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ASC Monthly Update

November 30, 2010                                                                                             Volume 6 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..


Upcoming Events

NATA's 2011 FBO Leadership Conference - Savannah, GA - 02/07/2011

NATA's 2011 Spring Training Seminars - Las Vegas, NV - 02/21/2011

Line Service Supervisor Training- 02/21/2011

NATA Safety 1st Trainer- 02/23/2011

Environmental Compliance Seminar- 02/24/2011

E-learn Webinar Series:

Purchase archived Webinars by clicking here




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.   

Visit Website  

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Quarterly Conference Call Held
Due to the cancellation of the October 24-25, 2010, meeting in Las Vegas, NV, the NATA Airline Services Council held its quarterly meeting via conference call on November 17, 2010. The meeting included a variety of speakers addressing air cargo security, airline bankruptcy, insurance, legislative update, and streamlined badging processing.

To read the Minutes of this call, please click here.

For more information about the conference call, please contact Eric R. Byer on the NATA staff.

Rockefeller And Dorgan Make A Final Push For Passage Of FAA Reauthorization
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Subcommittee on Aviation, Operations, Safety and Security Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) are pushing their Senate colleagues to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization in the lame duck Congress.

"We have relied on too many short-term reauthorizations and stop-gap measures. It's time to get this reauthorization bill passed," Chairman Rockefeller said. "This bill will improve the safety of our skies, modernize our air traffic control system and support jobs. The time to act is now."

Chairman Dorgan said, "The failure to pass a bill that will do the things necessary to support our aviation system in America will be a significant loss for our country.

The passing of a full authorization will provide the FAA much needed stability to issue federal grants to airports for critical aviation infrastructure projects. In addition to the important aspect of modernizing our nation’s air traffic control system that will support jobs, FAA reauthorization is important to our aviation stakeholders and international partners who depend on the clarity this legislation offers on critical certification and support programs.

Congress returns to Washington next week; however, neither the House nor Senate has determined an adjournment date.

Administrator Pistole Addresses Senate Committee On Oversight Of TSA
On November 17, members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation heard testimony from Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole as he laid out the agency’s priorities in response to recent security and privacy issues. Those priorities include improving the TSA’s counterterrorism focus through intelligence and cutting-edge technology, supporting the TSA workforce, and strengthening the TSA’s relationships with stakeholders and the traveling public.

Since his swearing in this past July, Pistole has vowed to lead the TSA “through the next stage in its development as this young agency matures into a high-performance, world-class organization.” In addition, Pistole stated, “To defeat the past and recent threats against our country, we must take every precaution to ensure that our screening of cargo and passengers is thorough and well-accepted in order to produce a transportation system that is safe and fair to those who use it.”

Committee Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) agreed, stating, “We must take appropriate action to close any security loopholes, while making sure our global transportation system continues to move people, freight, and goods in an effective manner.” He acknowledged that the TSA has enormous responsibilities and multiple missions, but that it must remain flexible and well-resourced in its response to potential threats.

FAA Issues SMS NPRM For Part 121 Air Carriers
On November 5, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would require all Part 121 certificated air carriers to develop and implement a Safety Management System (SMS). In issuing this NPRM, the FAA is responding to requirements contained in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 as well as requirements enacted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for SMS’s for Part 121 air carriers.

The FAA describes an SMS as “a comprehensive, process-oriented approach to managing safety throughout an organization [that] includes an organization-wide safety policy; formal methods for identifying hazards, controlling, and continually assessing risk; and promotion of a safety culture.” The NPRM would require that Part 121 certificated air carriers develop an SMS program that consists of the four components outlined in the ICAO requirements:

  • Safety Policy
  • Safety Risk Management
  • Safety Assurance
  • Safety Promotion

In this NPRM, the FAA proposes an implementation time frame that would require all currently certificated Part 121 air carriers to submit an implementation plan within six months of the effective date of a final published rule. This implementation plan would be required to “ensure the certificate holder’s SMS would be fully operational within three years of the effective date (of a final rule).” The NPRM preamble specifically requests public comment on the timeframe for submission of an implementation plan.

The NPRM has been published in the Federal Register and will be open for public comment until February 2, 2011. 

GAO Report On FAA Standardization Fails To Recognize Impact On Aviation Industry
Last Friday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued an aviation safety report, “Certification and Approval Processes are Generally Viewed as Working Well, but Better Evaluative Information Needed to Improve Efficiency.” The report, requested by Representatives John Mica (R-FL) and Pete Sessions (R-TX), is in response to the NATA request to the Congressmen that they initiate a review into the lack of standardization of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory interpretations at the regional and locals levels.

The report unfortunately misses the mark in that it fails to provide meaningful information on the root cause and scope of the FAA regulatory interpretation inconsistencies and lacks an insightful analysis on how aviation businesses are impacted every day. Consequently, it serves only to highlight, again, that there is a problem. The following key failures in the report prevent it from being a useful tool in identifying a path to a long-term solution:

  • The GAO report does not provide any empirical data on the scope of inconsistent regulatory interpretation.
  • The report falls short in its attempt to categorize the types of circumstances in which inconsistent regulatory interpretations occur.
  • The report does not explore or evaluate the impact on certificate holders of a local inspector’s preference or opinion on how to meet regulatory requirements when previously the certificate holders’ current process was approved by another inspector.
  • The analysis omits the key causes of problems in certification and approval processes in flight standards. Those were identified by an expert panel as FAA culture, lack of accountability, rulemaking and guidance development process.
  • Implementation of the top two recommended solutions to the issues involved with the certification and approval process – a change in FAA culture (increased accountability) and universal acceptance – was not explored.
  • The GAO’s recommended actions are so vague and non-specific as to be only marginally effective in addressing the core problem.

The report does highlight, as has been known, that industry believes there are problems in the FAA’s processes related to certification and approvals. Before these problems can be addressed, a comprehensive evaluation to determine the full extent of this problem, including sufficient data to categorize variations by identifiable events within the certification and approval process, is necessary.

When the association conducted its review on the impact the lack of FAA standardization is having on the aviation industry, it was clear that respondents were spending an inordinate amount of time and resources complying with varying regional and local regulatory interpretations,” NATA President James K. Coyne stated. “The GAO report does not address these issues as we hoped it would.”

“Make no mistake about it, the lack of standardization on regulatory interpretations is a continuing and mounting challenge for the aviation industry,” Coyne concluded. “While this report does not address this ongoing concern, NATA will continue to make this issue one of the association’s top priorities in 2011 and beyond to ensure that standardization becomes a reality for our industry.”

Cold Weather Protection
Jack Evans, ASC Chairman
With cold weather once again upon us, it’s time to remind our team members about the dangers of working in really cold weather. Hypothermia, frost bite, and trench foot are a constant concern in cold weather environments for those in the northern latitudes. The difficult part for many to understand is that hypothermia can even occur at temperatures above freezing with wet clothes and a good breeze. So when the temperature drops below zero, even greater diligence is required.

The federal government under the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has information on what to do in cold weather conditions. (See OSHA Fact Sheet - Protecting Workers in Cold Environments Training and safety personnel will find useful information on this Web site.

Two important things we can do to protect our team members are train our employees on the hazards of operating in a cold environment and train our supervisors to be on the lookout for and recognize signs of cold stress. These are things that should be done ahead of time instead of waiting until it’s 25 degrees below zero with wind and blowing snow.

There are simple things that employees can do before even showing up for work. Precautions such as wearing layered clothing and eating and drinking properly will help the individual to hold up better in really cold weather. OSHA recommends three layers of clothing to control body heating better and therefore perspiration, which will tend to draw heat away from the body. Here’s where something like polypropylene clothing next to the skin really comes in handy.

Prior to arriving at work, the individual should drink plenty of liquids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol. This reduces the possibility of dehydration and is an important preventive step. Eating properly is also important. Meals should consist of high calorie foods such as pasta to maintain energy reserves. Finally, keeping the extremities warm with hat and gloves will prevent a lot of heat loss as up to 40% of body heat can be lost through the head alone.

For supervisors, the key is to be aware of the effects of cold stress and not allow individuals to get themselves in trouble. In colder conditions, the body will first try to keep its internal core temperature up. That means that blood will be shifted away from an individual’s extremities and outer skin to the body’s core of chest, abdomen and vital organs. This increases the chance of frostbite. Supervisors should keep an eye out for exposed skin and intervene if skin changes color or looks abnormal.

Cold weather also impacts judgment. As the body’s core temperature drops from 98.6 degrees to 95 degrees, the body begins to shiver to generate heat. It’s hard to make sound decisions if the body is shivering uncontrollably. Supervisors need to allow employees to take periodic breaks and get something to eat to keep their core temperature up.

Another good way of protecting individuals is by setting up a buddy system. Employees watch out for each other and are encouraged to intervene if behavior changes or one person starts having difficulty. It may slow down the operations if employees have to take breaks to warm up, but there are few customers out there who will want team members to risk accident and injury to push on-time performance in severe conditions. And someone needs to monitor the supervisor to prohibit him or her from being so “gung-ho” that the supervisor jeopardizes his or her own safety or that of the subordinates.

So, this season make sure your team members are aware of the cold weather hazards and prevent anyone from having to learn a lesson that has been learned many times before. Proper preparation and supervision will prevent the cold weather hazards we deal with from having a dangerous impact.

Confined Spaces
By Leonard Kirsch, Esq., McBreen & Kopko
What do you do, when you have engaged an outside contractor to clean or repair an aboveground or underground storage tank and he or she appears?

Nothing. He or she is not sufficient. You go forward only if “they” appear. Work in confined spaces must be done by persons certified in doing confined space work. Never allow one person to do this work alone. There must always be two people — one to enter the tank and the other trained to assist this person if he or she is overcome with fumes or is otherwise disabled. Both should show you their certification, there should be personal protective equipment available, and they should have some idea of the chemicals stored in the tank or an ability to test for chemicals present before entering the tank. Remember some chemicals do not give off an odor. Whether you have trained personnel on staff or not, it is always better to engage an outside contractor with its own Workers’ Compensation and Employer’s Liability Insurance policy that performs this work as its “core business.”  

Member Company Profile: Swissport
As the largest aviation services provider in the world, Swissport offers a full range of quality products at 179 airports in 38 countries. We have over 650 airline customers and approximately 32,000 employees worldwide. We handle over two million flights, 70 million passengers and nearly three million metric tons of cargo each year.

Swissport is the leading global airport and aviation service provider in terms of quality, reliability, customer dedication, growth, innovation and network coverage. We offer a wide range of products at optimum value and provide an attractive return on investment for all parties involved. Our mission is to be a reliable and professional contributor and a recognized partner in creating value and results for our shareholder.

In the Americas, Swissport has a workforce of approximately 15,000 people employed at 79 stations in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America and Mexico. Our locations stretch from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia on the southernmost tip of Argentina.

The Americas Division is aligned by product line into two groups, the Ground Handling (GH) division led by Richard van Bruygom and the Cargo (SCS) division led by John Batten. The Shared Services Department, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, supports the two groups in the areas of finance, human resources and benefits, IT, legal, ops support, safety, sales and training.

Swissport is dedicated to providing our airline customers with the highest levels of service and customer satisfaction in the aviation services industry. In 2010, we implemented a new initiative, The Swissport Formula. With Swissport Formula, customers and employees experience the benefits of global alignment, standardization and consistency. This program has changed our company culture from a local understanding of the way of doing things to a more global approach, further ensuring that Swissport remains the industry benchmark in terms of delivering optimum quality, high productivity and competitive costs.

Swissport's strong positioning within the aviation services industry is reflected in our award of two major industry distinctions, the Global Aviation Ground Services Company 2009 and Air Cargo Handling Agent 2009.

Three Top-Notch Seminars, One Fabulous Location
Your Time To Shine At Spring Training Week In Vegas
NATA hosts its third annual Spring Training Week (February 21-24) in conjunction with the Cygnus Aviation Expo (February 23-25) in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event features many opportunities to help develop training skills and provide information necessary for improved performance in 2011 and for years to come.

The following NATA Spring Training seminars are scheduled to allow you to attend all three and spend some time on the Cygnus show floor:

- Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar - February 21-22 (view LSST preview on event page)
- NATA Safety 1st Trainer Seminar - February 23
- NATA Environmental Compliance Seminar - February 24

Cygnus Aviation Expo
The 2011 Cygnus Aviation Expo promises to be bigger and better than ever! It is the only aviation industry trade show that brings together 250+ exhibitors from ground support, FBO/aviation services and aircraft maintenance. Network with industry peers and check out the latest and greatest in technology products and services on the show floor.

The Most Productive Week Of Training In A Fun Setting
The NATA 2011 Spring Training Week brochure will arrive in your mailbox in the next few weeks. In the meantime, visit for links to seminar details and to register for one or more of the seminars.

NATA Fuel Handling And Quality Control Guide Now Available For Pre-Order
The 2011 revision of NATA’s popular publication, “Refueling and Quality Control Procedures for Airport Service and Support Operations” is now available for pre-order for NATA members. The 2011 revision is a complete rewrite that includes full-color photographs and a new easy-to-read format. “Refueling and Quality Control Procedures for Airport Service and Support Operations” is referenced in FAA advisory circular (AC) 150/5230-4A, Aircraft Fuel Storage, Handling and Dispensing on Airports as an authoritative source for “information about fuel safety, types of aviation fuels, fueling vehicle safety, facility inspection procedures, fueling procedures, and methods for handling fuel spills.”

The goal of this guide is to provide airport fuel service providers a comprehensive, easy-to-understand review of the many complex standards and requirements for the handling of aviation fuel. The incorporation of full-color photographs adds to the usefulness of the 2011 revision as a teaching tool for new and seasoned fuel handling technicians alike.

The 2011 revision is expected to be available for delivery in mid-December. The price for this guide is $150 for NATA members and $250 for non-members. However, NATA members placing a pre-order now can receive this invaluable guide for only $130. Don’t miss your opportunity to get this industry-leading guide for a pre-publication price! Click the link below to order now!

Pre-order your copy of NATA’s “Refueling and Quality Control Procedures for Airport Service and Support Operations” now!

NATA Releases GA-Specific De/Anti-Icing Training Module
Last week, NATA Safety 1st released an online De/Anti-icing Training Module to complement its Professional Line Service Training (PLST) Online Training. NATA’s Safety 1st De/Anti-icing module is designed specifically for the general aviation industry to familiarize line service specialists with the responsibilities of their job and give an overview of the skills necessary for safe aircraft departures in winter weather.

Included in the training are de/anti-icing best practices and procedures, vivid videos and photos to help shape understanding, resources such as current Federal Aviation Administration holdover tables, quizzes throughout to reinforce major concepts and a final exam to ensure comprehension – all combined in a thorough online package for consistent training of the de-icing crew.

What’s covered in the de/anti-icing training module?

  • Introduction: reviews the crucial reasons for de-icing and the effects of icing on aircraft flight.
  • De-icing and Anti-icing Fluids: covers the different types of fluids, their characteristics and their primary usage.
  • De-icing and Anti-icing Application: covers specifics on when and how to apply the different fluid types.
  • De-icing and Anti-icing Safety: discusses personal protective equipment requirements and procedures for the safe operation of your de-icing equipment.
  • De-icing Procedures: discusses techniques to de-ice aircraft effectively and best practices to follow.
  • Anti-icing Fluid Application: stresses what to do and what NOT to do when applying anti-icing fluids.
  • Final Preparations For Departure: covers your responsibilities as well as what to expect from the flight crew after de/anti-icing and prior to aircraft departure.

“NATA’s Safety 1st developed this online de/anti-icing module in response to our members who have asked for general aviation-specific training to fulfill their winter weather needs,” said NATA Director of Safety and Training Amy Koranda. “In the past, our members have turned to de/anti-icing training suited for the airlines and it just doesn’t fit the bill for our industry.”

NATA’s Safety 1st online training such as this de/anti-icing module is comprehensive – everything needed to train, test and track line specialists is included in convenient online modules. Pricing for the online training is based on a sliding scale.

To view a demo of NATA’s Safety 1st De/Anti-icing Training Module and access a link to order, visit  

“At NATA, Safety 1st is not just a name, it is a mission. We continue to set the industry standard in safety by developing convenient, cost effective training in best practices and procedures specific to our members’ needs,” added NATA President James K. Coyne.

Are You Paying Too Much For Uniform Services?
NATA has partnered with ARAMARK Uniform Services to provide its members access to a discounted uniform rental and leasing solution. This money- and time-saving membership benefit was negotiated to provide added value to your membership.

NATA members may now take advantage of these valuable and convenient savings:

• 20% off rental and lease uniform rates
• 20% off facility services (mats, towels, mops, restroom supplies, etc.) 

To learn more about ARAMARK and the products and services that are available, please click here.

To set up a meeting with an ARAMARK representative to review your uniform and facility services needs, please call Tania Allaire at (818) 973-3906 or send an email to

Please mention source code # 197336.

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2010 NATA Airline Services Council Brochure Now Available For Member Use
Earlier this year, NATA updated and published its 2010 NATA Airline Services Council brochure. This brochure provides information on the latest activities that the NATA ASC is undertaking, including issues, meeting schedule and member listing.

The 2010 NATA ASC brochure is now available for download by clicking here.

Members interested in receiving professionally printed hard copies of this brochure may contact Eric Byer on the NATA staff.

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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Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-0396