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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                              Volume 9 Issue 8


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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Upcoming Events

FBO Success Seminar -Las Vegas, NV - 03/15/2010

Environmental Compliance Seminar -Las Vegas, NV - 03/15/2010

Line Service Supervisor Training -Las Vegas, NV - 03/15/2010

NATA Safety 1st Trainer -Las Vegas, NV - 03/15/2010

NATA's Day On The Hill - Alexandria, VA - April 20/2010

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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.  continued

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139 Fire Safety Training Online

This training not only meets and exceeds the requirements of 14 CFR 139.321 but also allows you to interact with other students in a group learning environment, receive the very latest NFPA news, watch live training presentations and much more.

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NATA Announces New Maintenance Organization Award
NATA has developed a new maintenance organization honor open to any full-time aircraft and/or components maintenance or repair business or a Part 91, 121, 125, 127, 129, 133, 135, 137, 141, 145 or 147 entity that conducts aviation maintenance. The NATA Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer Recognition Program awards aviation maintenance organizations that encourage and support aviation maintenance technician (AMT) training.

The award is based on the percentage of AMTs employed (directly or indirectly) by a maintenance organization that participate in qualified training events. An AMT must complete at least 12 hours of training each year to be counted towards the organization’s award percentage.

“This award is meant to complement the FAA's Aviation Maintenance Technician Award. Our maintenance organization members found the paperwork for the existing FAA award program to be cumbersome and time-consuming. The NATA Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer Recognition Program will lighten the paperwork burden while acknowledging employers that support education and training within the aviation maintenance industry,” said NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer.

The recognition program was developed in coordination with the NATA Maintenance Committee. Members of the Maintenance Committee represent some of the world's largest maintenance and repair organizations. At the committee's direction, the award requires maintenance technicians to complete a minimum of 12 hours of training per year in order to be counted towards the employer's award. That training may cover company policies and procedures, safety programs, vendor-conducted equipment or component training, or other aviation maintenance-related topics. On-the-job training also qualifies a technician for the program and is easy to quantify and track for the NATA Aviation Maintenance Technician Employer Recognition Program.

The program will run on a calendar year, so training hours between January 1 and December 31 will qualify for 2010 recognition.

“We believe this program is a benefit not only to our maintenance and repair facility members but also to our charter, management, and training members. Maintenance organizations will be recognized for supporting technicians who complete training above and beyond that required by the FAA, making it easier for aircraft operators to identify repair stations that go the extra mile to ensure technicians are up-to-date. Additionally, we hope the award will encourage maintenance organizations to provide additional safety training, raising the safety bar for the entire aviation industry,” explained Byer.

For more information on the award, please click here


Cost of FAA Knowledge Exams May Be Increasing
Individuals seeking to take an FAA knowledge exam may see the cost of that exam increase by $50 this spring. Computer Assisted Testing Service Inc. (CATS) and LaserGrade may need to increase the cost of the exams to cover additional regulatory requirements imposed by the FAA requirement that the exam providers transition to the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA).

NATA has joined with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the National Association of Flight Instructors in asking CATS, LaserGrade and the FAA to postpone the fee increase while evaluating the ODA process to identify ways to streamline the transition and make the process more efficient. The associations hope any increased efficiencies identified would negate the need for an increase in fees. In the letter sent to CATS, LaserGrade and the FAA, the associations noted:

“Data has shown that for the first time in years, the pilot population will decrease below 600,000….Our research indicates that 70% of those who begin flight training will not complete it, citing cost as the main reason…With minimum complexity and little cost, the current knowledge testing system has served the industry well. This increase in fees and added complexity will have no effect on the safety of the industry or the National Airspace System and only serve to erect another barrier to anyone interested in pursuing flight training."

The effective date of the fee increase has not yet been announced. NATA will continue to monitor the situation and keep its members informed. A copy of the joint association letter is available for review here.


House GA Caucus Co-Chair Announces Retirement
Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) announced last week that he will not seek re-election after serving Michigan’s third congressional district for 16 years. Rep. Ehlers has been a champion for the general aviation community by staunchly opposing user fees and urging Congress and the administration to work to find a funding solution that would not negatively affect general aviation. Just last year, the General Aviation Congressional Caucus was launched in the U.S. House of Representatives largely due to the efforts of Rep. Ehlers who serves as a co-chairman. “We are deeply thankful for the support and friendship Rep. Ehlers has provided the general aviation community. As a constant advocate for general aviation, Rep. Ehlers will be sorely missed,” NATA President James K. Coyne stated.

Ehlers was the first research physicist to serve in Congress and has been recognized for his strong work ethic and proven leadership skills in his duties on Capitol Hill. Before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Ehlers taught six years at the University of California at Berkeley. He moved back to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1966 where he taught physics for 16 years at Calvin College and later served as chairman of the Physics Department. During his tenure at Calvin, Ehlers also served as a volunteer science advisor to then-Congressman Gerald R. Ford.

Ehlers announced that his retirement was a family decision and that his health was not a factor in his decision.

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WA State House of Representatives Introduces Tax Increase on Aircraft

Last week’s edition of NATA News reported that Washington state legislators were considering imposing a tax increase on aircraft owners and operators. Over the past week, House Bill (HB) 3176 was introduced in the Washington State House of Representatives. This bill would impose a 0.5 percent excise tax “for the purpose of using any aircraft in the state”. This new excise tax would replace the current fixed fee for aircraft registration. The tax would be assessed on the fair market value of the aircraft as determined by the state.

All aircraft that are currently required to be registered in the state of Washington would be subject to the new excise tax. Aircraft that meet the requirements for registration in the state, but that are registered in another state or foreign country, will still be required to pay any unpaid portion of the new excise tax. Additionally, aircraft that are currently exempt from registration in the state, and therefore exempt from the new excise tax (such as commercial aircraft engaged in interstate commerce), would now be subject to the states personal property taxation.

NATA believes that the history of taxation of aircraft and aircraft operations is clear. Increases in aviation- related taxes decrease aviation activity and therefore negatively impact the competitiveness of local businesses and result in a long term decline in tax revenue. NATA will be working over the next few weeks to educate Washington state legislators on the long term economic dangers of dramatically increasing taxes on aviation.

Currently no vote on HB 3176 has been scheduled.

Click here to view the full text of HB 3176.


NATA’s 2010 Day On The Hill Slated For April 21
Every spring, NATA holds its annual Day on the Hill event where members, like yourself, can take advantage of the opportunity to meet with Members of Congress to discuss important issues affecting the general aviation industry and your business.

NATA is especially pleased to announce that it will be modifying its Day on the Hill event to include the association’s Annual Meeting, election of officers and annual Industry Excellence Awards Dinner. All three of these events, along with the association’s 2010 Day on the Hill, will take place on April 21. NATA members may view the 2010 Day on the Hill event page, complete with agenda, registration information and white papers, by clicking here.

NATA is also excited that our Industry Excellence Awards will be presented at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, across from the White House, where Thomas J. Donohue, the Chamber’s President and CEO, will discuss with our members many of the issues that were addressed during their visits on Capitol Hill.

The presentation of two of NATA’s highest honors, the William A. “Bill” Ong Award and the NATA Award for Distinguished Service, will highlight the evening’s Industry Excellence Awards Dinner. We are thrilled to announce that Gary Driggers, long-time executive at Midcoast Aviation, has been selected as this year’s William A. “Bill” Ong Award winner. Driggers, a former NATA chairman and member of the board of directors, recently retired from Midcoast Aviation after 22 years of service. The NATA Award for Distinguished Service will be presented to the Honorable Jerry Costello (D-IL), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation, a long-time supporter of the general aviation community. The association will also honor winners for the following awards:

NATA strongly encourages all members to attend this year’s Day on the Hill. It will not only allow you to have your voice heard on Capitol Hill, it also enables you to network with industry colleagues and take part in honoring some of our industry’s best during the NATA Industry Excellence Awards Dinner.

To learn more about the 2010 Day on the Hill, please click here.


New NATA President’s Page Now Available For Member Review
The new President's Page at highlights the actions of NATA's leader James K. Coyne. Find out more about Coyne and his views on the latest issues through links to his bio, blog, video briefings, articles and more. Also, included on this page is a link to his schedule of upcoming appearances and speaking engagements. Coyne and senior NATA staff are currently reviewing speaking invitations to member and industry events for 2010. If your organization would like to have Coyne or one of the senior NATA staff speak at your event, please do not hesitate to contact Eric Byer, NATA vice president of government and industry affairs, at Please include date, time, location and brief description of the event in your requests.



ACSF Publishes New SMS Resources
In an effort to promote and enhance the safety of on-demand charter operators, the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) has developed two resource documents and a brochure addressing the need for, and implementation and evaluation of, Safety Management Systems (SMS) programs.

The first document gives a general overview of SMS, its four components, and its benefits in an operation. SMS regulations mandating that operators have an SMS program have already been adopted in many nations and will soon be adopted in the United States. Many operators are in the early stages of SMS implementation. The ACSF strongly encourages all operators to adopt these programs and participate in an independent evaluation of their SMS.

The second document describes the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) as an evaluation tool for SMS. It answers frequently asked questions by operators on how to implement an SMS, where to find help, and how the IAS evaluates their SMS program. SMS is a key goal to improving safety, and this is why the IAS requires operators to adopt, implement and show continuous safety management improvement. These SMS documents and other resources are currently available on the ACSF Web site at

With the IAS, the charter consumer can be assured that audited and registered operators are compliant with the highest standards of safety and compliance. The IAS Consumer brochure details more information on the audit program and how it evaluates an operator’s SMS. For further information on the IAS and audit process, please visit



NTSB Vice Chairman Hart To Speak At ACSF’s Symposium In March

Discounted Registration Rates for ACSF Members Through February 16

National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Christopher Hart will speak at the annual Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) Air Charter Safety Symposium on March 2-3, 2010, at the Marriott Westfields in Chantilly, VA. Hart has held positions with the FAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Department of Transportation. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. Hart will speak to symposium attendees on the “Financial Benefits of Safety Assessment Programs.” His presentation will draw from his personal knowledge of safety programs and their positive effects on overall business functions and improvement of operational safety.

The Air Charter Safety Symposium is the premier event focusing on safety in the on-demand air charter and shared aircraft ownership industry. The symposium is a must-attend event to learn the latest developments and practical techniques for implementation of safety programs. The Air Charter Safety Symposium delivers an outstanding selection of speakers addressing a number of critical safety issues that confront the Part 135 on-demand air charter and fractional ownership industry.

Other Symposium topics include:

  • Addressing Security Concerns with Practical Advice
  • Implementation and Automation of Operational Risk Assessment
  • Implementing and Evaluating SMS from a Small Operator’s Perspective
  • International Safety and Operational Issues
  • Legal Concerns Raised by Safety Programs

An early-bird rate of $399 is being offered to ACSF members who register for the Air Charter Safety Symposium on or before February 16, 2010. Visit to register today!


FBO Success Found At NATA’s Spring Training Week Next Month
To Be Held This Year At AIE From March 15-17 In Las Vegas
Returning attendees know that one key to FBO Success is lasting relationships. NATA’s 2010 Spring Training Week, and particularly its FBO Success Seminar, is host to many opportunities to develop business relationships and friendships that transcend the comprehensive three-day event.

Andi and Dan Montgomery from Montgomery Aviation in Indiana are two such returning participants who first attended NATA’s FBO Success Seminar in 2008. Andi talked to us about her experiences with the seminar and why she felt it important to come back this year. She said, “There isn’t a book that can cover all the aspects of running an FBO. This seminar provides a forum for operations just like mine to discuss what works for us and what doesn’t. What might be a good idea or a bad idea for one FBO, might not be for another and I would have never learned from these experiences without an outlet like this.” In reference to lasting relationships, she added, “The ideas and support gained from this seminar are invaluable. Even after two years, I still keep in touch with the instructors and attendees from the first seminar. I can relate to these professionals and their experiences, and they help me to run my business better.”

This year to foster the information sharing and relationship building aspects of this seminar further, NATA has added an industry roundtable and reception as well as scheduled three other popular seminars to take place during Spring Training Week. Amy Koranda, NATA’s Director of Safety & Training, said, “NATA’s goal is to give our members well-rounded educational and networking experiences as well as provide convenience and budget-savings, all while minimizing time away from the office. I feel that we are accomplishing this tall list of prerequisites well with events such as Spring Training Week.”

To find out more about this seminar and others held at NATA’s Spring Training Week, visit


Byer’s Weekly Blog: When Crises Occur, GA Is There To Serve
Read Byer’s Washington Insider Blog about the importance of general aviation during times of crisis.

To view Byer’s Weekly Blog, please click here.


Weekly Survey
Should Congress approve legislation that would provide tax breaks to America’s small businesses?

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Environmental Fact Of The Month
Over the past year, much of the attention to environmental issues has been focused on global warming and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is engaged in the process of regulating GHG emissions from new cars and trucks and Congress is reconsidering “cap & trade” legislation. It is very important, however, to remember that there are many things businesses can do, everyday, to be environmentally responsible.

NATA has developed a series of environmentally conscious best practices for aviation companies. These best practices were created by an industry leading engineer who specializes in aviation environmental compliance and have been approved by the NATA Environmental Committee. The following environmental best practices are available to NATA members:

  • Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC)
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Storm Water Pollution Prevention
  • Used Batteries
  • Used Oil
  • Used Fluorescent Lamps

NATA recommends that member companies customize these policies and procedures to their operation and insert them into standard operating procedure. Doing so will help members continue to minimize their impact on our environment.

NATA’s environmental best practices can be viewed here.



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National Air Transportation Association
4226 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-8176

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