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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                                                Volume 8 Issue 40


NATA is the National Air Transportation Association 

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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Topics in this Volume:
Ø Senate Launches General Aviation Caucus
Ø House Members Support GA In Response To USA Today Article
Ø Congress Extends Federal Government Through October
Ø Congress Introduces Legislation To Curb Issuance Of Security Directives
Ø NTSB Announces Aviation Safety Statistics For 2008
Ø Senators Kerry And Boxer Release Global Warming Draft Legislation
Ø EPA Proposes Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emission From Large Sources
Ø Members Encouraged To Take Part In Action Call Opposing Foreign Repair Station Provision
Ø GA Serves America Campaign Stops In Napa, CA Tomorrow!
Ø NATF Scholarships – Reach Your Academic And Flight Training Goals
Ø Byer’s Inside Washington Blog – Part Deux
Ø Stay In Touch With NATA’s Social Media Sources
Ø NATA Weekly Survey
Ø  Environmental Fact Of The Week


NATA Releases Results Of Survey On FAA Inconsistencies
A survey conducted by the NATA to gather data on the significance and predominance of inconsistent FAA regulatory interpretations has yielded troubling, yet expected, results. 

"This survey clearly demonstrates the high, unnecessary costs, delays and obstacles aviation businesses suffer due to the FAA's inconsistent interpretation of the federal aviation regulations," said NATA President James K. Coyne. "The FAA absolutely must find a way to provide consistent regulatory guidance and interpretation."

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been commissioned by Congress to conduct a study on how inconsistent regulatory interpretations are costing the FAA and the aviation industry millions of dollars in resources and raising serious concerns about unified safety standards.

NATA conducted its survey in response to numerous members' reports of having experienced varying interpretations of federal aviation regulations (FARs) by the agency's Regional, Aircraft Certification (ACOs) and Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs) and to be able to provide specific information to the GAO as it conducts its study.

According to survey respondents, many affected companies continue to be challenged by regulatory interpretations that vary from one inspector within one FSDO or ACO, to another. These varying interpretations of how to achieve or demonstrate compliance with the FARs are estimated by the respondents to cost general aviation businesses hundreds of millions of dollars annually when previously approved actions are subjected to "re-interpretation." The results of the survey showed:

  • 87% of respondents stated that their businesses have experienced problems due to inconsistent or incorrect interpretations by local FAA inspectors.
  • 57% believe that an inconsistent or incorrect local FAA position had safety consequences for their business. Members rated the safety significance as very serious (17%); serious (40%); somewhat serious (35%); not too serious (8%).
  • 85% stated they have experienced delays in response by the FAA that have interrupted their ability to do business.
  • 75% believe that the delay or denial for a new safety program was related to an incorrect or inconsistent interpretation. In resolving discrepancies, 23% said it took up to 90 days; 20% said up to 120 days; 19% said more than 121 days and 36% said their issue still is unresolved. 

"Inconsistent compliance interpretations of the FARs are not only costly for the industry, they also demonstrate a shortcoming in the FAA's ability to coordinate its workforce and ensure that the decision-making abilities vested in inspectors are respected across all divisions of the agency," said Coyne.

A compilation of the survey results is available by clicking here.


Senate Launches General Aviation Caucus
Take Action and Urge Your Senator to Join Today!
United States Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) have formed the General Aviation Caucus, and have written to their Senate colleagues encouraging their participation and membership in the caucus. The caucus is open to all members of the U.S. Senate regardless of party affiliation and committee assignments. The objective of the caucus is to promote the general aviation industry among Members of the Senate and educate them on issues affecting the industry. Currently, Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sam Brownback (R-KS), and James Inhofe (R-OK) have joined the caucus. NATA’s goal is to gather member participation by asking you to write to your U.S. Senator and encourage their membership in the caucus.

To view NATA’s Action Call and to learn how to contact your U.S. Senators, please click here.

To view the Dear Colleague letter sent to all members of the U.S. Senate, please click here.


House Members Support GA In Response To USA Today Article
Representative Sam Graves (R-MO) sent a letter last week, signed by 13 members of the General Aviation Caucus, to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the USA Today article published on September 17, 2009, titled “Feds Keep Little Used Airports in Business.” The letter, “General Aviation Airports: A Reliable Network for Small Businesses, Farmers, Doctors, and Emergency Responders” sets the record straight on the article’s misleading assertions about our nation’s public-use airports, the importance of our national aviation system and federal investments in that system through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program.

“As you may know, the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) provides funding for the planning and development of public-use airports listed in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). Airports eligible for AIP funding must be included in the NPIAS which is determined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Such airports are considered to be significant to national air transportation,” the later states.

In addition, the letter clarifies the district difference in AIP funding for large and small airports. Large airports that are eligible for AIP funding can receive a maximum of $22 million annually, whereas small airports receive a maximum of $150,000. AIP funding is a necessity for large and urban airports as well as small and rural airports throughout the country.

To read NATA’s response to the USA Today article, please click here.


Congress Extends Federal Government Through October
On the last day of the fiscal year, September 30, Congress passed a continuing resolution to extend funding for the federal government through October. The extension provides essential funding for all federal agencies to continue operations until Congress completes its work on 12 annual appropriations bills. While the U.S. House of Representatives has passed all 12 appropriations bills, the U.S. Senate has only passed about half and conference negotiations are required for all bills. Within the next 30 days, the Senate expects to complete its work on the remaining bills as well as conference negotiations with the House. If work isn’t completed in that timeframe, another continuing resolution will be required until all appropriations bills are completed or an omnibus (rolling all remaining legislation together) bill could be likely.

To review the proposed funding levels for fiscal year 2010 for the House-passed version of the Transportation and Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, please click on the link below.

Fiscal Year 2010 Transportation, House and Urban Development Appropriations Bill

Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill


Congress Introduces Legislation To Curb Issuance Of Security Directives
Last week, Representatives John Mica (R-FL), Thomas Petri (R-WI), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Sam Graves (R-MO) and Allen Boyd (D-FL) introduced legislation to modify the authority of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) assistant secretary for Homeland Security to issue regulations and security directives using emergency procedures.

In December 2008, the TSA issued a Security Directive (SD) to the directors of airports serving commercial air carriers. The SD mandated that any individual requiring unescorted access to the airport operations area (AOA) of an airport had to apply for an airport-issued identification media. While the SD was troublesome for many airports throughout the country, one of the major concerns was the use of an SD to promulgate regulations where no imminent threat existed. Instead, the TSA should have approached the issue through the federal rulemaking process or notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). By following the federal rulemaking process, the TSA would have enabled those affected by the proposed rule to voice their concerns and offer suggestions on the best methods for securing the AOA.

Representatives Mica, Graves, Ehlers, and Petri were successful in adding an amendment to H.R. 2200, the TSA Reauthorization Bill that passed the House on June 4, 2009. The amendment, much like the bill they just introduced, required the TSA to go through the federal rulemaking process after an SD has gone into effect for more than 90 days. The intent was to address security directives issued without imminent threat. The U.S. Senate does not have intentions to vote on H.R. 2200 this year, therefore a stand-alone bill was introduced with the hopes of Senate support and ultimately timely passage.

To view a copy of the legislation, please click here.


NTSB Announces Aviation Safety Statistics For 2008
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released an article on September 29, 2009, detailing transportation safety statistics for 2008. Figures in the report indicate that transportation fatalities in the United States have decreased by almost 10 percent in 2008 from 2007.

Illustrated data show that fatalities have continuously decreased for three consecutive years. Even so, the NTSB vows to “press hard” to continue the decreasing trend. “While the statistics reveal an encouraging trend line, there is still much work to be done to ensure that fewer families each year will face losing a loved one in a transportation accident,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.

Total transportation fatalities in all modes fell from 43,384 in 2007 to 39,397 in 2008, with a significant reduction in highway fatalities, rail and pipeline. However, aviation fatalities increased slightly from 550 to 572, with general aviation accidents attributing to 87% of aviation deaths.

For further information on the released statistics, tables and charts, visit:

Aviation Accident Statistics:




Senators Kerry And Boxer Release Global Warming Draft Legislation
On September 30, Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Committee on Senate Foreign Affairs, and Senator Barbra Boxer (D-CA), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released a draft version of legislation designed to curb the effects of climate change by capping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions nationwide. The draft legislation is similar to the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA), passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June. The official draft omits sections, contained in prerelease versions, which would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator to regulate GHG emissions from aircraft and aircraft engines by 2012, but does contain more broad provisions that would allow the EPA to regulate those emissions “to the extent the Administrator determines appropriate.” The following titles are contained in the draft:
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs
  • Research
  • Transition and Adaptation
  • Reducing Global Warming Pollution
  • Program Allocations

Much like the ACESA, this draft would create a “cap-and-trade” program that would institute a cap on GHG emissions and require emitters to purchase or trade emission credits. The draft is over 800 pages in length and is available for download here. NATA staff will be reviewing this proposed legislation and will release a detailed report on its provisions in the coming weeks.


EPA Proposes Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emission From Large Sources
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would require large emitters of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) to obtain permits and employ the best available technology to reduce emissions. These proposed rules would come into effect when entities such as power plants, factories and oil refineries are built or when existing facilities are substantially modified. The rules would only apply to facilities emitting more than 25,000 tons of GHGs annually. While the provisions would not affect aircraft operators, FBOs or airports, aviation fuel producers could face substantially increased cost when building new production facilities or upgrading current facilities.

The full text of the NPRM is available from the EPA website.


Members Encouraged To Take Part In Action Call Opposing Foreign Repair Station Provision
The NATA and the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) 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 is 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.


GA Serves America Campaign Stops In Napa, CA Tomorrow!
The General Aviation Serves America campaign will make a stop at Napa County Airport on October 6 for a Town Hall meeting featuring NATA President James K. Coyne and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Craig Fuller. The Napa, CA Town Hall meeting will be hosted by Bridgeford Flying Services and sponsored by the Napa Airport Pilots Association, the local EAA Chapter 167 and the Napa County Airport.

To learn more about the Napa, CA event, including how to RSVP, please click here.

For more information, please contact Eric R. Byer.


NATF Scholarships – Reach Your Academic And Flight Training Goals
Learn More In A Free Webinar
Someone wants to give me money? Even in this economy? To help achieve a goal or career in aviation? Yes…you heard right on all three counts. Hear more about how NATF Scholarships can help you or someone you know pursue a career in aviation, learn to fly, or further aviation business career skills. Amy Koranda will host a free webinar to provide an overview of NATF’s three scholarships, the criteria and the application process. The webinar will take place on October 14 at 12:30 EDT. Click here to register. Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to learn how you or someone you know can get help in reaching academic and flight training goals!


Byer’s Inside Washington Blog – Part Deux
The User Fee Battle Continues
Eric R. Byer’s second post in his weekly blog is titled “User Fee Battle – Take Two.” The following excerpts were taken from the post:

“Over the last few years, the war on user fees has escalated to the highest levels of government. And I think the airline community underestimated the voices of all of us in the general aviation industry. Through the fantastic efforts of our members and the general aviation industry-at-large, we successfully convinced key congressional leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, and most in the U.S. Senate, that a modest increase in the fuel tax, not a new user fee process, is the best way to collect new revenue…However, we are now in the midst of our ninth extension to keep the FAA operating as Congress, namely the Senate, has yet to approve a long-term FAA reauthorization bill…click here for full post.” Visit Byer’s Inside Washington Blog every week for new insight on the aviation business industry.


Stay In Touch With NATA’s Social Media Sources
As the voice of business aviation, NATA is committed to keeping our members armed with the most current information on issues that affect their businesses. We have joined many other industry professionals in providing this information in the quickest way possible – through social media. NATA is making use of our Twitter and Facebook accounts to provide you with up-to-the-minute safety, regulatory and legislative resources. Stay informed on recent developments and NATA’s latest actions to help ensure a secure future.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to follow NATAaero on Twitter and become a fan of the National Air Transportation Association on Facebook for an immediate pulse on association news and events, and access to special offers and resources as well as information about product and service launches, member news and other news of interest.

Reaching out to our members in a new way - James K. Coyne and Eric R. Byer are now hosting blogs. Coyne's monthly blog, NATA President's Capitol View, provides commentary on the current state 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.

For more information on NATA’s Social Media Sources, please click here or contact NATA at (703) 845-9000.


NATA Weekly Survey
NATA’s weekly surveys are part of an effort to obtain more information from our members to serve their daily needs better. These surveys range from specific policy topics to programs, products and services that the association provides or should provide. The association strongly encourages members to take a few moments to review and complete this online survey in each week’s edition of NATA News.


Should Congress mandate the FAA to standardize its regulatory interpretations throughout all nine regions?

Click here to participate in survey.

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Environmental Fact Of The Week
NATA’s quick facts on the aviation industry's effect on the environment are designed to ensure that members take every step necessary to minimize the effect aviation has on the environment while recognizing the initiatives the industry has taken to reduce global warming.

Last week, NATA participated in the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) annual meeting held in Washington, DC. CAAFI is a broad coalition of aviation industry stakeholders, including airlines, fuel producers, government agencies and general aviation representatives, that seeks to enhance energy security and environmental sustainability for aviation through the development of alternative jet fuels. Attendee’s choose to participate in one of the following focus areas related to the development and deployment of alternative fuels:

  • Fuel Certification & Qualification
  • Research & Development
  • Environment
  • Business and Economics

Some recent accomplishments of CAAFI include:

  • Facilitating ASTM International approval of a standard for alternative fuels
  • Enabling a new Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) to evaluate the requirements for alternative fuel production facilities
  • Creating a unified research and development and biofuel feedstock “road map” to inform investment decisions by the public and private sector.

More information about CAAFI can be found on the group’s Web site, .



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Phone: (800)808-6282
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