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ASC Monthly Update

##Date##                                                                                                Volume 5 Issue 9


NATA Airline Services Council 

NATA formed the Airline Services Council (NATA ASC) to further the interests of companies that provide services to scheduled air carriers as their primary business. The primary goal of the NATA ASC is to provide a voice within the public policy arena, especially in terms of issues that impact their viability and profitability..



Upcoming Events

Line Service Supervisor Training - Pittsburgh, PA- December 2, 2009



Professional Line Service Training 

PLST Online provides the most up-to-date training available for line service specialists – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Line service supervisors can conduct the new PLST Online training anytime and from anywhere there is access to the Web.   

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Topics in this Volume:
Ø TSA Releases Interim Final Rule On Air Cargo Screening
Ø Congress Passes FAA Extension
Ø Aviation Stakeholders Send Letter To U.S. Senate Urging Passage Of Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Legislation
Ø House Committee Scrutinizes Health Insurance Company Practices Of Terminating Small Businesses
Ø EPA Releases Proposed Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Deicing Activities
Ø NATA Asks EPA For Extension On The Public Comment Period For Proposed De-icing Rule
Ø AEA Joins NATA On Action Call Opposing Foreign Repair Station Language
Ø Insider Views: Coyne And Byer Launch New Blogs
Ø Useful References For NATA ASC Member Companies
Ø 2009 NATA Airline Services Council Brochure Now Available!
Ø New NATA ASC Logo Available For Member Use
Ø Download NATA's New Fact Book Today!



Fall 2009 NATA ASC Meeting Scheduled For October 26-27 In Alexandria, VA
The Fall 2009 NATA ASC meeting will take place October 26-27, 2009. The meeting will include a number of high-level Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and industry participants who will discuss issues including cargo and airport security, commercial airport and airline industry perspectives, planning for 2010, tax and health care updates and presentations by vendors from the ground support equipment community.

To view the agenda for this meeting, please click here.

To RSVP for this meeting, please click here.

For more information about this meeting, please contact Eric Byer.

TSA Releases Interim Final Rule On Air Cargo Screening
On September 16, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) titled “Air Cargo Screening” to meet the requirements of section 1602 of the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The act requires that by February 3, 2009, at least 50% of cargo carried on commercial passenger aircraft must be screened and by August 3, 2010, 100% of cargo carried on commercial passenger aircraft must be screened.

The TSA has determined that the affected air carriers do not have the facilities to be able to meet these requirements without inflicting significant delays and backlogs of unscreened cargo. Therefore, this IFR creates the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) to allow firms, such as shippers, manufacturers, warehousing entities, distributors, third-party logistics companies, and Indirect Air Carriers (IACs), to become Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF).

Once certified, the CCSF must—

  • Implement the certified cargo screening standard security program that the TSA develops and any amendments to it;
  • Appoint security coordinators at the corporate and facility levels and alternates to be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week;
  • Ensure that the following individuals successfully undergo a TSA-conducted STA:
    • Each employee and authorized representative who screens cargo or has unescorted access to screened cargo, and
    • each security coordinator and alternate, senior manager of the facility, and other individual who implements the cargo screening program;
  • Adhere to strict physical and access control measures for the storage, handling, and screening of cargo;
  • Screen cargo using TSA-approved methods;
  • Implement chain of custody requirements, including the use of tamper evident technology, which must begin when the cargo is screened and remain intact until the cargo is tendered to the aircraft operator for transport on a passenger aircraft; and
  • Apply for recertification, including a new examination by a TSA-approved validator, every 36 months

NATA staff have evaluated this IFR and produced a regulatory report that is available to members here. This IFR becomes effective on November 16, 2009, and is also open for public comment until November 16, 2009.

Congress Passes FAA Extension
Last week, the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed legislation, H.R. 3607, to extend funding authority for the FAA through December 31, 2009. This short-term extension provides essential funding for the FAA to continue operations, extends excise taxes on aviation users and provides $1 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). This comes after the previous extension approaches its deadline of September 30. The House passed H.R. 915, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 on May 21, 2009, but the hold-up comes from the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance that has been delayed from working through the tax portions of the Senate bill because of its current work on the Health Care Reform Bill

Concerns remain with the continued short extensions and Congress’ failure to approve a long-term reauthorization bill. These short extensions allow the FAA to operate, but the lack of bill completion forces the stall of critical modernization and implementation aspects that would otherwise be applied with the reauthorization bill, such as the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

Without FAA Reauthorization legislation, the Obama Administration will likely implement a “funding mechanism” incorporated in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget to support the Airport and Airways Trust Fund. NATA objects to any user fee and supports a reasonable increase in the fuel tax to help ease the burden on the Airport and Airways Trust Fund.

While NATA is pleased with the passing of a short-term extension, the association remains hopeful that the Senate will complete S. 1451, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 before December 31, 2009. 

Aviation Stakeholders Send Letter To U.S. Senate Urging Passage Of Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Legislation
As Congress works this week to finalize a three-month extension of federal programs at the FAA, NATA joined over 25 associations in a coalition letter. The coalition letter, which is being sent to all members of the United States Senate, requests comprehensive legislation to reauthorize the FAA and to provide desperately needed funding for the airport and airway system improvements that will help make aviation safer and more efficient, while creating or maintaining tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. “Investments in our national airspace infrastructure will enable the U.S. aviation system to improve its already enviable safety record as well as increase capacity. Such investment can only be made through a comprehensive authorization package, which has been hamstrung by a series of extensions dating back to September 30, 2007,” the letter states.

The letter reiterates that the strength of our aviation system and its ability to meet future demands is dependent upon the federal government's success in meeting its obligations to provide adequate infrastructure. A critical step in meeting those obligations is for the Senate to advance a long-term bill.

To view the coalition letter, please click here.

House Committee Scrutinizes Health Insurance Company Practices Of Terminating Small Businesses
Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent letters to six health insurance companies requesting information about the practice of "purging" small businesses when their health insurance claims increased due to employees becoming ill. Chairman Waxman stated, ”We need to better understand how widespread this harmful and destructive practice has become, and how it is impacting small businesses and their employees across the country."

Chairman Stupak stated that “we have documented examples of insurance companies raising small business premiums by an unsustainable amount or canceling a policy once it is discovered a covered employee is sick. Much like rescissions in the individual market, this practice is alarming. To better understand how prevalent this practice is and precisely how many small businesses are impacted, we are asking some of the largest insurers to provide information on their small business policies."

The committee is requesting information and documents for small group policies, including their renewal rates, factors used to determine premium rates, and the maximum premium rate increases.  To read the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Press Release and the chairmen’s letters to the insurance companies, please click here.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee authored H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choice Act, to reform our nation’s health care system by making insurance market reforms to protect consumers, to encourage competition among insurance plans, and to improve choices for patients, and expanding access to quality, affordable health care.  The legislation passed the committee on July 31, 2009 by a voice of 31 to 28. 

EPA Releases Proposed Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Deicing Activities
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled, “Effluent Limitation Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards for the Airport Deicing Category.” This proposed rule would affect primary commercial service airports with more than 1000 annual jet aircraft departures by regulating wastewater resulting from de-icing activities. Depending on the amount of aircraft de-icing fluid used airports would be required to collect 20 or 60 percent of available aircraft de-icing fluid and treat the waste to reduce its overall effect on the environment.

NATA has produced a regulatory report on this NPRM that may be accessed here and provides an overview of the requirements of the regulation. NATA is concerned with the cost and possible effect on aircraft safety that this proposed regulation may create and will be working with its members and others in the industry to draft formal comments to submit to the EPA. The full text of the NPRM (45 pages) may be downloaded here.

NATA Asks EPA For Extension On The Public Comment Period For Proposed De-icing Rule
Recently, NATA joined with the Air Transport Association, Airports Council International – North America, American Association of Airport Executives and the Regional Airline Association in asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a sixty-day extension to the public comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), Effluent Limitation Guidelines and New Source Performance Standards for the Airport Deicing Category. In the letter, the associations note that although a significant initial public comment period has been established, the end of “the existing comment period falls squarely within the air transportation industry’s peak travel and deicing seasons.” Because of this timing, “many of those industry experts with the greatest experience and knowledge of deicing operations will be unavailable to provide their guidance and insight on the Proposed Rule precisely when their input is most critical.” The associations have asked the EPA for a 60-day extension, which would place the closing of the comment period at the end of February 2010.

The associations’ letter to the EPA is available here.

AEA Joins NATA On Action Call Opposing Foreign Repair Station Language
NATA and the Aircraft Electronics Association are seeking member participation in contacting Members of Congress in opposition to the foreign repair station provisions in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate versions of FAA Reauthorization legislation.

Conference negotiations between the House and the Senate on H.R. 915/S.1451, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2009 are likely before the end of the year. Each bill contains a provision requiring additional FAA oversight of foreign repair stations. More specifically, H.R. 915, which passed the House on May 21, 2009, includes a provision requiring the FAA to certify that all Part 145 certificated foreign repair stations are inspected at least twice a year and requires those organizations to introduce mandatory drug and alcohol testing if they maintain aircraft operated by U.S. airlines. Further, S. 1451, which has not yet been voted on in the Senate, contains similar language regarding repair station inspections but makes an exception if "a bilateral aviation safety agreement is in place that allows for comparable inspection by local authorities." 

The proposed regulation would eliminate a reciprocal audit provision of the U.S.-European Community Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement, or “BASA,” and would unnecessarily raise costs for EU-based repair stations. The potential job loss to U.S. repair stations is high if the companies that hold a U.S.-based EASA Part 145 repair station certificate lose the reciprocal audit capabilities between the FAA and EASA.

Contact your Members of Congress by visiting NATA’s Legislative Action Center. NATA’s Legislative Action Center provides association members with a quick and easy way to email letters directly to Members of Congress in their state. 

Click here to view a form letter that may be used to contact Members of Congress or their staff.

Insider Views: Coyne And Byer Launch New Blogs
Reaching out to our members in a new way, James K. Coyne and Eric R. Byer will host new blogs. Coyne's monthly blog, NATA President's Capitol View, provides commentary on the current state of and future prospects for the aviation business industry. View the inaugural post, "Can't We All Just Get Along?," regarding the USA Today article attacking general aviation and the fundamental change of strategy on the part of the airlines that this article represents. Byer's weekly Inside Washington View blog explores the latest aviation business developments in Washington and provides guidance to help navigate the rocky political landscape. The first post, "Light At The End Of The Tarmac?," tackles the brutal effect the economy has had on our members, but offers a ray of hope for the future...maybe nearer than we dared hope.

Useful References For NATA ASC Member Companies
The association has compiled a list of useful Web sites that NATA member companies are encouraged to access for the latest information affecting the airline services industry. These references are frequently updated and provide valuable information on a wide array of topics and issues confronting NATA ASC member companies.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics Airline Data:

DOT’s Small Community Air Service Development Program:

EPA’s Transportation Sector Web Page:

OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Web Page:

TSA’s Air Cargo Web Page:

TSA’s Commercial Airlines Web Page:

TSA’s Commercial Airports Web Page:

2009 NATA Airline Services Council Brochure Now Available!
The 2009 NATA Airline Services Council marketing brochure is available for members to download.

Click here to download the brochure today!

If you have questions about the brochure, please contact Eric Byer.

New NATA ASC Logo Available For Member Use
NATA has created a new NATA ASC 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 utilize as appropriate. Members wishing to secure the new logo may do so by contacting Eric Byer.

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Download NATA’s New Fact Book Today!
NATA has updated its popular fact book titled General Aviation in the United States. This publication was produced by the association for its members, including airline service companies, as a tool to help illustrate the importance of aviation businesses to the U.S. transportation system and economy.

General Aviation in the United States provides an in-depth review of the NATA membership segments as well as other important components of the general aviation and airline services industry. This handy reference also contains information on a number of U.S. government agencies that affect the day-to-day operation of aviation businesses, and features several charts containing vital general aviation and business aviation statistics on fuel consumption, fractional ownership companies, active pilots, airports, and much more.

"NATA's fact book is one of the many helpful resources available to aid our members in educating community and government leaders about the value of our industry as a critical component to the American economy," NATA President James K. Coyne stated.

Click here to download your free copy of General Aviation in the United States now!

Members who have questions regarding this publication may contact Linda Pylant or Shannon Chambers.

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National Air Transportation Association
4226 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-0396