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  View HTML Version of Newsletter    June 12, 2017 — Volume 16, Issue 24 
  This Week's Top Stories 

NATA – GA Groups Seek Funding for Unleaded AvGas Fuel Research

Last week, NATA joined six other general aviation groups in a letter to House and Senate Appropriators requesting the inclusion of $7 million in the FY2018 Transportation appropriations bill to continue support for the FAA’s NextGen — Alternative Fuels for General Aviation (GA) program. Prior year support from the Appropriations Committees led to the establishment of the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI), to identify, test and evaluate suitable unleaded fuel replacements with the least impact on the existing fleet of GA aircraft. In their letter, the GA associations noted the “continuing investment in the PAFI program is essential to ensuring that a transition to an unleaded replacement fuel effectively balances environmental improvement with aviation safety, technical challenges, and economic impact to the U.S. general aviation transportation system.”


If approved by Congress, the FAA will use the funds to build upon its earlier testing with full scale engine and flight tests, cooperative agreements and independent laboratory testing, and further engineering, technical, and management support. The data, according to the GA groups, “will provide a basis for the agency safety determination and ability to provide FAA approvals and authorizations necessary to enable piston aircraft to operate on an unleaded fuel.”



Transportation Secretary Appears on Hill in Support of Trump ATC Corporatization Proposal


Last week, DOT Secretary Elaine Chao appeared before two congressional committees following President Trump’s announcement of his support for corporatizing the nation’s air traffic control system. House members focused on general aviation’s concerns in such a system, as well as stakeholder representation on the corporation’s board, airport funding and access. In a response to questions from committee skeptics, Secretary Chao stressed that “no one stakeholder group will constitute a majority…The Board will not be dominated by the airlines,” but also acknowledged that, broadly, the corporation would have the ability to prioritize flights into larger airports.

On June 7th, Secretary Chao told Senators that safeguards would be in place for rural America under the Administration’s proposal, noting that rural areas and contract towers are often first on an Administration’s chopping block when funds are presumed to be tight. Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) wanted specifics, “safeguards, in what ways would they go about ensuring that rural areas will continue to have access and that it will be affordable.” Senators also expressed concern over funding cuts to the Essential Air Service program and access to rural airports.

Register Now for the Popular Commercial Operators Tax Seminar | June 28 in Scottsdale

Conklin & de Decker Associates and NATA continue to offer the only tax seminar designed for commercial operators. The Commercial Operators Tax Seminar looks at the tax issues that you face every day in your operations, including: 


 - Federal Excise Taxes

 - State Taxes 

 - Audits

 - Depreciation and Passive Activity Loss Rules

 - International Fees 


Are you concerned with recent audits by the IRS on management and charter management companies relating to the application of the commercial FET to owner flights and management fees? This seminar will provide insight on this and other IRS opinions and how to prepare and survive an IRS audit. For the seminar agenda, click here. Register today!


Digital Version of the 2017 2nd Quarter ABJ Available


NATA’s 2017 Q2 Aviation Business Journal is now available online. Highlights from this issue:

 - Member Profile – Priority Jet: A Wholesale Charter Focus, An Industry Advocate

 - Spotlight: NATA Industry Excellence Awards Recipients
 - Building the FBO Terminal of Tomorrow

 - Ground Handling Safety for Aircraft Operators

 - Jeopardy! Goes to Aircraft Maintenance

 - Aircraft Management Fees Susceptibility to Federal Excise Tax 

The printed ABJ should arrive in your mailbox soon. As always, we thank our advertisers and Member Support Level participants. Click here to read.

 Association Highlights

Recap: NATA 2017 Aviation Business Conference


Last week, approximately 200 aviation professionals and executives gathered in Washington, D.C. for NATA’s third annual Aviation Business Conference. On the evening of June 6th, Senator Joe Donnelly opened the conference with remarks on the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill. The next morning, NATA President Marty Hiller was joined by other general aviation association leaders to discuss the development of the FAA’s reauthorization legislation and the proposed air traffic control corporation. Following this session, Hiller and NATA members visited over 40 Senate offices to discuss critical industry issues, including ATC reform. Attendees then convened for the 2016 Industry Excellence Awards Lunch and Presentation, recognizing eight individuals for their contributions to the general aviation community including: Ed Kilkeary (Founder and President, L.J. Aviation), Todd Duncan (Chairman, Duncan Aviation), Peggy Gilligan (Former FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety), and Eddie Angeles (Senior Assistant City Attorney, Los Angeles World Airports and Former FAA Associate Administrator for Airports). Conference sessions covered various topics for the maintenance, air charter, FBO, and airport sectors and featured industry experts and personnel from the FAA, TSA, and CBP.


NATA would like to thank our full conference sponsors for contributing to the success of last week’s conference: Air BP, Atlantic Aviation, Jet Aviation, Phillips 66, Ross Aviation, Signature Flight Support, and World Fuel Services. The association also thanks our other event sponsors and exhibitors: Aeroplex/Aerolease Group, Air Charter Guide, Aviation Management Consulting Group, Conklin & de Decker, Duncan Aviation, Executive Jet Management, Fargo Jet Center, Napa Jet Center, NATA Compliance Services, Pentastar Aviation, Priester Aviation, Porter County Regional Airport, Pulsar Informatics, Safety 1st, Solairus Aviation, Universal Weather & Aviation, and WellVia.

NATA Committees Hold Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C.

Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee
On June 6th, NATA’s Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee, held its Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. The committee met with Tim Shaver, Manager, of the Flight Standard Service, Aircraft Maintenance Division, AFS-300. Shaver provided members with an update on the Future of Flight Standards, a realignment of Certificate Holding District Offices (CHDOs) and the removal of regional boundaries. The committee also discussed the use of virtual return to service and the latest revision to the Major Alteration Job Aid.

Committee members also attended the Aviation Business Conference and participated on several maintenance-related panels covering the challenges of the new Flight Standards risk-based oversight system; FAA updates; Insurance, Liability, and Risk: Part 145 Repair Stations vs. Independent Maintenance Technicians; and the Impact of Technology on General Aviation Businesses.

Airport Business Committee
On June 8th, NATA’s Airport Business Committee convened at the association’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. NATA EVP Bill Deere provided a Capitol Hill update on FAA reauthorization and other industry issues impacting aviation businesses. NATA staff members Megan Eisenstein and Mike France offered insight on the status of the CBP General Aviation Working Group, the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI) and proposed guidance changes to NFPA 407 – Standard for Aircraft Fuel Servicing.

The meeting concluded with an update from the Education Subcommittee. Committee Chair Robb Bergeson discussed NATA’s partnership with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). The goal is to incorporate ERAU’s certificate of training as a requirement for NATA’s Professional FBO Certificate. The Committee was also joined by Board Chair Gregory Schmidt and Board Member Curt Castagna.

Air Charter Committee
NATA's Air Charter Committee also met last week at NATA headquarters. The committee welcomed several new members including: Paul Capistrant, Assistant Chief Pilot at Solairus Aviation; Bob Rufli, Vice President of Flight Operations at Pentastar Aviation; Howard Seedorf, President and CEO of N-Jet; and Tim Sudduth, Vice President at McGriff, Seibels & Williams. The group met with two representatives from the FAA to discuss concerns and improvements to the process for requesting FAA resources to complete check rides. Jodi Baker, the Assistant Manager of the Air Transportation Division and Van Kerns, Manager, Regulatory Support Division briefed the members on improvements to the National Resource Program and planned guidance to encourage and permit operators to have their own company check pilots. The committee expressed appreciation for the FAA's efforts and discussed how to establish feedback opportunities for operators to report problems and successes in the process to obtain FAA resources for checks.


NATA Urges Members to Contact Congress on ATC Corporation Proposal

Members are encouraged to visit NATA’s revamped Legislative Action Center and urge your representatives and senators to oppose the airline industry proposal to create a user-fee funded air traffic control corporation. New features to the Action Center include the ability to amplify your message through social media and sharing with friends. You are the best representative of the aviation business community and your opinion carries significant weight with elected officials. Just a few keystrokes will allow policymakers on Capitol Hill to know exactly how you feel about a proposal that poses significant concerns to general aviation.

 From the FAA

Help the FAA Provide Accurate Information on Aviation Activity and Safety


The 39th annual FAA General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey) is underway! The FAA’s annual GA Survey is the only government source of information on the general aviation fleet, the number of hours flown, and general aviation aircraft usage. The data helps determine funding needs, assess the impact of regulatory changes, and measure aviation safety. If you are selected to complete this year’s survey, you can complete the survey online or submit the survey form that was mailed to you along with a postage-paid envelope. Your responses will be used for statistical purposes. For questions, please contact survey manager Tetra Tech toll-free at 1-800-826-1797 or email Previous years’ survey results can be found here.


Develop Your Trainer and Customer Service Team This July and August


On July 18-19, NATA is bringing back its in-person Certified Trainer Workshop. The workshop will be held at Sporty’s Pilot Shop in Cincinnati, OH. The trainer course will provide your employees with invaluable tools that empower them to make a measurable difference in your organization. To register or for more details, click here.


On August 22-23, NATA will hold its popular Certified CSR Program in Chicago, IL. The two-day seminar will provide attendees with valuable knowledge and skills to create successful customer service experiences. Attendees will also learn how to deal with disgruntled customers and turn a marginal customer transaction into a fulfilled client transformation. Reserve your seat today, this seminar previously sold-out in April.

Register for Upcoming Advanced Line Service Workshop | August 1-2 in Dallas/Ft. Worth


Register today for an upcoming Advanced Line Service Workshop. The next ALS workshop will be held on August 1-2 at Alliance Aviation Services in Ft. Worth, TX. ALS workshops are designed for Line Service Professionals, both experienced or relatively new to the industry. This workshop also assists managers, owners and even customer service representatives with knowledge and skills that will help them excel in their respective areas.


The registration fee is only $225/person for this two-day event and space is limited. Register here, download the registration form or view more upcoming ALS Workshop dates.


Build a Better Safety Management System | NATA Ground Handling Safety Symposium September 26-27 in Ashburn, VA


The NATA Ground Handling Safety Symposium is a new annual event developed by the NATA Safety Committee to promote safety at FBOs and other businesses utilizing general aviation ground handling. Held September 26-27 at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia, the symposium is designed for safety professionals, directors of safety, line service managers or operations managers — anyone who is responsible for making sure that aircraft are handled safely.

The theme of this year’s program is Building a Better Safety Management System and includes: The Big Picture, Safety Management & IS-BAH; Practical Approaches to Risk Assessment; Safety Promotion and Your Organizational Culture; Safety Reporting & Employee Buy-In; The Intersection of Safety & Service; Emergency Response Basics for FBOs; and Data & General Aviation Ground Handling. The registration fee is $295/members and $370/nonmembers. Click here for more information or to register.

 Member Spotlight

Lehigh Valley International Airport Receives $6M Grant


Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced it will award Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA) with a $6 million grant. The airport plans to build a $12 million-dollar hangar to take on new corporate tenants, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority has been looking for a way to finance a 53,000-square-foot hangar to be built on the southwest part of the airfield. "This makes the project reachable," said Charles Everett Jr., authority Executive Director. "This will not only bring revenue to the airport but it will bring businesses and jobs to our community." Everett said with the grant in hand, the authority can immediately begin design and development and open a hangar large enough to handle 10 to 15 planes late next year. Read more.

 ACSF News

Northern Jet Management Joins Air Charter Safety Foundation


ACSF is pleased to announce that Northern Jet Management has been added to the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) Registry and Worldwide Jet Charter has renewed its status on the ACSF IAS Registry. 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. Customers should look for the ACSF IAS registered logo and encourage their preferred charter provider to participate in the program.




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