|Topics in this Volume
|Register Onsite For Air Charter Summit Starting Today|
On-site registration for the Air Charter Summit is available at the rate of $595 for members and $795 for non-members.
A one-day pass for Tuesday's sessions including networking lunch and dinner with guest speaker, CBS Sports Broadcaster David Feherty is also available for $195. Stop by the registration desk in the foyer of the Marriott Westfields Hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, to attend the opening reception this evening and then a day and a half of hard hitting sessions covering the most pressing Part 135 issues. Click here to view the final onsite program. View the Summit web page for a list of display companies, information on contributing to a Summit fund to support the Veterans Airlift Command and other event details. www.nata.aero/acs
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|Industry Appeals For Relief From TFRs|
A coalition of aviation associations, including NATA, has written to Transportation Security Administration Administrator Pistole asking him to work with industry to provide workable solutions to increase general aviation access to presidential TFRs.
With President Obama’s re-election campaign forthcoming, the frequency of TFRs is expected to increase. Presidential TFRs impose substantial operational restrictions that result in severe economic hardships for based and transient aircraft. The industry asked Pistole to engage in discussions with appropriate stakeholders to create pragmatic solutions that will improve TFR design and implementation without compromising the security of the president.
The industry letter to Pistole is available for review here.
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|Santa Monica Ends Legal Battle To Ban Certain Jet Aircraft|
In January 2011, a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia denied a request from the city of Santa Monica to review the FAA determination that the city’s attempt to ban category C and D turbine aircraft was a violation of federal grant assurances. The appeals panel noted that the FAA’s determination was “not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law. [Therefore] the petition for review is denied.”
Last week, the city of Santa Monica announced, in a meeting with an airport neighborhood group, that it would not pursue further legal review of the panel’s decision. The city had two options left for judicial review of the FAA’s determination: appeal to the full appeals court or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This decision marks the end of a ten-year legal battle that, according to smdp.com, cost the city more than $1.5 million dollars. NATA has long argued that the city did not have the authority to ban certain types of aircraft from using a federally funded public-use airport.
Despite Santa Monica’s decision not to appeal the January ruling, it appears likely that the city will not discontinue its attacks on the airport utility to users. NATA will continue to monitor the actions of the city and work to ensure that Santa Monica Airport remains open and useful to all classes of users.
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|FAA Rejects Privacy Concerns, Adopts Restrictions On Aircraft Blocking|
Last week, the FAA released its response to industry comments regarding a proposal to limit the blocking of aircraft tail numbers, deciding to move forward with its intended action.
The Block Aircraft Registration Request program, commonly known as BARR, is a system that permits aircraft owners/operators to have their aircraft data blocked when conducting IFR flights in the United States. The program is frequently used by those concerned about their aircraft movements being tracked in real-time. It is possible, using various Internet flight tracking services, to know the location, altitude, airspeed, destination and estimated time of arrival of an unblocked aircraft.
In March, the FAA proposed revisions to the Memorandum of Agreement that would allow only those operators that can certify that a “Valid Security Concern” exists related to the owner’s or operator’s aircraft or passengers to be blocked. Alternatively, a business that has met the Department of Treasury’s requirements for a “bona fide business-oriented security concern” could also be blocked.
NATA and numerous other interested persons and organizations submitted comments opposing the change. Despite the significant opposition, the FAA will move forward with the changes to the MOA. The MOA revisions will take effect in 60 days.
NATA’s comments are available for review as is the FAA’s response, which appeared in the Federal Register on June 3, 2011.
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|House Homeland Security Committee Hears Testimony From TSA Administrator Pistole|
On June 2, 2011, Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Transportation Security, held a hearing in advance of drafting legislation to reauthorize the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. Chairman Rogers stated that “we must ensure that the TSA has the tools it needs to prevent terrorists from carrying out an attack, and that it functions efficiently and effectively to protect our nation’s transportation systems.
TSA Administrator John Pistole testified before the subcommittee, discussing his priorities for addressing vulnerabilities in all modes of transportation and specific agency efforts toward a more risk-based screening solution.
Pistole embraced the concept of a trusted traveler program, noting that it would enable the TSA to focus its limited resources on "those we know the least about and therefore could cause the most problems." Under a trusted traveler, or known traveler, program, airline passengers could volunteer extra information about themselves and their travel habits. With that information, he said, theTSA could make a determination to expedite security screening for a trusted passenger, thereby speeding the trip through the security checkpoint.
Addressing air cargo security, Pistole stated that the TSA continues to work with airlines to implement advances in cargo screening measures in the wake of the October 2010 Yemen cargo bomb plot. Following the logic that it doesn't make sense for an unnamed person to pay $500 to ship printing cartridges from Yemen to Chicago, the TSA has focused on the highest risk cargo -- parcels containing unknown cargo or those coming from unknown shippers. So instead of enforcing a common standard across the board for all packages and cargo, the TSA has been working with shippers such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL to implement a risk-based approach that focuses on these unknown shipments or unknown shippers, Pistole testified. In that way, the TSA will provide better security based on intelligence rather than rolling out a blanket screening protocol.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), chair of the transportation security panel, said he hoped to introduce a TSA authorization bill by early July.
To read Pistole’s full statement, please click here.
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|House Approved Fiscal Year 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill|
On June 2, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would provide the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) $40.6 billion in discretionary funds for fiscal year 2012 (FY12). Lawmakers voted 231-188 to approve the FY12 Homeland Security appropriations bill. President Obama requested $43.2 billion for the DHS. The department’s current budget is $41.8 billion.
The most notable changes to the bill during floor proceedings were the significant reductions in state and local homeland security grant programs. The bill provides $1.7 billion for those programs, while the Obama administration requested about $3.8 billion for them. The Senate, which has not yet taken up the bill, will likely restore a good chunk of funding for those grant programs. Lawmakers also defeated two amendments from Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) that would have prohibited the Transportation Security Administration from buying new full-body scanning machines for the nation’s airports. However, lawmakers approved an amendment from Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN) that would prohibit the department from using money to give airport screeners collective-bargaining rights.
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) offered an amendment that was approved to limit the amount that can be spent on airport screeners to $2.7 billion. To read the press release from the Committee on Homeland Security on the bill, click here.
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|Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Declares June “General Aviation Appreciation Month”|
NATA joined the Alliance for Aviation Across America in applauding Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for declaring June 2011 “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” In Illinois, general aviation generates $6 billion in economic impact annually and supports over 3,102 full-time and 1,145 part-time jobs.
NATA President James K. Coyne stated, “This proclamation is yet another positive step in emphasizing the importance of the general aviation industry. By declaring June ‘General Aviation Appreciation Month,’ Governor Quinn and Illinois have joined a long list of states in recognizing how vital general aviation is to our local and national economies.”
To read the proclamation, click here.
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|Congress Continues Quest To Reduce Unfair Government Competition With Private Business|
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2017, Homeland Security Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2012, which included an amendment sponsored by Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) that would allow public-private competition for the provision of commercial activities by placing a moratorium on A-76 competitions within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In describing his amendment, Rep. Sessions stated, "I am pleased that the House has recognized the need for our government to encourage market competition so we can improve service, lower costs and deliver the best services to the American people. By allowing A-76 cost competitions between the public and private sector, DHS can bring the best value to our nation's hardworking taxpayers regardless of which sector wins the competition."
This provision included in H.R. 2017 is a positive step forward as NATA works with Members of Congress to garner support for H.R. 1474 and S. 785, the Freedom from Government Competition Act. This bill is important to the association as we work to protect aviation businesses from unfair competition from the federal and state governments. This week, Representatives Paul Broun (R-GA), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS) signed on as co-sponsors of this legislation. There are now 15 co-sponsors of 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), 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 the legislative action center. Urge your Members of Congress to support the bill today.
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|TSA Adds New Airport As DCA Access Gateway|
Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved Signature Flight Support at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston, Texas, as a gateway location for aircraft operators conducting flight operations to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). HOU is a gateway airport for the DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP). The program allows participating general aviation aircraft operators to utilize DCA. DASSP requires:
- TSA inspection of crew and passengers;
- TSA inspection of property and aircraft;
- Identification checks of passengers by the TSA;
- Submission of passenger and crew manifests 24 hours in advance of flight;
- Enhanced background checks for all passengers and fingerprint-based criminal history records check (CHRC) for flight crews;
- An armed Security Officer (ASO) on board each flight; and
- All DASSP flights must depart from an approved gateway airport and participating fixed base operator.
For more information on DASSP, please click here.
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|Coyne Visits New Million Air Facility In Mississippi|
A new general aviation facility opens at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport this month. It will create 40-new jobs and pump millions of dollars into the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The new tenant is Million Air, a 12-million-dollar facility that will welcome business travelers, casino patrons, military members and cargo planes to south Mississippi.
Million Air is based in Houston, Texas. The new facility opens in June and the new control tower opens next year. These changes are part of the airport's ten-year master plan. NATA President James K. Coyne recently attended a media event in Mississippi and spoke about the new facility.
Click here to view the WLOX television report featuring James K. Coyne.
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|Coyne Video Clip: “Infrastructure”|
In his latest video clip, NATA President James K. Coyne addresses the importance of aviation infrastructure investment.
To view Coyne’s latest video clip, please click here.
To view all of Coyne’s video briefings, please click here.
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|Fuel QC – NATA’s E-Learn Summer Webinar Series Starts June 29|
Every day, millions of gallons of aviation fuel are pumped into a wide range of general aviation aircraft. The fuel quality control chain has a myriad of different inspections and procedures that overlap to provide coverage so a failure in one area does not result in poor quality fuel being delivered to an aircraft. It is important to remember that it’s not just the policies and procedures that make the system so successful – it is the people who implement them.
Professionalism, attention to detail and dedication are displayed by the thousands of individuals who, every day, ensure that the aviation fuel delivered to their customers is clean, dry and on-specification.
NATA is offering a summer series of webinars led by a panel of industry experts to help ensure that your team is equipped with the latest tips, techniques and knowledge on Fuel Quality Control. You may purchase single webinars or receive special pricing on packages to access the entire series.
The Fuel QC webinar series lineup includes:
June 29, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern / 1200-1300 Central / 1100-1200 Mountain / 1000-1100 Pacific
The Basics of Aviation Fuel Filtration And Mandatory Specifications by Frank Clark with Facet International and Fuel Receipt Procedures by Reed Fuller with Ascent Aviation
July 20, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern / 1200-1300 Central / 1100-1200 Mountain / 1000-1100 Pacific
Contaminants In Fuel And How To Detect Them by Frank Clark with Facet International and If you Didn’t Write It Down, Did You Actually Do It by Walter Chartrand with Air BP Aviation
Aug 3, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern / 1200-1300 Central / 1100-1200 Mountain / 1000-1100 Pacific
Filtration And Separation Options by Frank Clark with Facet International and The Straight Scoop On Additives by Carl Hammonds with Hammonds Companies
August 17, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern / 1200-1300 Central / 1100-1200 Mountain / 1000-1100 Pacific
Filter Equipment Maintenance Procedures: How And Why – What ATA-103 Requires by Frank Clark with Facet International and An Aircraft Operators View Of QC by Trace Talley with Flight Options
Visit www.nata.aero/webinars to view individual webinar and package pricing and to register today.
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|NATA 2011 Membership Directories Have Beened Shipped!|
Access New Electronic Version at www.nata.aero
The NATA 2011 Membership Directory has been shipped to members. If you haven’t received your copy yet, you should shortly.
This year, in addition to the printed copy, NATA has placed an electronic version on its Web site. This version, similar to the new electronic version of the Aviation Business Journal, can be viewed by visiting www.nata.aero or by clicking here.
If you have changes to your listing, please contact NATA at (800) 808-6282 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also log on to the www.nata.aero Web site to make changes, as well.
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|Fact Of The Week – Industry News|
By this time, almost everyone in the aviation industry is aware of the issue of GPS interference — more particularly the possible interference that could occur as a result of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) granting of a waiver to LightSquared allowing the company to broadcast terrestrial broadband signals. The aviation industry is particularly concerned with the effects that this interference could have on FAA-approved systems used for prescion aircraft navigation and approaches.
A recent article on directionsmag.com explains the problems with LightSquared’s signal interference and some of the background information on the political issues that were involved in the FCC approving LightSquared’s waiver request:
“To even attempt to grasp how LightSquared was able to achieve a deal such as this, you need to delve deep and examine the players at work here.”
Click here to read the full article on directionsmag.com.
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