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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.

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.

FAA Reauthorization Update

On April 19th the United States Senate gave its approval, by a vote of 95-3, to H.R. 636, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, bipartisan legislation extending FAA programs and aviation taxes through September 30, 2017.  The Senate bill does not include provisions to create an ATC corporation and instead embraces NATA's recommendation for incremental change at the FAA that builds on the work begun in the last reauthorization to assist the agency toward a more efficient operating structure and programs. The legislation approved by the Senate includes a clean extension of aviation taxes at current levels. 

In related action, on April 21st the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $16.4b in FAA funding for FY2017.  Significantly, the Committee excoriated the House Transportation Committee proposal to establish an air traffic control corporation stating:

“The attempt to remove the air traffic control system from the FAA is fraught with risk, could lead to uncontrollable cost increases to consumers and could ultimately harm users and operators in the system including the flying public, the aviation community, FAA’s workforce, and small towns in rural America that rely on access to the national air space.  The Committee strongly believes that air traffic control should remain an inherently governmental function where the Air Traffic Control organization is subject to on-going congressional oversight so that resource needs and activities are reviewed.  The annual congressional oversight process is best suited to protect consumers and preserve access to urban, suburban and rural communities.”  

The Senate’s action now puts the impetus back in the hands of the House Transportation Committee to decide whether to continue to press forward with its proposal to create a user fee-funded air traffic control corporation, accept the Senate proposal, or simply extend the FAA’s current authorization beyond its current expiration on July 15th.  

Despite these welcome actions by the Senate, general aviation remains at risk.  In response to Senate passage of its bipartisan FAA reauthorization proposal, House Transportation Committee Chairman Shuster stated, “Transformational air traffic control reform is absolutely necessary to end the unacceptable status quo at the FAA and to ensure the future of America’s aviation system.”

NATA Unveils “No Corporation” Grassroots Campaign Against ATC Privatization

NATA launched a grassroots campaign in response to the House Transportation Committee’s FAA reauthorization proposal to establish a user fee-funded air traffic control corporation. The legislation — which poses a significant threat to the entire general aviation community — was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 11th.

NATA created a special webpage — www.nata.aero/nocorporation  — providing additional information and easy steps general aviation businesses can take to contact their elected representatives in opposition to this proposal.

“The hour has rarely been graver for general aviation and we are calling on all aviation businesses to join us. Your immediate personal outreach to your elected representatives is critical to staving off the corporatization of ATC and the imposition of user fees on segments of general aviation. We want make it clear that industry insiders don’t get to decide the future of our nation’s air traffic control system.”