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ASC Monthly Update
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November 30, 2011     null     Volume 10 Issue 11
Topics in this Volume null


nullTSA Delays Cargo Inspection Deadline

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) informed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security that it will miss a December deadline for screening 100 percent of all cargo transported from overseas into the United States. A congressional provision passed in 2007 as part of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act mandated that 100 percent of such cargo be screened by August 2010. When the TSA missed this deadline, the agency indicated it would reach 100 percent screening level by the end of 2011. 

Recently, the TSA informed freight-shipping trade groups that it will no longer require all air cargo bound for the U.S. to be screened by the end of the year and did not set a new deadline. Representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) sent a letter to the TSA asking how the agency plans to achieve the 100 percent screening mandate as intended by Congress.

The air cargo industry has objected to the cost of the requirement, but Democrats on the Committee on Homeland Security have said the cost was not the most important consideration in airplane safety. “Everyone understands that cargo screening is not an easy or inexpensive undertaking; however, it is logical that if we screen passengers, all carry-ons, and all checked baggage, then we must screen the remaining items onboard passenger aircraft, and that is belly cargo,” Rep. Jackson-Lee said in a statement. “Ensuring security is a part of doing business in the post-9/11 world.”

In a statement, the TSA said it would respond to the Democrats' letter directly. The agency said it had already improved cargo inspections. "Air cargo is more secure than it has ever been with 100 percent of cargo on flights departing U.S. airports and 100 percent of identified high risk international inbound cargo undergoing screening," TSA spokesman Kawika Riley said. "TSA continues to work closely with our private sector and international partners to further risk-based screening of international inbound air cargo on passenger and all-cargo aircraft." 

The Democrats' full letter to the TSA can be read here.

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nullAmerican Airlines Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Yesterday, AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines and American Eagle filed for protection under Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. According to their press release, “American Airlines and American Eagle are operating normal flight schedules, and our reservations, customer service, AAdvantage program, Admirals Clubs and all other operations are conducting business as usual.”

Shortly after the American Airlines announcement, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee for Commerce, Science and Transportation stated, “I am very disappointed in the decision of American Airlines to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. I have worked with AA CEO Gerard Arpey and his representatives on pension issues, and I know of the extensive efforts made by the company to keep the defined benefit pension plan for employees. Mr. Arpey tried for months to avoid declaring bankruptcy, and I believe he did everything possible to avoid this outcome. I remain concerned about the company’s pension plan -- one of the most generous in the industry -- being placed in jeopardy by this unfortunate turn of events.” 

To learn more about American Airlines’ announcement on filing for bankruptcy protection, please click here.

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nullATA To Change Name

The organization representing the U.S. airline industry, the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), will be changing its name to Airlines for America. The name change is pending approval by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

ATA has scheduled a press conference for today to make the announcement of the name change. "The U.S. carriers are in reality Airlines for America: We connect the world, the businesses, passengers and packages of thousands to thousands of destinations, both domestically and internationally," stated ATA President and CEO Nick Calio.

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nullNFPA Modifies On-Ramp Fire Extinguisher Requirements

Recently, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) issued a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) to its Standard on Aircraft Refueling, NFPA 407. This TIA prohibited the use of fire extinguishers classified for type ABC fires, leaving type BC as the only type of approved fire extinguisher for fuel trucks, fuel farms and other on-ramp areas. Additional material provided in the NFPA 407 TIA noted that type ABC fire extinguishers utilized a chemical that could cause corrosion in aluminum aircraft parts and clarified that carbon dioxide BC fire extinguishers should not be chosen for use as they have limited effectiveness in windy conditions.

The TIA became effective on November 8 and will continue to be a part of NFPA 407 until the next revision cycle in 2015 when it will be considered as a permanent revision.

For more information on the TIA or NFPA 407, please contact NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France at .

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nullNATA To Serve On DHS Aviation Security Advisory Committee

Recently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the members of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC). NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France has been named to a two-year term on the committee. According to a press release issued by the TSA last week:

“The Aviation Security Advisory Committee plays a vital role in helping TSA continuously enhance our ability to ensure the security of the traveling public,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “One of my main priorities since joining TSA has been strengthening our relationship with stakeholders, and I look forward to working with these key security and industry leaders as we continue evolving into a high-performance, world-class counterterrorism organization that focuses on risk-based, intelligence-driven, layered security.”

In addition to France’s appointment, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano named the following members to the committee:

  • Rosemary Dillard, National Air Disaster Alliance
  • Glenn Johnson, Victims of Pan Am Flight 103
  • Duane McGray, Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network
  • Michael McCormick, Global Business Travel Association
  • Richard Macomber, National Industrial Transportation League
  • Michael A. Cintron, International Airline Passengers Association
  • Thomas A. Zecha, Jr., Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Douglas Carr, National Business Aviation Association
  • Paula Hochstetler, Airport Consultants Council
  • James I. Briggs, Jr., Airports Council International – North America
  • Carter Morris, Jr., American Association of Airport Executives
  • Eric Thacker, Air Transport Association
  • Kenneth J. Dunlap, North America International Air Transport Association
  • Liam R. Connolly, Regional Airline Association
  • Timothy H. Shaw, National Air Carrier Association
  • Bill Cason, Coalition of Airline Pilots Association
  • Chris Witkowski, Association of Flight Attendants
  • Paul Feldman, General Aviation Manufacturers Association
  • Dan Johnson, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association
  • Leslie L. Riegle, Aerospace Industries Association
  • John Hazlet, Jr., Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association
  • Brandon Fried, Airforwarders Association
  • National Safety Coordinator, Air Line Pilots Association
For more information on the ASAC, click here.

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nullAviation Industry Seeks Final Rule On Repair Station Security

The aviation industry sent a unified letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting that the department work with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other federal agencies to finalize a rulemaking on repair station security by the end of the year. This rulemaking is the direct result of congressional mandates contained within the 2003 Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, and the 2007 Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act. The former act required the TSA to issue “final regulations to ensure the security of foreign and domestic aircraft repair stations” within 240 days while the latter act specifically prohibits the FAA from certifying any new non-domestic repair stations after August 2008 if the TSA had not yet promulgated the required regulations.

“The United States has long been the world leader in aviation, and American aircraft and parts remain one of our key exports with aerospace contributing positively to our nation’s balance of trade. The extensive delay in promulgation of a final rule regarding repair station security has a negative impact on our industry and the U.S. economy. American companies seeking to expand their markets overseas are hindered relative to foreign competitors due to the inability to get new repair stations certified,” the letter states. 

The public comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking closed in February 2010, and work on a final rule has been ongoing for the past 21 months. The publication of a final rule will enhance security and also remove a regulatory roadblock that is currently damaging American companies.

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nullSuper Committee Fails To Reach Agreement On Deficit Reduction

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, tasked with achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years through spending cuts or tax revenue, announced just two days before their November 23rd deadline that they had not reached a deal on their intended task of reporting recommendations to Congress on deficit reduction measures. The super committee was created on August 2, 2011, by the U.S. Congress under the compromise debt ceiling bill or Budget Control Act of 2011. The Budget Control Act also mandated that if the super committee or Congress failed to act by December 23, 2011, automatic across-the-board spending cuts, split between defense and non-defense spending, including Medicare would go into effect. The defense budget stands to lose the most funding, $600 billion in cuts beginning January 2013,but Congress has declared they will block the funding cuts before they are scheduled to go into effect through additional legislation for fear of severely hurting our national defense. President Obama has made it clear that he will veto any legislation that would amend the Budget Act. 

In dueling opinion editorials in USA Today, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) discussed their perspectives on why a deal was not reached. Boehner blamed President Obama and Democrats in Congress for insisting on dramatic tax hikes on American job creators, which would be detrimental to our nation’s economy. Meanwhile, Reid blamed conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist for the failure, saying the Republicans sought to expand President Bush’s tax cuts while not meeting Democrats half way on any tax increases.  

U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), co-chairman of the super committee, declared that philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans were to blame for the super committee's failure. Hensarling wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that neither party could bridge the gap between two dramatically competing visions of the role government should play nor the fundamentals of job creation and economic growth. He blamed the Democrats' unwillingness to negotiate and said Republicans were willing to increase taxes if Democrats would agree to pro-growth tax reform. “They were unwilling to agree to anything less than $1 trillion in tax hikes,” he wrote, “and unwilling to offer any structural reforms to put our health care entitlements on a permanently sustainable basis.”

An adjournment date has not been set for the 112th Congress. Over the next few weeks, both parties will likely continue to propose additional deficit reduction measures that will have little support or risk a veto threat from the president.

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nullGAO Report Shows Improvements Can Be Made To TSA

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report, Transportation Security Information Sharing: Stakeholders Generally Satisfied but TSA Could Improve Analysis, Awareness, and Accountability, in which it assessed 335 aviation, rail and highway stakeholders who stated that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) could improve on their information distribution by providing more guidance on implementation of security measures in response to threats. The quality of what is circulated could be improved as well, the report found.

U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, was disappointed in the results of the report, blaming the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for not taking the necessary actions to assure that relevant and critical information is available in a timely manner to every stakeholder in the transportation sector.

Recommendations made as a result of the GAO report include:

  • A more actionable analysis of TSA information products so stakeholders can adopt security measures that reflect them
  • Constant communication between the TSA and industry stakeholders to make sure they are receiving pertinent safety and security information and to promote awareness of rules implemented as a result of the Homeland Security Information Network Critical Sectors portal (the primary means by which the DHS distributes security information)
  • A more thorough process by which the TSA defines and documents programs, activities, roles and responsibilities pertaining to information that is shared and distributed amongst industry stakeholders

The TSA has agreed to the recommendations made in the GAO report, has gone through the process of revising its threat level report, from low to high, and is working to provide better documentation of trends, tactics, techniques and procedures for improving countermeasures in its reports. The agency is also working on better ways of distributing security information products and role clarifications and responsibilities for information sharing internally and industry-wide.

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nullU.S. House of Representatives Releases Report Calling For Reform Of TSA

Leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently released a report highlighting the failures and mismanagements of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over its ten-year existence. The report, “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform,” states that the agency has lost touch with its intended purpose and has turned into a reactive organization, instead of a proactive source of security for our nation’s transportation system. This report and its findings are the first step in developing legislation to reform the TSA.

Key findings within the report include:

  • The TSA lacks administrative competency and is made inefficient by its massive bureaucracy
  • Agency operations are outdated and neglected
  • The TSA is failing to develop and deploy effective technology

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reported that despite massive TSA presence, more than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at U.S. airports since November 2001. According to Rep. John Mica (R-FL), chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, billions of dollars have been spent on numerous operational and technology failures. “TSA must become the kind of agency it was intended to be – a thinking, risk-based, flexible agency that analyzes risks, sets security standards and audits security performance,” Mica stated in the report. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) concurred, stating that the agency needs a vision and purpose that goes beyond wasting expensive equipment and costing millions of taxpayer dollars.

To read the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s press release, click here.

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nullDisney Institute Featured At NATA’s 2012 FBO Leadership Conference

The 2012 FBO Leadership Conference will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 28-29 during NATA’s Capital Week for Aviation Business.

The presentation by Disney Institute will focus on the impact of the current economy on the industry, how businesses plan for new strategic growth, and business solutions for attendees to adapt from Disney best practices.

Attendees will take away the following from the presentation:

  • Benchmark best practices of The Walt Disney Company related to quality service and people management that can be adapted.
  • Learn how alignment of the organizational identity can be used in the development of any new product or service.
  • Understand the use of alignment in strategic risk taking and decision making.
  • Identify examples of Disney’s effort to expand its organizational identity.
  • Learn the importance of providing employees with a supportive and caring environment to create pride in the organization and retain quality employees during difficult times.

Visit for event updates and a link to register.

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nullListen To Last Week’s Insurance Webinar On Slips And Falls For Free

NATA Workers’ Compensation Program partner USAIG hosted the second in a series of webinars addressing the types of Workers’ Compensation Insurance losses that participating members are experiencing. This webinar series follows on the heels of a study that USAIG conducted of ten years of Workers' Compensation Insurance-related accident data. USAIG is utilizing this data to address workers’ injuries and recommend training to assist in the reduction of future workplace accidents.

Last week, USAIG's John Matthews and Vic D’Avanzo discussed the statistics from two separate categories of slips and falls as well as falls from elevations. Matthews and D’Avanzo also delved into real-world case studies, reviewed the accident circumstances and provided commentary on what can be done to prevent these accidents in the future with resources and available training. For links to review both insurance webinars and access webinar resources, please click here.

For more information on the NATA/USAIG Worker’s Compensation Program, please click here.

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nullQ4 Aviation Business Journal Now Available

The fourth quarter Aviation Business Journal is in the mail and is also now available at or by clicking here.

In This Issue:

  • Member Profile: L.J. Aviation
  • Falsification: A Deadly Sin
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SPCC Rule
  • Municipalities Competing with Private FBOs: Fair or Foul?
  • Just in Time for Winter: De/Anti-icing Training Updates
  • New Column: NATA Maintenance Perspectives
  • FBO Finance Fundamentals Seminar
  • And much more…

The new issue will arrive in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, please flip through online. You may also click here to take a look at past editions.

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nullSupport Congressional Candidates Essential To Airline Services Companies
Join NATAPAC Today!

In the past, NATA has successfully contributed to Members of Congress who have proven their leadership in supporting general aviation. NATAPAC supports congressional campaigns of Members, regardless of party affiliation, who look out for the interests of aviation businesses. With political fundraising and campaign activity at an all time high, we cannot afford to allow other interest groups to define the issues that will impact our members. 

To stay informed about NATAPAC, fill out the authorization form located in the NATAPAC brochure today. NATA must ask for permission to solicit its members, as required by law. Because NATA is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization, we must obtain written approval from NATA’s member companies before soliciting contributions for NATAPAC. Completing and returning the form in no way requires you to make a contribution; however, signing the authorization form allows you to stay informed on congressional candidates NATAPAC supports and contribute to NATAPAC if you choose.

To view the NATAPAC brochure, including authorization form, please click here.

Additional information regarding NATAPAC can be found at

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nullSign-Up To Receive NATA’s Weekly Political Update

NATA offers its members a political update on specific items that the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House are working on each week. This weekly update provides detailed information on hearings, legislation that was introduced or debated in committee, and any issue that NATA is following within Congress or the White House. The update’s purpose is to provide members a more comprehensive view of the legislative matters on which the association is working. The Weekly Political Update is sent out via email only to NATA members who request to receive it. To read past weekly updates, please click here. If you wish to receive these updates, please click here

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null2011 NATA Airline Services Council Brochure Now Available For Member Use

The NATA Airline Services Council brochure provides information on the latest activities that the council is undertaking, including issues, meeting schedule and member listing.

Members interested in receiving professionally printed hard copies of this brochure may contact NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric Byer.

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nullNew NATA ASC Logo Available For Member Use

NATA has created a new NATA Airline Services Council logo that members can use on company stationery, publications and their Web site. The association recently provided members with two types of logos that members can use as appropriate. Members wishing to secure the new logo may do so by contacting Eric Byer.

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    Upcoming Events

03/05/2012 - Las Vegas, NV
2012 Spring Training

03/28/12 - Washington, DC
FBO Leadership Conference

NATA E-Learn Webinars

Fuel Quality Control Webinar Series - Special package discounts are available.

Click here to view all archived webinar recordings.

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