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 NATA News

##Date##                                                                            Volume 9 Issue 18


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:



Congress Extends FAA Reauthorization
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate approved another extension of FAA programs, this time through July 3 to give lawmakers more time to work on a longer authorization.

"We are making progress on a new authorization bill, but we are not there yet," House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) said in a statement. "This extension will give us time to complete the task." There are a number of issues to iron out, including House language making it easier for FedEx workers to unionize, a provision strongly backed by Oberstar and other pro-labor Democrats.

The Senate approved a two-year $34.5 billion bill in March after agreeing to a timeout in a fight over long-range flights to and from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The law first expired at the end of September 2007. Since then, the House and Senate have extended the legislation thirteen times.

To view H.R. 5147, please click here.


Coyne Addresses Burdensome California Flight Training Regulations
Late last week, NATA President James K. Coyne sent California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger a letter asking that the state reconsider its inclusion of flight training providers in regulations issued by the Bureau of Private Post Secondary Education. These regulations are designed to ensure that students attending private colleges and trade schools are treated fairly and receive a quality education.

Proposed regulations issued by the bureau would require that affected flight training facilities, those with commercial pilot programs, submit an application for approval to operate within the state along with a $5,000 application fee. In order to receive approval to operate, a flight training facility would also have to submit third-party audited financial statements showing that the company has at least a 1:1 asset to debit ratio, remit 0.75% of its annual revenue to the California Student Tuition Recovery Fund and comply with numerous other administrative and recordkeeping requirements.

In his letter to Governor Schwarzenegger, Coyne points to the differences between the small businesses that provide flight training and the entities that the bureau was designed to regulate.

“One of the most burdensome requirements is that these flight training providers must submit audited financial statements demonstrating a 1:1 asset to liabilities ratio. Like most other small businesses, flight training providers do not have the resources or staff time available to submit to annual audits,” Coyne concluded. “These providers cannot bear the cost of the[se] new regulations… [and] will be forced to leave the state. California cannot afford the cost of imposing unreasonable regulations on such a unique and valuable industry.”

Under the current regulations, affected flight training providers must submit their first quarter Student Tuition Recovery Fund payments by May 17 and submit their application for approval to operate along with the $5,000 fee by August 2010.

To view a copy of the letter to Governor Schwarzenegger, please click here.


Harrison Ford Promotes GA On Capitol Hill
General aviation pilot and actor Harrison Ford addressed more than 250 congressional staff and industry representatives, including at least twenty Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and five U.S. Senators at the U.S. Capitol last week. Ford spoke of his passion for aviation and especially for programs to help young people get involved in aviation. In addition, Ford praised all segments of the industry, public-use airports, charter operators, FBOs and pilots, for being instrumental in the relief efforts in Haiti and continuing to be major contributors of goods and supplies into the area. 

NATA participated in the event along with industry groups including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association(GAMA), the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

Ford, a private pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, is one of general aviation’s biggest allies. He is currently the spokesman for AOPA’s General Aviation Serves America campaign and the Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian aviation organization Wings of Hope. Previously, he served as the chairman of EAA’s Young Eagles program. 

Click here to view NATA’s press release on the event.


Congress Introduces General Aviation Haiti Relief Resolution
The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus co-chairmen introduced concurrent resolutions in both chambers this week recognizing the general aviation industry and its contributions for relief efforts in Haiti. A concurrent resolution (Con. Res.) is a legislative measure used generally to address the sentiments of both chambers but is not submitted to the President and thus does not have the force of law.

Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), GA Caucus co-chairs in the Senate introduced S. Con. Res. 61. Meanwhile, Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Allen Boyd (D-FL), GA Caucus co-chairs in the House, introduced H.Con.Res. 270. The resolutions highlight the specific accomplishments general aviation has made, such as 4,500 relief flights in the first 30 days after the earthquake, most of which were fully paid by individual pilots and aircraft owners. Small general aviation aircraft were able to deliver supplies and medical personnel to areas outside Port-Au-Prince that larger aircraft could not serve. 

The resolutions will be brought to the floor of the Senate and House to be recognized in the coming weeks. 

Florida Governor Signs Use Tax-Exemption Bill
The Florida State Senate passed House Bill 173 on April 30, 2010, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed the bill into law that exempts out-of-state aircraft from the state’s use tax. Non-resident aircraft owners may fly into Florida and remain for up to 21 days during the first six months of ownership; however, if an aircraft remains in Florida exclusively for the purpose of flight training, repairs, alternations, refitting or modification there are no time constraints during the first six months.

Under the existing tax, out-of-state aircraft owners could be subjected to a use tax of up to six percent of the total value of the aircraft, just for visiting the state within six months of purchasing an aircraft. This much-needed tax correction will provide significant relief for aviation businesses that had been suffering from lost business and revenue as a result of this detrimental tax practice. 

The Florida Aviation Trades Association (FATA) and other aviation industry advocates have been working with legislators over the past three years to make changes to the current statute, which has been keeping tourist and business dollars out of Florida. FATA Executive Director, Paula Raeburn stated, “Our members pooled their resources to reach out to their state Senators and Representatives to explain the importance of passing the bill.”

The new tax exemption will begin on July 1, 2010. 


NATA Releases Regulatory Report On Avgas ANPRM
As reported in last week’s edition of NATA News, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) relating to lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft. Lead is currently used as an additive in most of the aviation gasoline used in the U.S. as an octane booster and to prevent wear in aircraft engines. NATA has completed and published a regulatory report on the ANPRM. The report notes:

“The ANPRM is a response to a petition from the environmental group Friends of the Earth and signals the agency’s intent to investigate lead emissions from general aviation aircraft further under the regulatory processes of the Clean Air Act.  This ANPRM is a first step in a process that may eventually lead to regulations concerning the uses of lead as an additive in avgas.”

The issuance of this ANPRM is a key opportunity for the general aviation community to provide comment regarding this possible new environmental standard and the development of a plan for identifying, evaluating, and ultimately transitioning to an unleaded fuel.

The full ANPRM is available here.

NATA’s regulatory report on the ANPRM is available here


NATA President Appears At Colorado Aviation Business Association Event
Last week, NATA President James K. Coyne appeared at the Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA) Aviation Saves event at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado. The Aviation Saves event featured static displays of various aircraft, exhibitors, and support equipment that contribute to saving lives through aviation. Coyne, along with other industry association presidents, spoke at a luncheon that focused on the importance of general aviation to local communities and the nation. Coyne’s speech focused on the value general aviation businesses bring to their community as they act as a focal point for commerce.

CABA, the sponsor of the event, was formed over 15 years ago and currently has more than 90 members. CABA not only represents aviation and related businesses but also educates the public about aviation activities.


NATA Flight Training Committee Accepting New Members
The NATA Flight Training Committee held its regular business meeting last week in conjunction with the association’s annual “Day on the Hill” activities. The purpose of the Flight Training Committee is to assist member flight-training organizations in improving their operations in six areas: safety and security, customer satisfaction, competitiveness, quality of training, viability and profitability. The committee also monitors regulatory issues, influences regulatory changes and engages in defining the future of flight training.

At its recent meeting, the committee received an update on flight training regulatory issues from Craig Holmes, manager of the FAA’s Flight Standards Service - Certification and Flight Training Branch. The committee also began work on setting its future agenda, including a commitment to increase committee membership. Any NATA member engaged in flight training or in support of flight training is encouraged to apply for membership on the committee. For more information on committee membership and activities, contact NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France at


NATA Participating In Aviation Rulemaking Committee On Part 23 Icing Issues
Michael Grossmann, president of NATA member company Castle Aviation is participating on the association’s behalf in an FAA-chartered Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) related to aircraft icing. The objective of the ARC is to recommend how supercooled large drop (SLD) rulemaking recommended for Part 25 airplanes can be adopted for Part 23 airplanes. Grossmann will be providing input on how proposed rules may impact operators of Part 23 aircraft. The ARC is expected to produce recommendations to the FAA and is planning ongoing meetings and teleconferences for the next 12 months.


NTSB Opens Docket On Investigation Into Hudson Accident
On April 28, 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) opened the public docket into the midair collision of an air tour helicopter and a small plane over the Hudson River last year.

On August 8, 2009, at 11:53 a.m. EDT, a Eurocopter AS 350 BA (N401LH) operated by Liberty Helicopters and a Piper PA-32R-300 (N71MC) operated by a private pilot collided in midair over the Hudson River near Hoboken, New Jersey, killing all occupants of both aircraft.

The docket includes investigative group factual reports, interview summaries, crew statements, air traffic control transcripts, controller statements, the meteorology report, and other documents. 

Conclusions and a determination of probable cause will come at a later date when the final report on the investigation is completed.

The docket material will be available on the NTSB Web site at in the FOIA electronic reading room.


2010 Compensation Survey Report Now Available
Visit the NATA Store at to purchase a copy
NATA has published its 2010 annual survey of general aviation service employee compensation. The survey report includes salaries and benefits for pilots, line-service personnel and maintenance technicians.

Employees’ compensation is broken down by geographic region of the country, by the company’s gross sales, by size of the town or city in which the company is located and by the number of employees in the company. In addition to pilots and maintenance technicians, the report includes compensation for inspectors, line service, and customer service representatives, among others.

Association Research Inc., a leading economic research firm based in Rockville, Maryland, conducted the salary study. 

The report is provided to NATA members who participated in the survey at no cost. The downloadable pdf is available to non-participating members for $125 and for $299 to non-NATA members. There is an additional $25 charge to receive a hardcopy of the report.

The Compensation Survey report may be purchased on the NATA Web site at under publications.


Almost 80 Companies Registered To Date For RA Check
Sign up for your Free 30-Day Trial
In less than two months, almost 80 companies have registered for RA Check. RA Check is NATA’s newest safety tool for the air charter community. RA Check combines safety management system (SMS)-required risk assessment with automated convenience. This tool fully automates the FAA-published Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT), which is designed to identify potential hazards prior to flight and weigh the risk associated with each hazard. 

Subscribers include organizations, such as the FAA, U.S. Navy, CostcoWholesale Aviation and international companies as near as Canada and as far away as Hong Kong.

To read an Aviation Business Journal article on RA Check, click here

To sign up for your free 30-day trial, click here.   

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Latest Aviation Business Journal Now Online
Featuring Member Profile – Montgomery Aviation and Much More
If it’s not already in your hand, the second quarter Aviation Business Journal should arrive in your company’s mailbox soon. In the meantime, you can read the latest issue by clicking here.

In this issue:

  • The EU’s Scheme to Reduce Carbon Emissions
  • Building Community and Airport Relations: Ideas You Can Implement
  • Industry Audit Standards: Fact or Fiction?
  • RA Check Can Jump Start Your Safety Program
  • Failing to Connect the Dots on Safety
  • President’s Message: Politics and Aviation: There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way
  • Inside Washington: NATA’s Air Charter Summit – A Great Place to Learn

Click here to read archived issues of the Aviation Business Journal.

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Byer’s Weekly Blog: 
This week, NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer discusses how NATA’s Air Charter Summit on June 7-9, 2010, is a can’t-miss event for the Part 135 and 91k communities. To read Byer’s blog, please click here.

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Weekly Web Survey
Would you attend a Fall FBO Success Seminar on a cruise?

Participate in survey.

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NextGen News
Recently, Air Traffic Controllers in Philadelphia began to have the ability to utilize NextGen Technologies while controlling traffic. According to a press release issued by the FAA last week:

Controllers in the Philadelphia area now have the capability to use a satellite-based system to more efficiently and safely track and separate aircraft…Potentially, they will be able to reduce separation in the en route environment from the current five nautical miles to three, saving both time and money for the airlines while reducing the carbon footprint. Pilots flying aircraft equipped with ADS-B know precisely where they are and are able to see other properly equipped aircraft. They also have access to better information on area weather and receive flight information electronically, such as airmen notices and temporary flight restrictions”

The FAA also went on to note that the agency is continuing the process of installing the ground-based infrastructure for ADS-B and expects it to be available nationwide in 2013. The FAA has proposed that aircraft equipage for ADS-B be completed by 2020.


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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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