcement action will no longer be expunged; however, administrative action records will continue to be expunged as the new law does not apply to those records.

More information is available in the FAA’s Policy Statement.


TSA Announces Two New Gateways

Indianapolis International Airport (IND) and Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU) are the newest gateway airports for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Approval as a gateway allows operators with the DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP) to fly directly to DCA from Indianapolis, Indiana, or Morristown, New Jersey.

The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) DASSP allows general aviation flights to land at DCA after they have been pre-screened at one of the nearly thirty gateway airports and have complied with other provisions of the program.

NATA member Signature Flight Support is the DASSP-participating fixed base operator at both locations.

Additional information on the DASSP, including a complete list of approved gateway airports, is available from the TSA Web site.

To visit NATA's DASSP issue page, please click here.



NATA Concludes Successful FBO Leadership Conference
More than 100 FBO and airport professionals gathered at NATA’s annual FBO Leadership Conference (FBOLC) in Savannah, Georgia. The successful two-day event began last Monday with a general aviation leadership lunch and ended Tuesday with a session to segue into the NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference, February 9-11, at the Savannah Convention Center.

“The 2011 NATA FBO Leadership Conference provided a robust lineup of issues important to the association’s member companies,” concluded Coyne. “I was thrilled with the participation level and involvement by attendees at each of our sessions.”

Click here to read the press release on the 2011 NATA FBO Leadership Conference.

Visit to learn more about the 2011 NATA FBO Leadership Conference.


Host A Congressional Tour Today
Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives spend a lot of time in Washington, but they also spend valuable time in their states and districts during scheduled congressional work periods and recess. Members of Congress take these opportunities to visit with constituents, making this the perfect time for NATA members to invite their Senators and Representatives to tour their facilities.

In 2010, NATA and the general aviation community worked tirelessly on numerous provisions negatively affecting general aviation. In 2011, we must remain vigilant and work together to educate the public and especially Members of Congress and their staff on the important role general aviation plays, including its economic value to our country. We will likely face a number of legislative hurdles this year, which is another reason to reach out to your elected officials and let them know how these issues affect YOU, their constituent. The inevitable passage of FAA Reauthorization and aviation security measures continue to be the most pressing legislative hurdles so far this year.

A tour of your facility is a valuable way to inform key congressional leaders on the principal issues confronting our national air transportation system while allowing you to address other issues affecting your business. This one-on-one interaction will give Members of Congress and their staff a better understanding of the value of America’s aviation businesses and airline services companies. In addition, NATA members can introduce their business to new and prospective Members of Congress, and forge stronger relationships with existing Members. Host a tour today!

To learn more about how to host a Congressional tour, please click here.


NATA Unveils Revamped Web Site
Visit today!

NATA’s site,, is your aviation business source for news, editorials, events, products, services, training and much more. NATA recently unveiled a new sleek look to the Web site along with improved navigation and enhanced features.

The new includes:

  • A quick list of the latest NATA blogs on the homepage
  • A robust News section
  • Easy access to event registration, online training and webinars
  • A prominent homepage advertising option
  • A comprehensive products and services section
  • Member-contributed content in the classifieds section under the Membership Tab (RFPs, press releases and job listings)

We hope you find the site to be even more intuitive, helpful and agile. Visit today and return often! There is always something new to be found. If you have issues with or comments on NATA’s new site, please email



Spring Training Week Seminar Rosters Are Quickly Filling Up...Register Today!

NATA's Spring Training Week will get into full swing in Las Vegas on February 21-22 with its popular Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar. The event continues with the NATA Safety 1st Trainer Seminar on February 23 and Environmental Compliance Seminar on February 24 (the only one offered in 2011). NATA's Spring Training Week will once again be held in conjunction with the Cygnus Aviation Expo (February 23-25). Stop by NATA's booth (booth 1804) to say hello and to participate in the "Sports Trivia Challenge" for a chance to win one of two gift cards or a webinar registration.

Seminar spaces are filling fast, please visit for more details and register online at today! Spring Training seminars take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.




2010 NATA Industry Excellence Awards Call For Nominations

NATA has published its annual call for nominations to acknowledge the individuals, offices, and organizations demonstrating excellence in their field and the highest level of customer service to the general aviation community.

Each year, NATA presents seven awards to the exceptional individuals and companies that have helped to improve the general aviation community. The recipients of five of these awards are chosen based upon NATA member-submitted nominations.

These awards cover five categories:

The Airport Executive Partnership Award recognizes an airport manager for outstanding efforts to nurture the relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators.

The Aviation Journalism Award identifies a journalist, writer, or publication that excels in consumer education or editorial support that is beneficial to the general aviation industry.

The Excellence In Pilot Training Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in safety, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in the field of pilot training.

The FAA Customer Service Excellence Award recognizes an FAA facility or facility staff member who represents the highest degree of customer service and elevates the quality of interaction between the FAA and aircraft maintenance and repair facilities, Part 135 certificate holders, airport service organizations, and flight schools.

The ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award acknowledges the exceptional performance of a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic or radio repairman who has practiced his or her craft for a period of 20 or more years.

Last year’s winners were:

  • Airport Executive Partnership Award – Eric Frankl, executive director, Blue Grass Airport
  • Aviation Journalism AwardAINalerts
  • Excellence In Pilot Training Award – Arlynn McMahon, director of training and marketing, Aero-Tech Aviation
  • FAA Customer Service Excellence Award – South Florida Flight Standards District Office
  • ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award – Pat James, field service engineer, Cessna Aircraft Company

All nominations for these five awards must be received by NATA no later than March 18, 2011. The nomination form is available by clicking here. Members may also obtain a nomination form by calling the NATA headquarters at 800-808-6282 or by e-mailing Celeste Clark.

The awards will be presented during the 2011 NATA Day on the Hill and Spring Committee Meetings to be held in the Washington, DC area.



Byer’s Blog

NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer’s latest blog focuses on a busy week of legislative activity on Capitol Hill involving FAA reauthorization legislation.

To read Byer’s blog, please click here.



Maintenance & Systems Technology Committee Minutes Posted
NATA members were briefed on the latest developments affecting their maintenance operations in a very well attended Aircraft Maintenance & Systems Technology Committee meeting on February 3.
  • Chairman Bill Hoddenbach was pleased to introduce Phil Watkins, Manager EHS Regulatory & Training with Cessna Citation Service Centers, as a new member of the committee.
  • Carol Giles, Kenneth Kerzner & Tim Shaver with the FAA briefed members on issues such as Part 121/135 training requirements, maintenance away team policy, Part 145 updates, inspector authorization “actively engaged” policy and navigational database updates.
  • Transportation Security Administration Repair Station Branch Representative Shawn Gallagher provided an update on the repair station security rule and the approval of foreign repair stations.
  • NATA Vice President for Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer expressed hope that Congress will move on FAA re-authorization, which is now in its 17th extension and set to expire on March 31. He also mentioned that NATA has drafted legislative language on foreign repair stations.
  • NATA Manager of Regulatory Affairs Dennis van de Laar said he was pleased with the number of applicants for this year’s first NATA AMT Employer Recognition Program awards.

To view a copy of the February 3, 2011 Minutes, please click here.



 NATA Sustaining Members:




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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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