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September 17, 2012   null   Volume 11 Issue 38

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null Epps Addresses Detrimental Impact Of User Fees At Congressional Hearing

On September 12, NATA Treasurer Marian Epps testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business on the detrimental impact of user fees. The hearing, titled “User Fees in the Aviation Industry: Turbulence Ahead,” focused on the effects of a slower economy on small businesses that support the aviation community and the negative impact the proposed user fee would have on these businesses in a time of recovery. Epps was joined by Martha King of King Schools, testifying on behalf of the National Business Aviation Association, Brad Pierce of Restaurant World, testifying on behalf of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and Kenneth Button, Professor for George Mason University’s School of Transportation, Policy, Operations and Logistics.

“In a time when general aviation businesses are looking to spur economic and job growth, the imposition of a user fee would decimate small businesses around the country that depend on general aviation,” stated Epps. “User fees would significantly impede general aviation in the United States for a variety of reasons, including a reduction in general aviation activity and the imposition of an administrative burden as user bills are typically generated after the flight. “

In NATA’s press release, the association’s President and CEO Tom Hendricks reiterated the statement from Epps that a proposed user fee would negatively impact the industry’s contribution to the nation’s exports and competitiveness in world markets. “It would also create a federal collection bureaucracy that would require additional funding and manpower, a counterproductive effort,” Hendricks stated.

To view Epps’ testimony and committee remarks, click here.

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null NATA President's Message Blog

Tom Hendricks shares “Updates and Developments” from his first week at NATA in his new blog, NATA President’s Message. Check NATA’s homepage frequently for new posts or subscribe to Hendricks’ blog through the email signup on the bottom right of the blog page

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nullMica Reviews NextGen Program Management

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing on September 12 to review the management and status of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation Program (NextGen).

Subcommittee Chairman Tom Petri (R-WI) highlighted that the FAA has not taken the necessary steps required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act to improve NextGen accountability, and referenced the Department of Transportation Inspector General (DOT IG) report that focuses on concerns over NextGen implementation delays. The chairman acknowledged that the FAA has made progress, but said that challenges for the agency lay ahead before a system “that is safer, less impacted by weather conditions, better for the environment, and more consistent with fewer delays” can be implemented.

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-FL) emphasized the importance of structured and efficient movement towards NextGen implementation. He stated that NextGen is “an international contest that will determine who controls the world market, is important for jobs, and is an important economic opportunity for the future of aviation in the nation and across the world.”

The subcommittee heard testimony from FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta, DOT Inspector General Calvin Scovel, Government Accountability Office Director Gerald Dillingham, and DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari. Witnesses from the aviation industry included Sue Baer, director of aviation at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Barger, president and CEO of JetBlue Airways, Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, and Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. To view their testimonies and listen to the comments from Chairmen Petri and Mica, click here.

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nullHouse Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Releases Report Examining TSA Operations

On September 11, 2012, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) released a report titled “Rebuilding TSA into a Smarter, Leaner Organization.” The report outlines suggestions for improving the operations of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), including a refocus of the agency’s mission, a reevaluation of how money is spent and how the agency contributes to job growth, and a reassessment of unnecessary or burdensome regulations. A hearing of the subcommittee was held in conjunction with the study’s release.

The report touches on three key general aviation programs that have been of top priority for the industry for many years:

  • The completion of a repair station rulemaking – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to finalize this regulatory framework in order to maintain security and allow for industry competitiveness with emerging markets.
  • Flight training programs for foreign nationals – NATA and other organizations have been working with the DHS to rewrite the requirements of the alien flight student program for foreign nationals seeking flight training. Sharing data among the federal agencies, which could result in diminished risks in flight training, is an example of how the program can be made more effective and efficient.
  • Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) – For many years, the general aviation industry has been working with the TSA to establish a risk-based program for general aviation security that secures key flight operations without unnecessary burdens on the industry.

“NATA commends the chairman and members of the subcommittee for their work in producing this important report and looks forward to working with the committee and the TSA to amend and finalize these safety-enhancing programs,” stated the association’s President and CEO Tom Hendricks.

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nullFAA Establishes Fuels Office To Evaluate Unleaded Avgas Options

Following a recommendation from the Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee (UAT-ARC), the FAA has established a Fuels Program Office to begin providing “technical expertise and strategic direction in the planning, management, and coordination of activities related to aviation fuels.” The office is the first step in addressing the UAT-ARC’s recommendations for a process to evaluate the various unleaded options that could be used to transition away from a leaded aviation gasoline.

NATA joined the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and National Business Aviation Association in a press release Friday congratulating the FAA for its steps in beginning to implement the UAT-ARC’s recommendations. In their press release, the associations agreed that “The FAA’s direct involvement and participation in this process is critical to ensuring a fleet-wide transition to an unleaded avgas that will maintain consumer confidence and ensure the least impact on the existing fleet. The establishment of the new Fuels Program Office will ensure an efficient use of both government and industry resources and will provide a more comprehensive pathway and timeline to an unleaded fuel.”

Click here to read the industry press release on the FAA fuels office .


Click here to read the letter to the FAA Administrator from the GA Associations.

Click here for more information on the UAT-ARC recommendations.

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nullNATA Comments On FAA Revised Policy Regarding RTTF

Last week, NATA submitted its formal comments to the FAA on the agency’s draft revised residential through-the-fence (RTTF) policy. The draft revised policy was a direct result of language contained within the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (FMRA) that was passed into law earlier this year. The FMRA language forced the FAA to change its existing policy that prohibited new RTTF agreements at public-use airports and to accept all RTTF agreements at general aviation airports as long as they meet the requirements contained within the law.

NATA has long been concerned about the possible impact that expanded RTTF access could have on the future utility of public-use airports as well as the possibility for damage to on-airport service providers, such as FBOs, from unregulated providers utilizing RTTF access points. In its comments to the FAA, NATA generally agreed with the agency’s interpretation of the FMRA and application of the law. NATA believes that the FAA policy will protect the future utility of public-use airports as well as provide the needed protection against unregulated aeronautical service providers.

Click here to read NATA’s formal comments on the draft revised RTTF policy

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nullConsistency Of Regulatory Interpretation Aviation Rulemaking Committee Requests Industry Stakeholder Input

The Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) is seeking industry input in the form of an industry stakeholder survey.

Consistent with a mandate in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Section 313, the FAA established the ARC, comprising both government and industry representatives, to address the issue of consistency in regulatory application, particularly with regard to the certification and application processes. As a component of its tasking, the ARC will develop recommendations and submit a final report to the administrator by December 31, 2012. The administrator is required to submit the agency’s report to Congress by February 15, 2013.

As the committee works to formulate recommendations to the administrator, the members believed it was important to solicit feedback and collect data from aviation industry stakeholders. The Industry Stakeholder Survey is designed to afford an opportunity for stakeholders to submit information to assist in the formulation of final recommendations.

The industry stakeholder survey is available until September 25, 2012, and can be viewed by clicking here.

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nullWeekly Regulatory Update

Relevant updates from the FAA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security are compiled each day from the Federal Register. The latest notices, rules and proposed rules can now be found in a single source by clicking here.

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nullNew Mexico Declares September 2012 As General Aviation Appreciation Month

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed a proclamation that recognizes the critical role of general aviation and community airports to the safety, accessibility and daily lives of the state’s citizens. The proclamation ends with a declaration of September 2012 as “New Mexico General Aviation Appreciation Month” across the state.

New Mexico is home to 59 public-use airports and 5,053 pilots. The industry supports nearly 50,000 jobs and contributes $3.1 billion to the economy. Out-of-state general aviation visitors bring over $61 million in annual expenditures. Many New Mexico businesses and communities depend on general aviation aircraft for mobility, access to medical treatment, economic opportunity, disaster relief, search and rescue, and a wide range of critical resources.

“In celebration of 100 years of aviation heritage in New Mexico, NATA welcomes Governor Martinez’s declaration,” stated NATA President and CEO Tom Hendricks. “New Mexico is home to 17 NATA member companies who contribute to the state’s economy, business and job growth, and state competitiveness.”

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nullTennessee Governor Recognizes Importance Of Aviation In Proclamation

NATA, along with other national aviation organizations, recently welcomed a proclamation by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam declaring September 2012 “Aviation Appreciation Month.” The proclamation was presented by Tennessee Department of Transportation Secretary John Schroer to the Alliance for Aviation Across America and Tennessee Aviation Association President John Black during the Tennessee Airports Conference held in Nashville.

NATA President and CEO Tom Hendricks thanked Governor Haslam for recognizing general aviation’s importance role to the state in an Alliance press release. “General aviation and local airports have a tremendous economic impact on communities, and we look forward to working with the Governor and Tennessee transportation agencies to ensure that aviation continues to play a positive role in the lives of Tennessee’s citizens and businesses.”

Aviation provides many services to Tennessee, including aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions, aviation organizations, and 79 commercial and general aviation community airports and airport operations. Tennessee airports serve 12,343 pilots and house more than 6,600 general aviation aircraft.

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nullBruce Jenner To Speak At Aviation Business Roundtable

Every year, NATA’s annual Aviation Business Roundtable brings together aviation business leaders from across the country. The 2012 Roundtable will feature Olympic Hall of Famer and aviation businessman Bruce Jenner as a speaker. Jenner, owner of Bruce Jenner Aviation, has attended previous NATA events and is an advocate for aviation business.

The Roundtable is a two-day meeting assembling the top business leaders from all segments of this country’s aviation community to meet with key federal and congressional officials. Attendees include chief executives from airline services providers, manufacturers, charter operators, fuel companies, fixed base operators, flight training facilities, and fractional aircraft ownership organizations. FAA Acting Administrator Michael P. Huerta and TSA Administrator John S. Pistole will be speaking as well.

The program will begin November 12 at noon and conclude November 13 by 2:00 p.m. Additional agenda details will be provided in the coming weeks. The registration fee is $2,000, and this invitation is extended to senior level executives.

Events will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Pentagon City. A block of guest rooms has been secured, and attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. Please contact the hotel directly.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel
1250 South Hayes Street Arlington, VA 22202
General Hotel Telephone: (703) 415-5000
Reservations Telephone: (800) 241-3333

The group room rate is $299, plus tax, per night. Please call the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and refer to the “NATA Roundtable Meeting” by Friday, October 19, to receive the group room rate.

Please contact Diane Gleason, director of meetings and conferences, at or (703) 575-2050, to register for the Aviation Business Roundtable or if you have questions or suggestions.

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nullNATA Safety 1st Ground Audit Workshop – November 14-15, 2012, Englewood, CO

NATA Safety 1st has established the NATA Safety 1st Ground Audit Program and the standards to create a consistent operational safety standard for fixed base operators (FBOs), airports, and other service providers while increasing the overall safety level of these operations. This program also provides on-demand charter, fractional and corporate aircraft operators with an alternative to costly proprietary audits from these service providers.

NATA's Safety 1st Ground Audit Standard will allow for two levels of certification: a self-certification level and a third-party audit level. All candidates must submit an application to become an auditor and, if qualifications are met, they then need to be trained on the Ground Audit Standard by NATA to be listed as an accredited auditor. FBOs seeking self-certification may submit an employee’s application in order to be considered for the self-certification audit process.

To apply to become an auditor and gain admittance into this training workshop, click here. For more information about the ground audit program, please visit

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nullDiscounted Advertising Space In Aviation Business Journal To Honor Coyne

Don’t miss this opportunity to honor James K. Coyne in Aviation Business Journal. As announced in March by the NATA Board of Directors, December 2012 marks the end of Jim’s time with NATA. We invite you to join us in celebrating his time at the helm of NATA with these deeply discounted advertising rates in Aviation Business Journal:

Full Page 4/c


½ Page Island 4/c


½ Page H or V


¼ Page


To take advantage of this exceptional opportunity, contact Media Sales Representative Justin Wolfe at (800) 501-9571 x138 or

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nullExecutive Fliteways And Sun Air Jets Renew ACSF Industry Audit Standard Registration

The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) is pleased to announce that Executive Fliteways, Ronkonkoma, New York, and Sun Air Jets, Camarillo, California, have renewed their status on the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) Registry.

“By renewing their status on the IAS Registry, they have demonstrated their commitment to high standards,” said ACSF President Bryan Burns. “We congratulate them on their continued dedication.”

The IAS is the first and only extensive audit program specifically created for on-demand operators by a committee of Part 135 and 91K industry leaders. It is conducted every 24 months and is in-depth in its evaluation of regulatory compliance and the operator’s SMS program against both FAA and international standards.

To read the full ACSF Press Release, click here.

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Click here to view a listing of archived webinar recordings.




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Founded in 1940, NATA aggressively promotes safety and the success of aviation service businesses through its advocacy efforts before government, the media and the public as well as by providing valuable programs and forums to further its members' prosperity.

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