NATA was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of long-time President Larry Burian. From his first solo flight at age 14 in his Missouri hometown, Lawrence L. “Larry” Burian was on his path to becoming a pivotal leader for NATA. In 1976, Burian was named President of NATA during a time when the Association’s membership had become fragmented and needed focus. Burian stepped in believing in the vital importance of the Association and working to attract leaders who understood general aviation businesses and were effective team builders. That year, NATA officially became known as the National Air Transportation Association and under the leadership of Burian, flourished and proved its efficacy by resolving a long conflict with the FAA over fuel price and allocation controls. In December of 1976, NATA brokered a 5-cent-per gallon pass-through on retail fuel sales, allowing FBOs to recover some overhead costs – returning an estimated $70 million to the industry. By February 1979, federal price and allocation controls on aviation fuels were ended. Given this success, NATA reaffirmed its role as a formidable industry advocate among its members, Congress, federal agencies, and the broader aviation community.
Burian, who retired from NATA in 1994, believed strongly in preserving the history of NATA – one firmly rooted in communicating the immense value of the private aviation industry to the success, safety, and security of our country. Larry was once quoted as having said, “Communicate! Make yourself heard. Question others and if you have a better way, tell them. Remember, what you say or write may not be what the other person understands. Communication is the essence of people.” Wise words that have served the Association and its members well over the years as it continues Burian’s legacy of community-building, providing strong advocacy, and serving as the voice of aviation business.
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The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for 80 years. Representing nearly 3,700 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.