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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                                 Volume 9 Issue 11


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 Coyne To Testify On FAA’s Oversight Of On-Demand Aircraft Operators
Ø NATA Participates In TSA GA Working Group
Ø NTSB Issues Report On Safety Effects Of Glass Cockpits In Small Aircraft
Ø NATA Spring Training Week At AIE In Full Swing Today
Ø FAA Ordered To Pay Air Carrier More Than $121,000 For Attorney Fees And Expenses
Ø NATA’s RA Check, Automated Risk Assessment Tool, Launched At Safety Symposium
Ø 2010 Day On The Hill, Industry Excellence Awards Presentations and Committee Meetings
Ø Bruce Jenner To Speak At 2010 Air Charter Summit
Ø Byer’s Weekly Blog: Could We Actually Be Close To An FAA Reauthorization Bill Being Signed Into Law?
Ø One Week Left To Participate In 2010 Compensation Survey
Ø Today Is The Last Day To Update Your Profile For 2010 NATA Membership Directory
Ø Weekly Web Survey
Ø Fact Of The Week


Debate On FAA Reauthorization Legislation Begins On Senate Floor
Two and a half -years past the original expiration of legislation authorizing the FAA and three weeks prior to the extension deadline, the U.S. Senate began debate last week on H.R. 1586, a two-year, $34.5 billion bill that includes legislation to reauthorize the FAA.

The bill has been held up by Tennessee GOP Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker over their push to make sure U.S. House of Representatives language regarding the Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx would not be part of a final bill sent to the president. Alexander and Corker lifted their holds after Senate leaders agreed to make it tougher for pro-labor House Democrats to protect contentious language making it easier for FedEx workers to unionize, in order to prevent Senate critics from holding up a long-awaited and popular FAA bill. Negotiations resulted in the decision to have the Senate bill amend an unrelated House bill taxing recipients of Troubled Asset Relief Program funding (H.R. 1586) rather than last year's House-passed FAA bill (H.R. 915/S.1451). This decision could mean that new House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) could be the lead House conferee instead of House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN), the leading supporter of the pro-labor Democrats of the FedEx language. In addition, the House and Senate could agree to forgo a formal conference and simply send language back and forth.

The senate bill includes an increase in the tax on aviation fuel to 35.9 cents per gallon, the compromise for the omission of user fees on general aviation. In addition, the bill includes mandates for the FAA on implementation of the Next General Air Transportation System (NextGen) as well as mandates that aircraft owners buy equipment but doesn’t include funding or incentives for the technology.

The bill is open to amendments. Currently, there are approximately 80 amendments that Senators wish to have considered, ranging from slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to increased funding for NextGen. Extraneous amendments could kill the bill, so Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) warned Members of Congress to focus on the aviation-related amendment so the bill will have a chance at completion on the floor. 

The Senate FAA debate will continue this week, and there will likely be many differences to be worked out. Congress has extended federal aviation law 11 times as lawmakers have been unable to complete a reauthorization bill. The current extension expires on March 31, 2010.


Coyne To Testify On FAA’s Oversight Of On-Demand Aircraft Operators
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 17, on “FAA’s Oversight of On-Demand Aircraft Operators” in which James K. Coyne will testify as president of the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF). 

On July 13, 2009, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Inspector General (IG) released a report titled “On-Demand Operators Have Less Stringent Safety Requirements and Oversight Than Large Commercial Carriers” that failed to present an accurate picture of the Part 135 regulatory environment. The report cited numerous examples of differences between Part 135 and Part 121 regulations but did not offer adequate explanation for the reason for the variances. For instance, Part 121 is homogenous in regard to the type of aircraft and operations while Part 135 includes every possible mission profile and type of aircraft from a single-engine piston to a large cabin jet. The report fails to explain the wide variety of aircraft included in this classification. This variation presents a unique challenge when attempting to draw safety conclusions. 

Coyne will be representing the charter community in discrediting the DOT IG report while highlighting the industry’s impressive safety record. To watch the hearing live at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, March 17th, please click here to access the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Web site for the live webcast link. 

A copy of the complete written testimony will be available to members later this week.


NATA Participates In TSA GA Working Group
Last week, staff from the NATA participated in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) General Aviation (GA) working group. Also participating in the working group were representatives from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Business Aviation Association, Experiential Aircraft Association, American Association of Airport Executives, Airports Council International – North America, the FAA, and other governmental groups and industry members. The group’s purpose was to evaluate security issues not currently undergoing rulemaking and provide recommendations to the TSA through the full ASAC.

Early discussions focused on identifying five topics that the working group would address. Those topics were:

  • Universal Identification
  • GA Incident Response
  • TSA Policy on Security Grants
  • Inter-agency communication
  • Temporary Flight Restriction issuance and access

The full working group then broke into five task groups to address the individual topics. NATA staff participated in the universal identification task group, which looked at procedures and processes that would reduce the current level of redundancy in security vetting and badging and facilitate access for individual. After two days of discussions, the task groups reported their progress back to the full group. The task groups and the full working group will continue their work over the next few months before providing their recommendations to the full ASAC and the TSA.


NTSB Issues Report On Safety Effects Of Glass Cockpits In Small Aircraft
Early last week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a public meeting reviewing a study it had recently completed on the safety effects of the incorporation of glass cockpits into smaller general aviation aircraft. The study used three primary methodologies:
  • Quantitative Analysis – Accident data was reviewed to see if any statistically significant trends could be identified
  • Qualitative Analysis – Overall regulatory policy and training procedures were evaluated for their appropriateness to the increasing number of glass cockpit-equipped small aircraft
  • Case Study – Individual accidents involving glass cockpit equipped-small aircraft were studied to see if any important trend or issues could be identified

The results of the study indicated that glass cockpit equipage has not had a statistically significant effect, either positive or negative, on safety but the NTSB questioned whether over time, as pilots become more proficient with the technology, a positive trend on safety would appear. More information on the results of the study may be found at the NTSB Web site or by clicking here.


NATA Spring Training Week At AIE In Full Swing Today
Five Ways To Get In The Game
1) Meet the visiting team: Amy Koranda, Louis Soares, Mike France, Shannon Chambers and Diane Gleason are members of the NATA Spring Training Week team at AIE in Las Vegas.

2) Swing by NATA’s home base: Visit NATA booth 7025 to learn more about our latest benefits, products and services.

3) Step up to the plate: Show off your Wii batting prowess at the NATA booth for a chance to win the Wii system!

4) Become an all-star player or coach: Return to your home team with the skills and knowledge you need to excel in your career and lead your team to victory! We are still recruiting on site at the AIE registration desk for NATA Spring Training Week seminars.

5) Keep an eye on the prize: Batting challenge participants with the highest daily scores will have their names posted on NATA’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Watch the scoreboard at and cheer them on at


FAA Ordered To Pay Air Carrier More Than $121,000 For Attorney Fees And Expenses
In a record-breaking decision issued March 4, 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) denied the FAA’s appeal challenging a decision by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) requiring the agency to pay Air Trek, Inc., a Florida-based air ambulance operator, attorney fees and expenses in the amount of $120,169.35 pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”) 49 C.F.R., § 826.1 et. seq.  (NTSB Order No. EA-5510).

On June 10, 2008, the FAA issued an emergency order revoking Air Trek’s air carrier certificate. Following a nine-day hearing, the ALJ modified the sanction from revocation to suspension. The revocation order initially contained 38 factual allegations and 14 regulatory violations. By the fourth day of the hearing, the FAA attorney withdrew half of the charges without explanation. Accordingly, the ALJ found that Air Trek was the “prevailing party” as to the portions of the complaint and alleged regulatory violations that were voluntarily withdrawn.

As a result of the revocation, Air Trek was grounded for nearly fifteen months. On August 20, 2009, the FAA returned Air Trek’s original air carrier certificate. 

The EAJA permits an award of attorney’s fees and costs that a prevailing party incurs, unless the government shows that it was substantially justified in pursuing its complaint. The Supreme Court has defined the term “substantially justified” to mean that the government’s position was reasonable in fact and law.   

Air Trek also appealed the ALJ’s decision, seeking additional attorneys’ fees. The NTSB granted additional fees required to respond to the FAA’s appeal. The total EAJA award was $121,991.34.

To view the full Press Release, click here.

To download the Full report, click here.


NATA’s RA Check, Automated Risk Assessment Tool, Launched At Safety Symposium
Last week, NATA launched a revolutionary tool effectively combining safety management system-required risk assessment with convenience at the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s 2010 Air Charter Safety Symposium on March 3.

The association’s new online risk assessment tool, NATA RA Check, combines a highly comprehensive FAA-endorsed risk assessment tool with the automation necessary to make its use quick, easy, and accurate.

NATA RA Check fully automates the FAA-published Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT), a worksheet-based tool designed to consider the probability, severity and weighted value of 38 leading accident causal factors. Developed by FAA officials, respected aircraft operators, and other industry representatives, the FRAT is designed to identify potential hazards prior to flight and weigh the risk associated with each hazard through a five-step process.

To use the FAA-published tool, operators must create numerical thresholds that trigger additional levels of scrutiny prior to a flight. RA Check removes subjectivity and standardizes results, saving operators time and money while improving safety.

RA Check streamlines data-entry processes and provides further convenience as it is fully integrated with the Computing Technologies For Aviation (CTA) Flight Operating System (FOS).

Also at the symposium, National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Hart commented on the importance of creating a balance between safety and productivity in the pursuit of safety management.

“RA Check fulfills a vital role in safety management programs with the perfect combination of sound safety risk assessment methodology and convenient automation features,” said NATA President James K. Coyne. “Safety and compliance tools such as RA Check and IC Check are greatly improving the business balance between safety and productivity.” 

RA Check key benefits include:

  • Streamlines processes
    • Automates the criteria of the Turbine Aircraft Operators Subgroup (TAOS) Flight Risk Assessment Tool formula and returns an online response.
    • Integrates with CTA’s FOS, limiting manual data entry.
    • Features automatic and user-generated email alerts for risk assessment reports and risk factor questionnaires, which may be viewed and addressed on your Smart Phone.
  • Raises situational awareness by focusing only on factors that pertain to each particular flight.
  • Alerts crewmembers about proactive safety measures for a particular flight.
  • Reduces training time, standardizes results and removes subjectivity.
  • Sets realistic operational thresholds.
  • Takes the most comprehensive risk assessment methodology and makes it as easy to implement as the most basic of models.

The program was developed, hosted and managed by NATA. A free 30-day trial registration and further information are available online at


2010 Day On The Hill, Industry Excellence Awards Presentations and Committee Meetings
Raise Your Voice April 21-22 in Alexandria, VA
George Larson of Aviation Week recently posted an article with a fervent reminder by NATA President James K. Coyne of why opportunities such as the Day on the Hill are so very vital to the industry…

“National Air Transportation Association President James Coyne held a town meeting Tuesday at Odyssey Aviation, a newly minted FBO at Charleston International Airport in South Carolina (and formerly a Million Air facility). Coyne reminded the audience of aviation professionals and airport authority staff who work at or near the airport that the NATA traces its founding to a period during the early years of World War II when the Roosevelt administration actually threatened to turn all airports over to the U.S. Army and shutter private business. While that never happened, it almost did, and Coyne suggested that only continuous vigilance on the part of aviation business can fend off government initiatives that could harm the industry.” Click here to read more of “NATA’s Coyne Catalogs Challenges In Charleston.”

NATA’s annual Day on the Hill event provides an invaluable opportunity for NATA members to participate in and have an effect on the legislative process in our country. Individual meetings with your representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate provide a great avenue to discuss the most important issues facing the general aviation industry today, especially those impacting your business, both nationally and locally. Meetings with your Members of Congress and their staff offer a valuable opportunity to establish and maintain a productive relationship with your elected officials in Washington as well as to gather their support on local issues affecting your community. This year, the association has modified its Day on the Hill event to include its Annual Meeting, election of officers and annual Industry Excellence Awards Dinner. Click here to register now!


Bruce Jenner To Speak At 2010 Air Charter Summit
Plan To Attend
NATA’s 2010 Air Charter Summit will take place on June 7-9 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia. The summit provides an important opportunity to learn about the Part 135 regulatory landscape straight from government officials. Industry leaders will also get the latest intelligence, tactics and strategies from nationally recognized experts, be inspired, find new solutions to current business and economic challenges, and network one-on-one with their peers.

Summit Topics:

  • Industry Economic Forecast
  • FAA Regulatory Review
  • Charter Brokering Update
  • TSA Update
  • FAA Leadership Update
  • Flight, Duty & Rest – What New Rules Will Mean To The Charter Community
  • State Taxes & Applicability To Part 135 Operations
  • Business Terms And Conditions For Providing Services To Customers, Including Brokers

The Olympic spirit comes back to life this June with an Air Charter Summit dinner event featuring special guest speaker Bruce Jenner.

Bruce Jenner, the world’s greatest athlete, became an American champion in the decathlon and won a gold medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics, setting a world record. Jenner is also an entrepreneur, commercial spokesperson, television personality, actor, producer, author and pilot. He inspires audiences with the message that any person who makes an effort can achieve something great – greatness is at the core of every man, woman and child who wants it.

Visit for event details and to register today!


Byer’s Weekly Blog: Could We Actually Be Close To An FAA Reauthorization Bill Being Signed Into Law?
This week, NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer discusses the latest developments with the U.S Senate FAA Reauthorization bill and what the next steps are before the bill becomes law. Click here to view this week's blog. To view all of Byer's Inside Washington blogs, click here.


One Week Left To Participate In 2010 Compensation Survey
The March 22 deadline to have your information included in the NATA Annual Compensation Survey is quickly approaching. Survey participants will receive a free PDF copy of the survey at no charge – a $50 value. The Compensation Survey is a unique and valuable reference to help you manage your business more profitably. 

For more information on the 2010 Compensation Survey, click here.

Click the following link to start the survey: Please contact ARI at with any questions about the survey.


Today Is The Last Day To Update Your Profile For 2010 NATA Membership Directory
Ensure that your information is up-to-date and accurate
Today is the deadline to provide updated information for NATA’s 2010 Aviation Resource and Membership Directory. 

Visit, login, and then click Update Your Profile at the top of the screen to view the information currently on file with NATA and to make any changes. If you need assistance, please contact Linda Pylant at or by phone at (800) 88-6282 x112.

Click here for more information.


Weekly Web Survey
With the Senate now considering an FAA reauthorization bill, do you believe Congress will pass a bill and have it signed by the President before the current extension expires on March 31, 2010?

Participate in survey.


Fact Of The Week
Along with many other industry stakeholder groups, the NATA participates in the General Aviation Awards Program. In each of the past 47 years, the General Aviation Awards program and the FAA have recognized a small group of aviation professionals in the fields of flight instruction, aviation maintenance, avionics, and safety for their contributions to aviation, education, and flight safety.

This awards program is a cooperative effort between the FAA and more than a dozen industry sponsors. The selection process begins with local FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) managers at flight standards district offices and moves on to the eight regional FAA offices. Panels of aviation professionals from within those four fields then select national winners from the pool of regional winners.

Over the next four weeks, NATA’s Fact Of The Week will provide a profile on each of the four 2010 winners. This week, NATA is pleased to present the 2010 aviation maintenance technician award winner, Neil Nederfield.

Neil, of Fairfield, New Jersey, has been an airframe and powerplant (A&P) technician for 45 years and has held inspection authorization (IA) for 15 of those years. Neil and his son Sean own C & W Aero Services, an FAA certified repair station, located at Essex County Airport (CDW) in Caldwell, New Jersey.

A four-year tour in the United States Navy launched this Viet Nam veteran's career in aviation maintenance. Neil attended schools for aviation airframe sheet metal and paint corrosion control and then served with VA72 aboard aircraft carriers from 1965 to 1969, working on Douglas A-4 Skyhawks. After an honorable discharge as a Petty Officer 2nd Class, he continued to work in aviation maintenance. Following ten years of employment at C & W Electronics, Neil became the owner and manager of C & W Aero Services at Essex County Airport in 1983.   

An average day for Neil begins at 0500 Eastern Time in an effort to beat the Interstate-80 traffic on his 40-mile commute to the shop. After breakfast at a local diner, he opens the shop at about 0630. His staff of seven full-time mechanics and one avionics repairman generates a great deal of paperwork in the form of work orders, logbook entries, weight and balance calculations, and Forms 337. When he's lucky, the workday ends around 1600.

In the evenings and on weekends, Neil spends time with various volunteer groups or down in his basement with his model trains. As a lead representative for the FAASTeam in the Teterboro area, he both hosts and presents safety programs for pilots and mechanics. 

On behalf of NATA and its over 2000 member companies, congratulations Neil!


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Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-8176

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