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May 9, 2011     null     Volume 10 Issue 19
Topics in this Volume


nullNATA Hill Event Draws Large Audience And Attention To Legislative Agenda

Last Thursday, NATA members blanketed Capitol Hill to push the association's legislative agenda. Nearly 100 NATA member company representatives met with more than 150 Members of Congress and staff to discuss a wide array of federal, state and local issues, including FAA Reauthorization and the Freedom from Government Competition Act. 

NATA's talking point papers can be reviewed at the following links:

Day on the Hill participants began the day's events with a preparatory breakfast that included feature speaker Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE), co-chair of the Senate General Aviation Caucus, and then dispersed for meetings with their congressional representatives. Those meetings enabled the association's members to discuss with their Members of Congress issues critical to the future success of their businesses and, ultimately, to the economy of the country.

"Participation in the Day on the Hill has been rewarding personally and professionally, and is an easy way to get in front of your Congressional representatives and Senators. The NATA staff gives you the tools and sets up the appointments - you just need to deliver the message and let your representative put a face on General Aviation," said NATA member Ted Hamilton of Landmark Aviation.

"These meetings are simply invaluable when it comes to the message our members can give to their congressional representatives on important issues facing our industry," said NATA President James K. Coyne. "As I do every year, I challenge our members to continue communications throughout the year to develop a firm relationship with their representative and thus a solid foundation for our industry."

Last Wednesday evening, attendees also toasted the industry's finest at NATA's annual Industry Excellence Awards dinner and presentation. Click here to view a press release on the winners, including top honors recipients Pat Epps, president of Epps Aviation, and James C. Christiansen, vice president, sales, Central U.S., Hawker Beechcraft Corporation.

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nullNATA Appoints Three New Board Of Directors Members

Last Wednesday, NATA elected three new members to its board of directors at its annual membership meeting. The new members are S. Michael Scheeringa, president, Signature Flight Support, Marian Epps, chief financial officer, Epps Aviation, and Ed Kilkeary, Sr., founder and CEO, L.J. Aviation.

Michael Scheeringa is the president of Signature Flight Support and is responsible for Signature Flight Support’s more than 100 fixed base operations. Michael’s background includes commercial and general aviation. Before joining Signature, Michael was chief executive officer of Flight Options, which was the world's second largest operator of business jets. Prior to that, he spent 13 years at US Airways, held officer-level positions, and had the oversight of several of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries. Michael earned a degree in transportation and logistics management from Arizona State University.

Click here to read Michael Scheeringa’s full bio.

Marian Epps is CFO of Epps Aviation, an FBO based at Dekalb Peachtree Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Marian earned a B.S. Industrial Management degree with a certificate in Technical and Business Communications.

At the age of 14, Marian soloed a glider; at 16, she soloed a “real” plane; and she obtained her pilot’s license at 17. After graduation from Georgia Tech, Marian spent 10 years working in the securities industry for such leading financial services firms as Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney and earning her Series 7, Series 63 and Certified Financial Planner designation from 1994-1999.

After gaining experience outside the family business, she returned to Atlanta in 1993 to join Epps Aviation in a marketing role. In 1995, she was promoted to the position of CFO and elected to the board of directors in 2007. She manages accounting operations and information technology, and oversees charter, aircraft management, and Pilatus aircraft sales while building relationships with key customers, vendors and suppliers. 

Click here to read Marian Epps’ full bio.

A career in aviation began for L.J. Aviation CEO and President Ed Kilkeary, Sr. in the most dramatic way possible – as a helicopter crewmember in Vietnam. Returning to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, after combat, Ed Sr. parlayed his flying skills and love of aeronautics into L.J. Aviation, named, appropriately enough, for the plane that launched his civilian career – the Lear Jet. With the same precision, tenacity and focus that made him an exceptional pilot, Ed Sr. founded the company in 1980 and built L.J. Aviation into one of the top charter and aircraft management companies in the country.   

L.J Aviation is truly a family-owned and operated business. Ed Sr., his wife, five children and an extended family of more than 125 employees manage a fleet of 31 multi-purpose aircraft (including large, medium and light jets, turbo-props and helicopters), as well as service clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with base operations in nine locations nation-wide, including Latrobe and Pittsburgh. Ed Sr. personally holds 11 type ratings and an ATP in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, and has logged over 24,000 flight hours to date.

This year, L.J. Aviation proudly celebrates its 30th anniversary and the passionate vision of Ed, Sr. After three decades of service to its customers and community, L.J. Aviation remains synonymous with high quality and dedicated to an enduring tradition of excellence in all the company does.

Click here to read Ed Kilkeary’s full bio.

“NATA’s Board of Directors comprises the finest leaders representing all areas of general aviation,” said NATA President James K. Coyne. “The association will benefit tremendously from the vast experience of Michael, Marian and Ed. We appreciate their support and commitment in joining the NATA Board of Directors.”

Click here to view the full list of the NATA Board of Directors.

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nullAssociation Issues New, Comprehensive Fact Book

NATA has released its new fact book titled General Aviation in the United States. The new and improved fact book features member testimonials on a wide array of NATA's products and services and serves as a fantastic educational tool for the association's Day on the Hill event.

General Aviation in the United States provides an in-depth review of the NATA membership segments as well as other important components of the general aviation and airline services industry. This handy reference also contains information on a number of U.S. government agencies that affect the day-to-day operation of aviation businesses, and features several charts containing vital general aviation and business aviation statistics on fuel consumption, fractional ownership companies, active pilots, airports, and much more.

This new fact book is free-of-charge and can be viewed and downloaded at

"Our new fact book really serves as a great foundation to learn about general aviation and the aviation service business that help it take flight," stated NATA President James K. Coyne. "I encourage all of our members to utilize this document when educating local, state and federal political leaders as well as local airport boards on the importance and value of aviation businesses."

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nullFlight Training Relief Bill Moves To California Senate Floor

Senate Bill 619 (SB 619) is expected to move to the California Senate floor today. The bill is being moved out of the Senate Committee on Appropriations under Senate rules that allow bills without a fiscal impact on the state to move through the committee without a vote. A vote on SB 619 by the full Senate is expected next, although a timetable for that vote is not yet clear.

SB 619, which is supported by NATA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, would provide relief to some flight training facilities from the rules issued by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education. The bill would exempt any flight school that does not require upfront payment of “tuition” or fees and that does not require students to enter into a contract of indebtedness as a condition for training. Language in SB 619, however, would allow exempted facilities to accept payments from students, in amounts less than $2,500, for the purchase of “block time”.

NATA’s lobbying efforts in Sacramento will continue as SB 619 moves through the California legislature. NATA has established a fund to allow interested member companies and others in the industry to donate to the effort.

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nullGA Tax Increases Removed From Final Connecticut State Budget

Last week, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed the state’s budget, which dropped two controversial provisions that would have increased state taxes on general aviation. The Governor had originally proposed a state budget that included a new personal property tax on aircraft as well as an elimination of the exemption from state sales tax on aircraft maintenance labor.

NATA issued an Action Call in late February 2011 asking its members in Connecticut to contact the Governor’s office, as well as their state legislators, in opposition to the proposed tax increases on general aviation. In its written testimony to the state legislature, NATA pointed out:

“States surrounding Connecticut, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York, do not impose personal property taxes on aircraft. Aircraft owners, especially corporate owners, are therefore likely to reestablish their aircraft in one of those states. This will result in a significant loss of revenue for the state instead of increasing revenue as the proposal intends. Airports and airport-based businesses will lose revenue from loss of fuel and hangar and maintenance purchases, which will also lead to a significant loss of jobs, as aircraft owners seek to avoid this onerous tax.”

In addition to the Action Call, NATA Board of Directors member and Chief Executive Officer and President of Key Air Robert Marinace testified before the Connecticut State Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding in opposition to the proposed tax increases.

This decision to drop these onerous proposed tax increase will allow general aviation to continue to provide the State of Connecticut a first world class transportation system that supports and facilitates economic development and job growth.

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nullCoyne Invites You To The Air Charter Summit

NATA President James K. Coyne invites members to join him at the 2011 Air Charter Summit being held June 6-8 in Chantilly, Virginia. The Summit provides the most important opportunity this year to learn about the Part 135 regulatory landscape straight from government officials. Industry leaders will also get the latest intelligence, tactics and strategies from nationally recognized experts, be inspired, find new solutions to current business and economic challenges, and network one-on-one with their peers.

Click here to view NATA President James K. Coyne’s video invitation.

Click here to register for NATA's 2011 Air Charter Summit.

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nullLSST Seminar

Action Packed Learning And Fun Your Line Service Professionals Shouldn’t Miss In Windsor Locks, CT May 24-25th

The New England Air Museum is the perfect venue for line service supervisors and managers to attend NATA’s popular Line Service Supervisor Training (LSST) seminar in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, to build career knowledge, confidence and success.

Class begins with a comprehensive technical review given by Ascent Aviation’s Reed Fuller, legal compliance for supervisors by McBreen and Kopko’s Lenny Kirsch, leadership essentials by Dr. Todd Dewett, president, TVA Inc. and professor and assistant dean, College of Business, Wright State University, and self assessment managerial review by NATA’s Amy Koranda. Day two continues with an action packed safety culture fundamentals session by Koranda; dynamite customer service tips from NATA’s Mike France; leadership and supervisor essentials, employee engagement and coaching leadership session by ServiceElement’s Dr. Mario Martinez and a fire safety review by Mike France to complement NATA’s Safety 1st 14 CFR Part 139 Section 321 online fire safety training.

Attendees will also take advantage of team building activities after lunch to spark ingenuity and camaraderie among the group. Participants will fly balsa wood flyers and attempt to beat their compatriots, flying higher, further and better than anyone before them. Participants will also get to view three hangars of vintage aircraft and complete a scavenger hunt of challenging questions about the vintage aircraft they see.
Don’t miss out on this educational and team building experience. Additional seminar details and registration may be found online.

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nullIs Your Organization In Compliance Or In Denial?

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  statistics show that nearly $160 million in fines and penalties are handed out yearly during approximately 100,000 inspections.

Whether you have one employee or hundreds, you are responsible for their safety.

Is your organization in compliance or in denial? Compliance is not a guessing game...especially when OSHA comes knocking. It is best to be sure through intensive, fast-paced training covering all of the latest regulatory information concerning safety, health, and environmental issues in the workplace.

Don't leave yourself or your organization vulnerable to hefty penalties. Get all the current information and essential details of OSHA compliance you need to know this May in Windsor Locks.

NATA's Safety & Health Training for Ground Operations (OSHA 10-Hour Course) will be offered once this year, on May 26-27, immediately following NATA's popular LSST Seminar in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. NATA's OSHA 10-Hour Course has been specifically designed for all employees with safety and health responsibilities. Attendees will be introduced to the OSHA and general industry policies, procedures and standards, as well as gain a working knowledge of OSHA regulations. Our instructor will provide real-world OSHA guidance and aviation case studies. Attendees will be provided audit and checklist templates as well as the knowledge to implement and improve their facility compliance programs. Participants will receive a course completion certificate from NATA as well as a course completion card from OSHA.

Who Should Attend:

  • Safety and security directors
  • Facility managers and directors
  • Human resources personnel
  • Small business owners
  • Supervisors and managers
  • Anyone who is responsible for overseeing safety issues and employee training

Seminar Topics:

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of safety and health concepts
  • Obtain a working knowledge of OSHA regulations as well as general industry policies
  • Increase your awareness of the link that exists between risk and safety
  • Review and take back a practical checklist that will increase your ability to perform your day-to-day duties safely
  • Learn correct safety procedures and standards

Click here for more details and to register for NATA's OSHA 10-Hour Course.

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nullNATA Committees Conduct Quarterly Meetings

NATA committees met last Wednesday afternoon for their regular quarterly business meetings. A short summary of each meeting that took place follows:

Airports Committee
NATA’s Airports Committee held a business meeting last week before the association’s annual Day on the Hill event. The Airports Committee comprises NATA members representing the diversity of operations found at airports, including FBO operators, airport managers, airline services providers, and industry consultants, and promotes the interests of the association’s members relative to airport occupancy, airport security, competition, and environmental issues.

The committee received briefings from Michael J. O'Donnell, director of FAA’s Office of Airport Safety and Standards, Randall Fiertz, FAA’s director of airport compliance and field operations, and Brian Delauter, TSA’s general manager of general aviation security. In addition to receiving briefings on government activities, the committee discussed a number of issues involving airports, including:

  • Part 139 Airports Safety Management Systems
  • FAA’s Residential Through-The-Fence Policy
  • Airport Minimum Standards
  • FAA Reauthorization

For more information on NATA’s Airports Committee, please contact, .

Air Charter Committee
The Air Charter Committee members discussed many issues of importance, including the FAA’s actions related to flightcrew member duty and rest rules, potential changes to the ability for newly hired pilots to have their prior experiences receive credit with regard to required new-hire training, new RVSM monitoring requirements and the possible introduction of Two Section MMELs for Part 135. Also debated was how reduced FAA resources could impact operators and what action the industry can take to prevent problems. TSA representatives joined the meeting and provided information on how the upcoming presidential election cycle will impact airspace and announced that an update for the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program was forthcoming and should be a much improved program. 

More information on the topics discussed in the meeting is available in the agenda posted on the Air Charter Committee webpage.

Aircraft Maintenance & Systems Technology Committee
The Aircraft Maintenance & Systems Technology Committee continues to focus on ways to streamline the regulatory interpretation process. Members are pursuing a new initiative whereby the amount of guidance in support of a new FAA rule is limited to a brief interpretation. 

Members were also briefed by FAA Manager of the Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300) Carol Giles on a number of issues that the agency is currently undertaking that face the maintenance community.

The committee also discussed the unveiling of the new NATA AMT Employer Recognition Program Awards that have received a great deal of positive feedback from the industry.

More information on the committee’s activities can be found by clicking here.

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 Compensation Program, NATA’s Web site and Safety 1st program. 

The committee talked about the improvements to the Aviation Business Journal and how the association can leverage those advances as marketing tools to gain new members. They also commented that the new Web site and newsletter templates will go a long way to boost visitors/readership due to improved presentation. Next year, NATA will look into creating a buyer's guide in an issue of ABJ and making the rest of the membership directory into an online version.

Committee members also reviewed new options for potential member benefit programs and made several suggestions for staff to review. These included a maintenance supply discount, guest survey and additional human resource tools.   

Safety & Security Committee
NATA's Safety & Security Committee met on Wednesday with more than fifteen members, guests and staff to discuss safety, training and security initiatives.

Members discussed NATA’s ground safety audit that was created to provide a consistent operational safety standard for fixed base operators, airports and other aviation services providers while increasing the operations’ overall safety level. The ground safety audit would give on-demand charter, fractional and corporate aircraft operators an alternative to costly proprietary audits. NATA will use the standards and checklists to perform a test audit in late May at an FBO in the Midwest and continue to refine the audit process. A second audit will be performed mid-summer with the goal of rolling out the ground audit standards in October.

Other committee discussions included an update on NATA’s Safety 1st Professional Line Service Training (PLST Online) that informed committee members that the Customer Service, Safety and Security module sales continue and the De/Anti-Icing training was a popular training program over the de-icing season with more than 150 seats sold to date. Members were advised that safety awareness training will be the next online offering affording FBOs access to training based upon the OSHA standards.

The committee also reviewed several Operational Best Practices that will be released in the coming weeks by NATA’s Safety 1st department. Members were also given briefings on security by Brian Delauter with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), on Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) initiatives and safety management systems (SMS) by NATA Director of Safety and Security Russ Lawton, and on regulatory and legislative updates NATA Director of Legislative Affairs Kristen Moore. 

Click here for additional information on the Safety & Security Committee.

Company ground best practices: Click here for NATA’s Operational Best Practices (OBP).

Ramp Communications Video Online

Click here for PLST Online information or here to purchase PLST Online offering.

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nullNATA Fact Of The Week – Industry News

According to AvWeb, Cessna CEO, President and Chairman Jack Pelton announced his retirement last week effective June 1. Pelton will be replaced, in the interim, by Cessna’s parent company Textron’s, CEO, Scott Donnelly, until a replacement is named. According to AvWeb:

“Pelton joined Cessna in November 2000 as a senior vice president in charge of engineering and product development. He was named president and chief executive officer in 2003 and chairman in 2005. He oversaw the development of the Mustang jet and the Skycatcher light sport aircraft, and was active in a number of initiatives to promote general aviation overall.”

Click here to view the full article.

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    Upcoming Events

05/24/2011 - Windsor Locks, CT
Line Service Supervisor Training

05/26/2011 - Windsor Locks, CT
OSHA Safety and Health Training

06/06/2011 - Dulles, VA
2011 Air Charter Summit

06/26-06/28 - St. Louis, MO AAAE GA Issues & Security Conference

06/28-06/29 - St. Louis, MO AAAE/AMCG Sponsor Assurances, Leasing Policies and Minimum Standards Workshop

08/23/2011 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2011 Commercial Operators Tax Seminar

10/09/2011 - Las Vegas, NV
2011 Fall Committee Meetings

11/07/2011 - Atlanta, GA
Line Service Supervisor Training

11/08/2011 - Atlanta, GA
FBO Success Seminar

03/05/2012 - Las Vegas, NV
2012 Spring Training

NATA E-Learn Webinars

Commercial Operators Tax Seminar Preview Webinar - 06/22/2011

Click here to view archived webinar recording

IC Check

RA Check

President's Page - Your source for blogs, videos and more...

Safety 1st

Hear what others have to say about Safety 1st Professional Line Service Training

Aviation Business Journal

Host A Congressional Tour

The Pilot's Toolkit

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.

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Fax: 703-845-8176

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