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ASC Monthly Update

##Date##                                                                                                Volume 5 Issue 11


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..



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NATA Submits Comments On Air Cargo Screening Interim Final Rule
On September 16, 2009, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) titled Air Cargo Screening. The purpose of this IFR is 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 August 3, 2010, 100% of cargo carried on commercial passenger aircraft must be screened.

One of the major obstacles in meeting the goals set forth by the Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act is that air carriers do not have the facilities or space to screen all cargo effectively at the airport prior to loading on aircraft. This IFR will create the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) that will allow entities upstream in the cargo transportation process to perform TSA-approved screening and tender the cargo to the air carrier utilizing a secure chain of custody. Under the CCSP, upstream facilities performing screening will be known as Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF). Air carriers receiving cargo that has been screened by a CCSF and tendered using a secure chain of custody will consider that cargo fully screened.

NATA is supportive of the CCSP and believes that proper implementation of the program will continue to increase the level of security of passengers on commercial aircraft.

NATA provided comments to the TSA on the following areas of the IFR:

  • Proposed Third-Party Validator Program
  • Security Threat Assessment Redundancy
  • Off Airport Air Carrier Screening Facilities

NATA’s comments may be viewed by clicking here.

The IFR took effect November 16, 2009.

NATA Asks EPA To Reconsider Decision Not To Extend Comment Deadline On De-ice ELG
Last week, NATA joined with the Air Transport Association (ATA), Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Regional Airline Association (RAA) in asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider its decision not to extend the public comment period for the proposed de-icing Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) beyond December 28, 2009. The de-icing ELG would require certain commercial service airports to use technological solutions to ensure the collection and disposal of a certain percentage of sprayed de-ice fluid.

The original request to extend the comment period was denied by the EPA on the grounds that sufficient opportunity for comment was being provided. This request provided the EPA with more detail on the specific reasons why the original 120-day comment period is insufficient, including:

  • The effect on the comment process of the comment period’s conclusion occurring during the peak of de-icing season
  • The effect of the EPA’s recent addition of substantial documentation to the ELG docket
  • The effect of the sheer size of the rulemaking and supporting documentation on the comment process (currently over 1200 supporting document entries in the docket)
  • Specific operational and safety issues that require more time to analyze fully

The current comment period on the proposed de-icing ELG ends December 28, 2009. A copy of the request that the EPA reconsider its denial of an extension of the comment period can be viewed here.

TSA Issues Repair Station Security Rule
Last week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled, Aircraft Repair Station Security. The TSA was tasked by Congress, in the Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, with creating regulations aimed at the security of FAA-certificated Part 145 repair stations.

This NPRM would require any repair station, foreign or domestic, certificated under 14 CFR Part 145 to carry out a standard security program (SSP) consisting of:

  • Access controls for the facility, aircraft and/or aircraft components
  • Measures for identifying individuals with access to the facility, aircraft and/or aircraft components
  • Procedures for challenging unauthorized individuals
  • Security awareness training for employees
  • The name of the facility’s designated security coordinator
  • A contingency plan
  • The means to verify employee background information

The NPRM does seem to offer some flexibility in security requirements depending on whether a repair station is located on or off airport and the type and size of aircraft the station services.

NATA has produced an initial regulatory report on the proposed rule, available here, and will fully analyze the NPRM and provide the TSA with comments. The NPRM is available here and is open for public comment until January 19, 2010.

House Committee Holds Hearing To Assess The Security At Foreign Repair Stations
On November 18, members of the U.S House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection heard testimony from various government and union groups on the security of foreign and domestic repair stations and how the federal government will carry out an inspection program that will protect the flying public.

This hearing comes after the Transportation Security Transportation (TSA) released its anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) highlighting repair station security. If finalized, the NPRM would establish a new Part 1554, “Aircraft Repair Station Security,” that would require any foreign or domestic repair station certificated under 14 CFR 145 to carry out a standard security program (SPP) including worker access and identity, maintenance, and contingency plans.

However, concerns arose over the communication gaps between the FAA and the TSA. “While this relationship between FAA and TSA forms the crux of an effective security oversight program, the NPRM is unclear in describing how the agencies will work together to implement these process,” stated Subcommittee Chairwoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) agreed, stating that a clarification of communication between the agencies is needed to ensure that the NPRM is effective, “particularly in the case of TSA identifying security discrepancies that may impact FAA’s certification of a foreign repair facility.”

To view witness testimony or recorded video of the hearing, please click here.

Health Care Legislative Analysis Now Available For Member Review
NATA has produced a comprehensive analysis of health care legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. 

As reported in last week’s NATA News, the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved H.R. 3692, by a slim margin with a vote of 220-215. The GOP had been adamantly opposed to health care reform legislation for many reasons, in particular because the House measure raises taxes during a time of record deficits and our country cannot afford a new entitlement program that would cost an estimated $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) secured enough votes from her party by allowing an amendment to be offered to anti-abortion Democrats that bars the government insurance plan from covering abortions and prohibits people who receive insurance subsidies from purchasing private plans that cover abortions.

The 10-year, $894 billion bill places a surtax on individuals earning more than $500,000 a year to raise revenue for health care reform. In addition, the bill intends to insure more than 36 million uninsured Americans. About 15 million of the poorest children and adults would be eligible to enroll in Medicaid, and an additional 21 million would be able to purchase coverage from a new national insurance exchange, where private plans would compete with a "public option" backed by the federal government. The bill includes small business tax incentives as well as exempts small businesses with payrolls of less than $500,000 annually from being required to provide health coverage or face penalty. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) hopes to bring the Senate’s Health Care Bill (S. 1796) to the floor before Thanksgiving, and final legislation is not likely to reach President Obama’s desk before the New Year.

To view NATA’s comprehensive analysis of health care legislation being considered by Congress, please click here.

NATA Participates In House Aviation Subcommittee Roundtable On Economic Outlook Of Aviation
NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation on November 17, 2009, to discuss emergency measures that Congress can take to assist the struggling aviation industry.

The roundtable discussion was convened by Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Aviation Subcommittee, Representatives John L. Mica (R-FL) and Tom Petri (R-WI). Industry representatives from commercial, regional and cargo airlines, general aviation, airports, aviation businesses, and repair stations, as well as aviation financial analysts, were present for a critical examination of the state of the industry and potential congressional initiatives to address the problems.

NATA advocated for positive reinforcement for our nation’s public-use airports, general aviation businesses, aircraft and pilots. Byer highlighted some of the things Congress has done lately to boost aviation manufacturing and jobs, such as the recently introduced legislation by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), H.R. 3844, that would extend bonus depreciation for noncommercial aircraft.

To read NATA’s Press Release on the roundtable, please click here.

To read Byer’s full testimony, please click here.

NATA President Participates In DOT Forum On Aviation
On November 12, 2009, NATA President James K. Coyne participated in the “Future of U.S. Aviation” Forum hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The forum brought together members from the airline, labor, government, manufacturing, academia and general aviation industry to discuss the health and future competitiveness of U.S. aviation. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood stated that “without a financially strong aviation industry, we will be unable to compete in domestic and international commerce and also could fall behind in addressing our infrastructure needs, including transitioning to NextGen.” 

The forum addressed FAA reauthorization, alliances to foreign repair stations, passenger rights and major labor issues. LaHood addressed the Next Generation Air Traffic Control System (NextGen), stating, “NextGen is not just an aviation or a DOT issue, it is one of the top priorities of the White House as well.” Referring to steps that are already being taken to replace older systems with programs such as Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and Aviation Navigation (RNAV), FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt pointed out, “We all know NextGen is not an option, it is happening, we’re doing it now.” LaHood added, “For example, in one month, NextGen will be deployed across the Gulf of Mexico, replacing old grid systems.” 
As for the NextGen funding issue, US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker, who was unavailable to attend the meeting, sent LaHood a letter stating that “if the cost of deploying NextGen has to be covered by even higher taxes or fees imposed on the airlines, we prefer to live without it at the current time.” To view the entire letter, click here.

The meeting concluded with Secretary LaHood and Administrator Babbitt revealing the formation of a new federal advisory committee that will study every facet of the aviation industry. LaHood further promised that within one year, that committee will submit a blueprint for change in aviation. 

Useful References For NATA ASC Member Companies
The association has compiled a list of useful Web sites that NATA ASC member companies are encouraged to access for the latest information on issues 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 use 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 services 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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