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New NATA Program Makes Part 135, 91 and 91K Operator Training Accessible and Economical
The NATA Part 135/91 Training Center is a new training resource available to air charter, Part 91 and fractional operators. Developed by industry experts, the NATA Part 135/91 Training Center provides aircraft operators a standardized, trusted and economical system to train their entire team. The system is offered by subscription with unlimited access for a fixed annual fee.

For a full listing of available courses and more information on the NATA Part 135/91 Training Center, click here

NATA 2017 Regional Advanced Line Service Workshops
Registration is now open for 2017 Regional Advanced Line Service workshops. The next ALS workshop will be held on April 19 & 20 at Gateway Aviation Services in Mesa, AZ. The registration fee is only $225/person for this 2-day event and there’s limited seating so don’t hesitate! Click here to register.

Ride Share Advocates Not Giving Up On Lower Flying Safety Standards
In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, “An Easy Way to Make the Skies Friendlier” (March 16, 2017), advocates for ride-sharing applications like Flytenow suggest helping disadvantaged private pilots build experience by letting them fly passengers for hire. In NATA’s response, Marty Hiller stated, “Having failed to undermine safety through the courts, proponents now suggest Secretary Chao act by fiat or Congress legislatively to weaken the flying public’s safety net.” The FAA, Hiller noted, has always been consistent in its policy that if a pilot wants to get paid to fly, they must comply with regulatory requirements placed on charter aircraft, including additional pilot training and increased oversight of the aircraft’s maintenance. “The FAA allows a limited exception for people with a common purpose to share expenses on a trip with the same destination. The author’s proposal allows pilots with as few as 35 hours, no training for flying in poor weather, no insurance, or even the need to file a flight plan, to carry passengers for hire.” Hiller concluded, “Supporters of this proposal continue to try and distract readers by focusing on the technology used to communicate, despite clear direction from the FAA and courts that it isn’t the method but rather the intent and outcome of the communication that matters.” 

Blogs
 

FAA Reauthorization/Tax Update

On December 9th, the 114th Congress adjourned after a brief post-general election “lame duck” session. The 115th Congress convened on January 3rd and on January 20 th President-elect Trump will be sworn into office on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. 

FAA Reauthorization

In 2017, Congress will again be tasked with developing legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, thus renewing the air traffic control corporatization debate. NATA supports the idea of making the FAA a more efficient operation.  Controllers, for example, certainly need to have the best possible equipment as quickly as possible. However, NATA believes the airline’s corporation proposal would be bad for aviation business, general aviation and for investment in rural America.  Such a proposal poses significant risk to system safety, the implementation of NextGen, and access to critical airspace and airport improvement funds.  Corporatizing air traffic control puts in jeopardy the future development of a system that was intentionally designed to benefit all users, not just a chosen few.

NATA hopes to move past this divisive issue and instead assist policymakers in developing legislation to improve the consistency of FAA decisions across its offices and regions, continue to streamline the FAA certification process to better reflect today’s pace of innovation, and assist the agency in operating as efficiently as possible.  The association will also continue to educate lawmakers and the Administration on the safety implications of other proposals including attempts to allow the public to ride-share with private pilots with potentially little flight time or training for challenging weather conditions. 

The Trump campaign had comparatively little to say about aviation, but the President-elect’s selection of Secretary Elaine Chao to lead the Department of Transportation is a sign that infrastructure issues will be a priority to his administration. His use of business aviation throughout his career can certainly be interpreted as a hopeful sign.

Taxation of Aircraft Management Services

President-elect Donald Trump’s background indicates an appreciation for the contribution of business aircraft to the nation’s economy. The incoming Administration’s regulatory and tax reform agenda provides possible opportunities to resolve issues important to aviation businesses, including clarifying that federal excise taxes should not be applied to aircraft management services as well as ensuring that aviation taxes are deposited into the aviation trust fund. NATA will work with the Administration to discuss these and other issues that will benefit the aviation business community. 

FAA Appropriations

Before adjourning for the year, Congress unveiled, and quickly passed, legislation to fund the federal government through April 28, 2017. The continuing resolution will allow the FAA and other agencies to fund fiscal year 2017 projects and programs at current levels. It provides a continuation of NextGen activities and necessary funds for the agency to maintain critical safety activities.