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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 Seeks Member Comment on Proposed Overtime Rule

NATA is requesting your feedback on a Department of Labor initiative to overhaul Federal overtime regulations that could have a significant impact to your business.

The Department is proposing to update the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees (white collar workers) are entitled to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay protections.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for white collar workers to be exempt. Under current regulations – last updated in 2004 – employers are required to pay all eligible employees time-and-a-half for any hours they work in excess of 40 hours per week if they make $23,660 or less per year. The proposed rule would more than double that salary threshold to cover all overtime-eligible workers making $50,440 or less per year and be adjusted annually. The NPRM notes (page 38593) that “air carrier employees” are not subject to the FLSA but rather the Railway Labor Act.

In addition, the NPRM is also seeking comments on whether the current duties test is working as intended or needs to be modified. As an example, the Department asks whether employees should be required to spend a minimum amount of time performing work that is their primary duty in order to qualify for exemption.

The proposal is the result of a directive from President Obama to the Secretary of Labor requesting updated regulations related to who qualifies for overtime pay so that they “once again reflect the intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to simplify the rules so they’re easier for workers and businesses to understand and apply.” The National Federation of Independent Business has criticized the proposal stating it “will make it harder for small employers to promote workers up to management level by creating additional costs and record-keeping headaches.”

Comments are due September 4th and NATA would like to provide the Department of Labor with the perspective of aviation businesses by gathering specific examples of how your business will be impacted by changes to the current rule.

We appreciate your consideration of our request. Please contact Megan Eisenstein (meisenstein@nata.aero) with feedback we can incorporate into our comments.

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.