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January 19, 2015  –  Volume 14 Issue 3 

nullNATA Announces Strategic Relationship with IFBOA

NATA and the Independent Fixed Base Operators Association (IFBOA) have announced a strategic long-term relationship in our efforts to better serve general aviation businesses. This relationship will provide expanded benefits to general aviation businesses of all sizes and will provide a stronger voice for industry before federal and state legislators and regulators.

NATA is very pleased to work with IFBOA’s management team in expanding our collective outreach to the independent operator market. Both associations provide a wide array and highly effective suite of services and benefits for members. This strategic alignment will greatly benefit the interests of the general aviation community and ensure a more cohesive voice for aviation businesses on key policy issues.

Over the coming months, IFBOA and NATA will release more information regarding this strategic relationship. Read more.

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nullHouse Transportation Committee to Examine FAA Certification Processes: Duncan Aviation to Represent Industry 

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a full committee hearing to review the FAA’s steps towards reforming and streamlining the agency’s regulatory certification processes. NATA member company Duncan Aviation will represent the industry alongside the Boeing Company.  As previously reported by NATA, the association has been working closely with the FAA to bring regulations in line with the current needs and activities of the general aviation community. NATA looks forward to continued discussions with House and Senate leaders to develop an FAA reauthorization bill that concentrates on issues that affect general aviation businesses, including the need to streamline the certification process and improve the consistency of regulatory interpretation.
 
Click here for more information on witness testimony, background information, and to watch the hearing via livestream. 

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nullSenate Confirms Leadership of Key Transportation Committees

As the 114th Congress begins its work on transportation legislation, including the FAA reauthorization and its annual appropriation, more key Senate leaders have been named to the committees and subcommittees with jurisdiction over aviation issues. The Senate Commerce Committee, tasked with developing the FAA reauthorization,  will be led by Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) and will work with Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) has been named Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, working alongside Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, responsible for developing the FAA's annual funding bill, will be led by Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI).  

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nullFAA Withdraws Direct Final Rule Regarding Aviation Training Devices (ATD)

The FAA is withdrawing a direct final rule published on December 3, 2014 regarding aviation training devices.  The rule would have enabled pilots seeking to obtain aeronautical experience for an instrument rating to credit a maximum of 20 hours of instrument time in an approved ATD under §61.65.  Current regulations remain in effect as of January 15, 2015; therefore, no applicant for an instrument rating under Part 61 may credit more than 10 hours of instrument time in an ATD toward the minimum aeronautical experience requirements required to take the practical test.  Further information on the withdrawal of the direct final rule can be found in the Federal Register.  

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nullNATA Submits Letter to FAA Over CVR Requirement Confusion

Last week, NATA submitted a letter to the FAA Chief Counsel expressing concern over a recently issued legal interpretation contrary to the long-standing application of Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) requirements.  That legal interpretation is causing confusion about the circumstances under which a CVR is required.  Regulations require Part 135 turbine powered aircraft configured for six or more passengers to have a CVR whenever two pilots are required by certification or operating rules (§135.151). 
 
The new interpretation focuses on airplanes that are single-pilot certified and which are operated, with FAA approval with an eligible autopilot under §135.105, in lieu of the Second in Command (SIC) that would otherwise be required by §135.101.  The FAA Flight Standards Office has consistently applied the rule such that single pilot operations do not require a CVR.  The recent interpretation conflicts with the regulatory intent and historical application of the CVR rule. 
 
NATA continues to engage with the FAA to reach a resolution as soon as possible.  Members impacted by the CVR interpretation who are encountering problems should contact Megan Eisenstein, Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs (meisenstein@nata.aero).  

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