On Friday, May 13, 2011, leadership of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Aviation Subcommittee, and Ways and Means Committee introduced legislation to provide a short-term extension of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding and programs. The introduced extension legislation, H.R. 1893, would extend FAA programs through June 30, 2011 if conference negotiations aren’t final when the current FAA extension expires on May 30, 2011.
Both the House and Senate have approved long-term authorizing legislation for the FAA. On April 1, 2011, the House approved the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 658) to reform and streamline FAA programs and modernize the nation’s aviation system. The Senate passed S. 228 on February 27, 2011.
"House Transportation Committee Chairman Mica, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), and other committee leaders have agreed to do everything they can to complete a final long-term FAA bill in order to eliminate the need for Congress to pass another extension", a press release from the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee stated.
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|California Environmental Group Threatens Lawsuit Over Avgas|
Last week, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), an environmental group located in San Francisco, California, charged numerous aviation businesses in California, including aviation fuel suppliers and fixed base operators, with violating California state law because they sell aviation gasoline, which contains lead. The notices to the businesses indicate CEH’s intention to file a lawsuit under state law, and also include a proposed settlement to stop the lawsuit that includes halting the sale of aviation gasoline and payment, to CEH, of 25% of any civil penalty that is assessed. When asked in a recent AVweb interview about the revenue received from Proposition 65 lawsuits, CEH Research Director Caroline Cox responded, “We try to recover our legal fees and then perhaps make some money for [our] organization.”
Proposition 65, a ballot initiative passed in 1986, establishes a list of chemicals that are “known to the state of California to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.” Proposition 65 also establishes required warnings for products containing those chemicals as well as a prohibition on discharging those chemicals into drinking water supplies. The most controversial portion of the law establishes a “bounty” that encourages private citizens to file lawsuits over compliance with the law. The individual filing the law suit is then entitled to recover all legal fees plus 25 percent of any civil penalty. For more information on Proposition 65, check out NATA President James K. Coyne’s blog on the subject.
NATA is very concerned about this attempt to use California state law to shut down the entire piston-engine general aviation industry in California through a suit that involves a private organization seeking monetary damages. General aviation is a national resource that provides economic growth and jobs in thousands of California communities. This growth and these jobs are now endangered by one organization’s threat of a lawsuit and demands for monetary damages and an end to the sale of leaded aviation gasoline.
Any environmental concerns arising from the sale and use of aviation gasoline belong under the purview of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the FAA. Currently, both of these agencies, along with numerous industry stakeholders, are engaged in a collaborative process to address the issues arising from the use of leaded aviation gasoline.
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|Capitol View Blogs|
NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne published two blogs last week.
The first, titled “The Truth about the Freedom from Government Competition Act,” focuses on setting the record straight about a recent ACI-NA statement on the association’s action supporting this legislation and what the legislation really means.
The second, titled “The Great California Airway Robbery” focuses on recent charges made by an environmental group located in San Francisco, California, that aviation businesses in California, including aviation fuel suppliers and fixed base operators, are violating California state law for selling aviation gasoline, because it contains lead.
To read Coyne’s blogs, please click here.
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|Coyne Video Clip: “Sleeping Controllers”|
In his latest video clip, NATA President & CEO James K. Coyne addresses the recent controversy involving sleeping controllers.
To view Coyne’s latest video clip, please click here.
To view all of Coyne’s blogs, please click here.
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|Urge Your Members Of Congress To Co-Sponsor The Freedom From Government Competition Act|
U.S. Representative John Duncan (R-TN) and U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) introduced the Freedom from Government Competition Act (H.R. 1474 and S. 785, respectively) to reduce unfair government competition with the private sector, including small business. The legislation seeks to end government monopolies and benefits the taxpayer by subjecting commercial activities being performed by federal employees within government agencies to market competition. Not only do federal agencies duplicate private business, many also engage in unfair government competition with the private sector. Many aviation businesses have been affected by unfair government competition.
Currently, there are 13 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives for H.R. 1474, including Representatives John Duncan (R-TN) Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Sam Graves (R-MO), Ralph Hall (R-TX), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Donald Manzullo (R-IL), David McKinley (R-WV), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Don Young (R-AK). In the U.S. Senate, Senators John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) have co-signed S. 785.
It’s imperative to have as many co-sponsors of the bill as possible in order for Congress to consider the legislation. NATA members are being asked to contact their Members of Congress to request they co-sponsor the Freedom from Government Competition Act through NATA’s legislative action center. Urge your Members of Congress to support the bill today!
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|Delauter Leaving TSA|
Last week, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) General Manager of General Aviation Brian Delauter announced that he will leave the agency at month’s end. Delauter, who assumed the position in August 2009, has been widely credited with incorporating a more inclusive approach with industry when developing new security protocol.
“Brian has done a fantastic job at the TSA,” stated NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne. “His vast experience within our industry really added the necessary perspective on general aviation security. We will certainly miss his leadership, but wish him and his family all the best.”
Prior to joining TSA Headquarters, Delauter was the federal security director at Savannah International Airport. Delauter was also a pilot for NetJets and Northwest Airlines.
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|NATA Comments On Proposed Airport Safety Training Rules|
Last week, NATA submitted comments on proposed safety training rules for airports certificated under 14 CFR Part 139 to the FAA. The proposed rules would require certificated airports to establish a safety training program for all individuals with unescorted access to the airports’ non-movement area. The FAA defines the non-movement area as “the area, other than that described as the movement area, used for the loading, unloading, parking, and movement of aircraft on the airside of the airport (including ramps, apron areas, and on airport fuel farms). The proposed rules would require training on the following topics:
- Airport familiarization, including airport marking, signs, and lighting
- Procedures for access to, and operation in, the non-movement area
- Duties required under the Airport Certification Manual and the requirements of Part 139
In its comments, NATA expressed support for the FAA’s efforts to increase airport safety and provided suggestions for several improvements that would reduce the impact and increase the efficiency of the rule. NATA specifically requested that the FAA provide additional clarification on exemptions to ensure that certificated airmen, such as pilots and mechanics, would not need to receive individual training at each airport they visit in order to access their aircraft without escort.
NATA also suggested that the FAA allow airports to accept the training tenant businesses, such as FBOs, provide to their own employees, as long as that training meets the requirements of the rules. The association pointed out that allowing airports to accept the training, such as NATA’s Safety 1st PLST, provided by tenants would reduce duplicative training and the overall economic impact of the rule.
Click here to read the proposed Part 139 safety training rule.
Click here to read NATA’s comments.
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|NATA Joins GA Industry To Celebrate Proclamation Claiming “General Aviation Appreciation Month” In New Jersey|
On May 9, NATA, along with the Alliance for Aviation Across America, National Business Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Helicopter Association International (HAI), welcomed a proclamation signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as he declared May General Aviation Appreciation Month.” The Governor underlined the importance of general aviation in New Jersey and urged its residents to recognize the industry as an imperative resource in the state.
NATA has 45 member companies in New Jersey that help boost the state’s economy by bringing in over $4 billion annually and supporting more than 18,000 jobs.
“The aviation community thanks Governor Christie for issuing this proclamation. It only further demonstrates the important role of this industry and the tremendous economic impact it has throughout the United States,” stated NATA President and CEO James K. Coyne. NATA will continue to work with legislatures to promote general aviation and its benefits at the local, state, and national levels.
To read the Alliance for Aviation Across America’s press release, click here.
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|NATA Notifies Congress Of Concern For FCC Decision Effecting GPS|
In a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, NATA along with aviation industry organizations making up the Coalition to Save GPS wrote to notify them of a recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC granted a conditional waiver to allow a company called LightSquared to build tens of thousands of ground stations that will operate in the frequency spectrum immediately adjoining that of the United States Global Positioning System (GPS). It is likely that the LightSquared service would cause widespread interference with our nation’s aviation infrastructure.
The letter highlights that thousands of aircraft use GPS receivers for navigation, including approach and landing, and it is central to the FAA’s air traffic control modernization system. Furthermore, GPS is used for the cellular telephone E-911 program and helps first responders locate people in emergencies. The primary concern is that these receivers could be jammed within miles of LightSquared’s transmitters and the consequences of disruption to the GPS signals are far reaching, creating 40,000 “dead spots,” each miles in diameter throughout the U.S.
Federal investment in GPS totals over $35 billion. If GPS is interfered with, not only will aviation be adversely impacted, critical private and public sector activity will be adversely affected, including public safety, homeland security, consumers, marine, transportation, agriculture, forestry, engineering, time transfer and construction. The Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense, along with members of the U.S. Senate, have expressed concern, which is why the letter urges Members of Congress to send a letter to the FCC requiring that they take all necessary steps to protect GPS.
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|Association Joins Letter Of Support For Safety Management Data|
NATA along with the Air Charter Safety Foundation joined a coalition letter from industry organizations that advocates for the protection of information submitted under FAA-approved voluntary safety reporting programs and FAA-accepted safety management system (SMS) programs included in H.R. 658, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. The letter was sent to both the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in support of protecting information and data collected or generated by voluntary safety reporting programs from discovery, subpoena, and use as evidence in any federal or state court proceeding and protecting such information from public disclosure. The aviation industry feels that SMS, along with the voluntary safety reporting programs, will increase the ability of the FAA and the industry to be more predictive in terms of identifying and addressing emerging safety issues and trends. Both Congress and the FAA have endorsed this approach since it will increase the industry’s ability to bring more sources of data together, and institute the use of powerful analytical tools to identify hazards better, assess risk, and develop appropriate risk controls and solutions that will improve aviation safety.
As Congress works toward resolution between both the House and Senate bills pertaining to FAA reauthorization, the letter urges the adoption of the language included in H.R. 658.
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|Aviation Business Journal Q2 Issue Now Available|
The first quarter Aviation Business Journal is in the mail and is also now available at www.nata.aero or by clicking here.
In This Issue:
- Member Profile: Nantucket Memorial Airport
- A Workers Compensation Controversy
- Swift Justice: DOT Enforcement
- Benefits of Airport Minimum Standards
- And much more…
The new issue will arrive in your mailbox soon, in the meantime, please flip through online. Visit http://www.nata.aero/Aviation-Business-Journal/ABJ-Past-Editions.aspx to take a look at past editions.
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|Air Charter Summit Provides Charter Broker Guidance|
The 2011 Air Charter Summit will be 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.
Charter Broker Guidance Session
Dayton Lehman, Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, DOT
Kent S. Jackson, Partner, Jackson & Wade, LLC
Love them or hate them, brokers are part of nearly every air charter operator's business. In this session, you'll hear about recent DOT enforcement actions and possible new regulations that could impact both operators and brokers. You will also learn practical steps to take when working with brokers to help protect your business.
Visit www.nata.aero/acs to see the entire Summit program, view a video invite by James K. Coyne, and to register today. Also, learn how you can help NATA and McFarren Aviation Consulting contribute to the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC). The VAC is a charitable organization that provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans, and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes. NATA and McFarren Aviation Consulting will each contribute $10 for every registered attendee. Please join us.
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|Top Reasons To Attend May Windsor Locks LSST And OSHA Seminars|
LSST May 24-25, OSHA (10 HR) May 26-27
Reason Five - Convenience and Special Offer: NATA’s Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar will once again take place at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, on May 24-25. NATA’s Safety & Health Training for Ground Operations (OSHA 10 HR) will be offered once this year on May 26-27 immediately following NATA’s popular LSST Seminar in Windsor Locks. A special offer for a FREE copy of our updated Refueling And Quality Control Procedures manual is extended to participants who attend both May seminars.
Reason Four - Action Packed Learning and Fun: 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. Attendees will take advantage of team building activities to spark ingenuity and camaraderie within the group. Participants will fly balsa wood flyers and attempt to beat their compatriots, flying higher, further and better than anyone before them. They also get to view three hangars of vintage aircraft and complete a scavenger hunt of challenging questions about the vintage aircraft they see.
Reason Three - Valuable Take Away: Our Safety & Health Training for Ground Operations instructor will provide real-world OSHA guidance and aviation case studies. Attendees will also be provided audit and checklist templates as well as the knowledge to implement and improve their facility compliance programs. LSST participants will discover their strengths and weaknesses through invaluable self-assessments and share their real-world triumphs and challenges with their colleagues and speakers.
Reason Two - Dynamite Speakers: The LSST 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.
Reason One - Certification: OSHA 10 HR seminar participants will receive a course completion certificate from NATA as well as a course completion card from OSHA. LSST seminar participants will receive FAA-required 14 CFR 139.321 Fire Safety Training certification upon completion of all seminar requirements.
Don’t miss the chance to attend the LSST in Windsor Locks. Click here for more details and a link to register.
Click here for more details and a link to register for NATA’s OSHA 10-Hour Course.
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|Fact Of The Week – Industry News|
According to an article by aviationnews.net, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has announced that general aviation shipments fell “4.6 percent in the first quarter” of 2011.
“Piston-powered aircraft shipments in the first quarter totaled 188 units compared with 166 units delivered in the first three months of 2010, a 13.3 percent increase. Turboprop shipments declined 6.7 percent to 56 units in 2011. Business jet shipments totaled 128 units, a 22 percent decrease from the 164 units delivered during this same period in 2010.”
Click here to read the full article on aviationnews.net.
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