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NATA: Major Policy Issues

Congress is now in full swing and is considering policy issues impacting aviation businesses. NATA has updated its whitepaper, "Major Policy Issues," to include the FAA reauthorization and tax issues.

Safety 1st Certified Trainer Program - Second Course Begins in September

The final NATA Safety 1st Certified Trainer Program (CTP) for 2015 will begin in September. The CTP is comprised of six instructor-led, online classes that provide the foundational knowledge and skills required to be an effective trainer. These classes are approximately an hour and a half in length and occur over a three-month period. As an online course, the CTP saves participants time away from work and the cost of travel typically associated with in-person seminars and training classes. The course is derived from basic learning and on-the-job training theory and includes practical implementation strategies that allow attendees to have an immediate positive impact on training and morale. Registration is open. For more information, click here.

NATA's New Address
NATA's new address is 818 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006. Please note NATA's new address and plan to visit when you are in the area.

NATA Aviation Solutions – Individualized Operational and Regulatory Consulting Services
NATA Aviation Solutions is the consulting arm of the association, providing individualized operational and regulatory consulting services.
NATA Aviation Solutions utilizes a stable of well-known, professional subject matter experts to address local, tactical and strategic issues specifically related to individual businesses.
Among the issues with which NATA Aviation Solutions can assist:
• Certificate consolidations and approvals
• Operational approvals
• MRO issues
• Safety optimization
• Local FAA office assistance
• Tax regulatory and policy issues before the IRS, Department of Treasury and Congress
• Preparation of aviation-related manuals specific to your business
Contact Megan Eisenstein at (800) 808-6282 or meisenstein@nata.aero to discuss your specific issue, needs and goals.

Participate in the NATA Flag Pins for Veterans Project

NATA’s Flag Pins for Veterans Project began on Memorial Day and run through October 2015. Project participants are asked to display American-made flag pins in their operations with signage suggesting a $1.00 donation per pin, or make a direct donation to the project. Last year’s campaign raised more than $30,000 for veterans organizations. So far, Atlantic Aviation, Bakersfield Jet Center by Loyd’s Aviation, Batten International Airport, Harbour Air Services KTVC, Hill Aircraft, Jet Aviation, Keystone FBO Services, Landmark Aviation, Million Air, Montgomery Aviation, Inc., Pentastar Aviation, Napa Jet Center, NATA, NATA Aviation Legal Services, Signature Flight Support and Transplant Transportation Services, Inc have once again signed on to support the enduring sacrifices of our Nation’s veterans. For more information, click here or contact Shannon Chambers at schambers@nata.aero to participate. 


NATA Responds to DOT IG Report Comparing FAA to Foreign Air Traffic Systems

NATA The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT IG) issued an audit report requested by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee comparing the U.S. air traffic control system with the air navigation service providers of Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. 

The following is a statement by National Air Transportation Association President and CEO Thomas L. Hendricks:

“The DOT IG’s report validates why Congress should proceed very cautiously in contemplating massive structural changes to America’s air traffic control, acknowledged as the world’s safest, largest and most complex.  This report clearly demonstrates these international air traffic control systems are much smaller and less complex than our own.  Also reported by the IG, these air traffic control providers, unlike the FAA, ‘do not embark on large, comprehensive modernization efforts such as NextGen transformational programs or conduct extensive aviation research and development.’  Instead, as the report notes, these air traffic providers rely on small, incremental changes using off-the-shelf technology.  Europe’s efforts to orchestrate a multi-national modernization effort similar to the FAA’s, called SESAR, is producing mixed results and limited progress.

But just as important, the report highlights the risks these models pose to continued American leadership in aviation.  There is no facility in Europe or Canada dedicated to aviation technology research such as the FAA’s world-leading William J. Hughes Technical Center in New Jersey.  Further, Europe and Canada lack sophisticated policy mechanisms like the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) that gathers America’s aviation thought leaders together to provide highly valuable advice to policymakers.  This effort is already helping transform our air traffic control system for both today and tomorrow.  Interestingly, Europeans are key participants on the NAC.   No other country or region in the world is providing this degree of aviation leadership to help guide this massive modernization effort.

This is a healthy policy debate with a worthy goal of determining how to deploy cutting edge technology in anticipation of future air traffic growth.  The IG’s report clearly highlights whether corporatizing air traffic control really addresses the future needs of the world’s safest air traffic control system.”

FAA Reauthorization Update: House Committee Releases Summary of ATC Corporation Proposal

On July 16th one of Washington’s politically-focused newspapers, Politico, reported on and released a two-page summary prepared by the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee of its draft FAA reauthorization legislation, the “Aviation Innovation, Reform & Reauthorization (AIRR) Act.” The expected release of the draft legislation in early July was delayed due to a lack of House floor time to consider the proposal.

The T&I Committee staff has reiterated that the bill is still under development. Nonetheless, the document confirms what Chairman Shuster told NATA members at the Aviation Business Conference; the legislation will propose to create a user-fee funded, independent, not-for-profit corporation to operate the nation’s air traffic control system. According to the summary, federal employees would transfer to the corporation under their current compensation and benefit plans. The summary also confirms that many of the suggestions NATA presented to the Committee on regulatory consistency, certification and more efficient utilization of FAA staff will, in some manner, be incorporated in the bill.

The summary also leaves unanswered many important questions. Will general aviation continue to contribute to the Airport and Airways Trust Fund through our current methodologies? Will general aviation’s access to airports and airways be protected? How will the corporation’s board of directors be structured and who will represent GA? What mechanism will be used to fund improvements at smaller airports?

These are all issues still under discussion and NATA is actively involved, making sure the Committee understands that all segments of general aviation, including Part 91(k) and Part 135, must be included in any effort to exempt general aviation from user fees. The association also continues to respectfully disagree with the proposition that the air traffic control system can run more efficiently or safely through a corporatized structure.

NATA continues to work closely with our colleagues in the general aviation community and our allies on Capitol Hill like House GA Caucus Co-Chair Sam Graves. At a recent pilot town hall meeting, NATA President Tom Hendricks shared the association’s concerns with such a proposal's ability to harm general aviation. Hendricks asked the crowd to keep their pencils "sharp and ready" as lawmakers prepare to unveil the draft ATC corporation legislation.