|Topics in this Volume
|Congress Passes 20th Extension Of FAA Reauthorization|
Congress approved the twentieth short-term extension that will give lawmakers until July 22 to complete action on a long-term FAA reauthorization bill. The extension will allow FAA programs to continue while conference negotiations proceed on a final version of the legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives approved their bill H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 on April 1, 2011, and the Senate passed their bill S. 223, the Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act on February 17, 2011. The extension is now awaiting President Obama’s signature and will be signed into law marking the 20th extension of this law since 2007.
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) last week cast doubt on Congress's ability to move long-term funding legislation for the FAA. Chairman Mica stated that passage of the bill will be harder to achieve because the new Members of Congress have “little interest in providing more funds for the FAA.” But leadership in both sides of Congress have stated that they are willing to do whatever it takes to complete a final FAA bill without the need for another extension.
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|Inside Washington Blog|
NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer’s latest blog discusses how politics Inside the Beltway and in the state of California are reaching new levels of ineptitude.
To read Byer’s blog, please click here.
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|Aviation Safety At Risk From Potential GPS Interference|
On June 23, 2011, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), gathered to hear testimony from government agencies and industry stakeholders on the effects of the implementation of LightSquared broadband Internet on the Global Positioning System (GPS). Recent studies have shown that LightSquared’s broadband service is incompatible with GPS signals and could be detrimental to aviation and maritime safety.
Chairman Petri expressed his concern over the potential decrease in aviation safety, arguing that it is important that the government does not do anything to limit NextGen efforts, stating that “new burdens on the aviation industry as a result of FCC approvals would likely stifle NextGen efforts,” and that new and costly burdens on the community are unacceptable. Chairman LoBiondo agreed, stating that further testing is necessary “to ensure that implementation will not affect the safety and security of our nation.”
NATA President James K. Coyne commends Chairmen Petri and LoBiondo for holding this hearing. “GPS plays a vital role in keeping America’s air transportation safe, and it is important that we keep safety our number one priority,” Coyne said. “Any interference with GPS can be detrimental to our cause, and I urge Congress and the FCC to stop broadband implementation until a resolution is made showing that GPS can function with the same signal strength and efficiency as it does today.”
To view a list of witnesses and to watch a video recording of the hearing, click here.
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|Committee Hears Testimony On Small Businesses Competing With The Federal Government|
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce held a hearing titled “Insourcing Gone Awry: Outsourcing Small Business Jobs.” The committee heard from small business owners who have had contracts with the federal government that were lost due to federal agencies deciding to perform the work internally that they previously contracted out. The small businesses argued that the financial burden to federal agencies insourcing their work is much greater. Also testifying before the subcommittee was the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. Currently, there is no statutory or regulatory definition of insourcing, which is the conversion of work performed by private sector contractors to work performed by public sector employees through the hiring of additional public sector employees. It is understood that not all functions of government need to be carried out by federal employees and that contractors provide some goods and services. Congress and the President have always questioned when work should be performed by federal employees and when it should be performed by a contractor. However, most would agree that “inherently governmental” functions should be performed by federal employees. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear definition of this term.
NATA has been working to foster support for current legislation that addresses unfair competition between private-sector businesses and the federal government, H.R. 1474/S. 785, the Freedom from Government Competition Act. Just last week, the association joined a letter to House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) requesting that language to limit OMB Circular A-76 competitions, or federal policy for the competition of commercial activities, be removed from any appropriations bills that pass the House in the coming months. In June, both the Fiscal Year 2012 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act and the Fiscal Year 2012 Department of Agriculture Appropriations Act passed with amendments offered by Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) to remove the limitation on competition of commercial activities. There are 10 remaining appropriations bills that Congress must pass before the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2011.
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|NATA Issues Action Call On California Flight Training Issue|
Last week, NATA issued an action call asking its California members and the industry in general to contact members of the California Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protections and the Assembly Committee on Higher Education in support of California Senate Bill 619 (SB 619). SB 619 contains language that would provide an exemption from the rules issued by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) for any flight instructor or flight training facility that:
- Does not require upfront payment of fees in exchange for training, and
- Does not require students to sign a contract of indebtedness in exchange for training
Under SB 619, however, students will still be able to purchase “block time” in amounts up $2500. SB 619, which passed the California Senate last month with no “no” votes, is expected to be heard in the Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protections tomorrow and in the Committee on Higher Education next week.
Currently, flight training facilities in California are operating under a one-year delay in compliance with the BPPE rules, which expire on July 1, 2011. At this point, it seems likely that deliberation on SB 619 will still be continuing when the delay in compliance expires. NATA is advising it flight training members in California to wait for resolution on SB 619 before changing their business or contacting the BPPE.
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|FAA Extends Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee|
According to the FAA, the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT ARC) has been extended by six months to January 31, 2012. The purpose of the UAT ARC is to provide “an industry-government framework and implementation plan intended to guide the GA community towards deployment of unleaded aviation gasoline as an alternative to [leaded aviation gasoline]”. Both the FAA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency serve as members of the UAT ARC along with numerous industry representatives, including NATA.
The FAA has announced that the UAT ARC will meet again in “mid-July, followed by a public presentation at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI, in late July.” The agency also stated, “Before the committee's final recommendations are put forward, a preview of key discussion topics will provide insight into the approach the committee is employing to address this challenging issue. These key discussion topics include:
- The formation of an industry-government group and framework that will facilitate, promote, and track the development, qualification, certification, and deployment of candidate unleaded fuels. This group would stimulate and facilitate the overall unleaded avgas transition effort.
- The establishment of project gates or readiness levels that can be used to evaluate and track the developmental progress of candidate unleaded fuels from concept through distribution and use.
- The establishment of supporting facilities, tools, methods, and procedures that could be implemented to accelerate the development and deployment of unleaded avgas.”
More information on the UAT ARC is available at the FAA Aviation Gasoline webpage.
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|NTSB Adds GA Safety To Most Wanted List|
Last Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unveiled its updated Most Wanted List of “the most critical transportation issues that need to be addressed to improve safety and save lives.” General Aviation Safety has been added to the Most Wanted List and has a dedicated web page.
An excerpt from the NTSB General Aviation Safety web page follows:
The United States has not had a fatal large commercial aviation accident since February 2009, but the story is very different in the world of general aviation (GA). Each year, hundreds of people—450 in 2010—are killed in GA accidents, and thousands more are injured. GA continues to have the highest aviation accident rates within civil aviation: about 6 times higher than small commuter and air taxi operations and over 40 times higher than larger transport category operations. Perhaps what is most distressing is that the causes of GA accidents are almost always a repeat of the circumstances of previous accidents.
While NATA appreciates the NTSB’s renewed focus on general aviation safety, some perspective must accompany its addition to the Most Wanted List. Comparing Part 121 commercial operations to the vast array of Part 91 operations is essentially comparing apples to oranges. General aviation operations take place in a much more expansive set of operating conditions and geographical settings when compared to its Part 121 counterparts. There are also a much greater number of aircraft being utilized in Part 91 operations. The general aviation industry continues to make safety its number one priority through a number of initiatives. NATA has been at the forefront of safety with its Safety 1st program, its airport flight crew briefing program, its founding of and support for the Air Charter Safety Foundation.
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|NATA Announces 2012 Dates And Location For The Air Charter Summit|
The industry’s premier event for Part 135 on-demand air charter professionals will be held Monday, June 11 – Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at the Marriott Westfield in Chantilly/Dulles, Virginia. This year’s summit offered aviation professionals the opportunity to hear directly from top FAA and TSA officials. An open forum session allowed attendees to present their challenges and specific issues and gain insight from FAA representatives on how to resolve their issues. Mark your 2012 Calendar now for this event, and plan to attend.
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COTS Preview Webinar Recording Now Available
Find Out What Makes This Seminar So Popular Year After Year
COTS is the Commercial Operators Tax Seminar. A two-day seminar presented by NATA and Conklin & de Decker, COTS provides operators with detailed information on federal excise taxes (FET), how those taxes intertwine with FAA operational regulations, tips for surviving an FET audit and other key tax issues.
For 2011, COTS is in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on August 23 - 24. Early registration is now available.
All sessions are designed to answer the questions most commonly faced in an on-demand operation and provide attendees with clear, concise guidance to take back to the office.
NATA and Conklin & de Decker know that those involved in the air charter industry often have numerous tax questions. This is why ample question-and-answer time is provided to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their unique situation addressed.
A free one-hour preview webinar took place on June 22. Speakers and co-hosts Nel Stubbs of Conklin & de Decker and Jacqueline Rosser of NATA provided an overview of the many topics to be covered during the seminar. Click here to view the June 22 preview webinar recording. A special discount price was extended to participants of the live webinar only, but you can still take advantage of the early registration price of $795 if you register by August 1st.
For more information about the Commercial Operators Tax Seminar on August 23-24, including how to register, please visit www.nata.aero/taxseminar.
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|Expert Guidance On Fuel Quality Control|
Don't Miss this Summer's Webinar Series
NATA's summer series of webinars is 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. Learn how to put Fuel Quality Control into practical use. You may purchase single webinars or receive special pricing on packages to access the entire series. See below for a special offer only available until June 29.
The Fuel QC webinar series lineup includes:
June 29, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern
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
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
August 3, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern
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
Filter Equipment Maintenance Procedures: How And Why - What ATA-103 Requires by Frank Clark with Facet International and An Aircraft Operator's 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.
Special Offer - available until June 29, 2011
Buy the Refueling and Quality Control Procedures for Airport Service and Support Operations and get FREE access to NATA's Summer E-learn Quality Control Webinar Series!
The Summer E-learn Fuel Quality Control Webinar Series not only provides expert tips and techniques for proper use of the QC manual, it also supplies new information on the following topics:
- The Basics of Aviation Fuel Filtration & Mandatory Specifications
- Contaminants in Fuel & How to Detect Them
- Filtration & Separation Options
This guidebook and webinar series package is only $195 for NATA members and $250 for Non-members (a savings of $198). Hurry before this offer ends on June 29, 2011. Once your guidebook purchase has been processed, you will automatically be entered into the system for the webinar series. Check your email for a webinar confirmation. Orders for the guidebook can be placed online at www.nata.aero/store.
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|Fall Committee Meetings To Be Held In Conjunction with NBAA Convention|
Plan to Attend October 9, 2011, in Las Vegas
NATA’s Fall Committee Meetings will be held October 9 in conjunction with the NBAA 64th Annual Meeting & Convention in Las Vegas. Make your hotel and travel arrangements for NBAA’s Convention, and plan to attend the NATA Fall Committee Meetings.
Sunday, October 9
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon Environmental Committee meeting
12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. Air Charter, Aircraft Maintenance & Systems Technology, Airports, Business Management, and Safety & Security Committees meetings
If you have questions, please contact Celeste Clark at email@example.com or Diane Gleason at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 808-NATA.
Hilton Las Vegas
3000 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Hotel room reservations can be made directly through the NBAA Convention Housing Web site. NATA will not arrange for a separate room block or rate.
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|Fact Of The Week – Environmental News|
According to a recent article in Aviation Week, a group of airlines have entered into negotiations with a Northern California-based company to provide biomass derived jet fuel at San Fransico area airports.
“The airlines have signed a letter of intent with Solena Fuels covering “the future supply of jet fuel derived exclusively from biomass,” which Solena will produce at a Northern California biomass-to-liquids facility… The agreement represents a significant step in the development of aviation biofuel in the U.S. Solena is already working on similar projects with airlines in the U.K. and Australia.”
To read the full article on Aviationweek.com, click here.
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