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 NATA News

January 10, 2011                                                                          Volume 10 Issue 2




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.

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:





NATA Addresses The Use of Recovery Grant Funds For Airport Owned FBO Construction
Last week, NATA President James K. Coyne raised concerns over the FAA’s disbursement of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant to the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority (CMAA) for the purposes of constructing a new airport-owned FBO facility. Specifically, the federal funds are being used by the CMAA to construct an apron to be used by the new airport owned FBO. In a letter to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, Coyne expressed his concern that “longstanding FAA policy has deemed revenue-generating, commercial facility infrastructure as ineligible for federal grant funding, and the approval of this grant and accompanying distribution of funds appear to be a dangerous shift in policy.”

The initial grant application by the CMAA describes the purpose of the project as “the construction of additional ramp…to meet increased infrastructure demands.” However, later filings by the CMAA and a grant summary found on describe the rationale for the project as “Develop a FBO to handle corporate traffic.” In addition to receiving federal funding, the CMAA is using Tennessee grant funds to construct this airport-owned FBO that will then compete against the existing privately owned and funded FBO.

Coyne closed his letter to Administrator Babbitt by noting that “allowing this use of federal funds threatens the future of all FAA grant programs. It would be reasonable to believe that, if allowed, airports would prefer to spend “free” federal dollars on projects that offer a commercial revenue return rather than on projects that benefit all users of an airport and the National Airspace System in general... Providing grant funding for [the construction of] commercial service facilities negates the need for an economic evaluation and reduces the [airport’s] decision as to whether additional facilities should be constructed to the simple question: Can I get the federal government to pay for this project?”

Coyne’s full letter to Administrator Babbitt can be viewed here.


FAA Intends To Change Key Duty Interpretation For Part 135

In a Notice of Proposed Interpretation, the FAA has announced it intends to revise existing Part 135 interpretations that permit flight crews to extend their duty day when unexpected circumstances, such as late arriving passengers and cargo, occur.

Regulations for on-demand operators require that at the end of a duty period the operator must be able to look back over the prior 24 hours and be able to identify a minimum 10-hour rest period (14 CFR 135.276(d)). This essentially creates the opportunity for a planned duty day of up to 14 hours. Existing FAA interpretations of that specific regulation stipulate that it is permissible to have the duty day extend beyond the originally planned time if reasonably unforeseen events occur.

A 1992 FAA interpretation of the regulation states:
“The key to the applicability of § 135.267(d) is in the final phrase “planned completion time of the assignment” (emphasis added). If the original planning is upset for reasons beyond the control of the crew and operator, the flight may nevertheless be conducted, though crew duty time may extend beyond the planned completion. This assumes, of course, that the original planning was realistic.

As to what circumstances are beyond the control of the operator and crew, the FAA has taken the position that delays caused by late passenger arrivals, maintenance difficulties, and adverse weather constitute circumstances beyond the certificate holder's control." Interpretation 1992-4 to Fred R. Hutson.

With the Notice of Proposed Interpretation, the FAA has announced its intention to reject those prior interpretations of §135.267(d) in favor of an interpretation issued in 2000 that related to Part 121 regulations. That interpretation, known as the “Whitlow Letter,” required Part 121 air carriers to evaluate their compliance with rest requirements on a per-flight segment basis whereas previously the airlines followed a “good to start, good to finish” policy when evaluating crew duty and rest compliance.

Under the new interpretation, if adopted, Part 135 operators would no longer be permitted to extend a crew duty day for unforeseen circumstances that occur prior to departure of the final flight segment. Prior to each take off, the crew and operator must be able to determine that the flight should reasonably be completed in sufficient time to ensure that the end-of-the-duty-day-24-hour-look-back will show a 10-hour rest period. Otherwise, the flight may not be initiated.

NATA is very concerned with the FAA’s rejection of prior interpretations and the agency’s effort to apply Part 121 interpretations to Part 135. The association continues to advocate that the FAA should conduct a full re-write of the existing Part 135 flight, duty and rest rules to effect changes in how crew duty is assigned and managed rather than resort to manipulation of the issue via legal interpretations. NATA and other industry participants recommended significant rule changes to the FAA on this issue during the Part 135 Aviation Rulemaking Committee. Establishment of a hard duty limit was one recommendation, but it was balanced by a host of other regulatory changes. The FAA has never responded to that recommendation.

The FAA is accepting comments on the Notice of Proposed Interpretation through January 24, 2011.

All affected operators are strongly encouraged to submit their views on the issue to the FAA prior to the close of the comment period.

Click here to download the Notice of Proposed Interpretation.



Bill Introduced In CA Legislature To Lower Jet Fuel Tax By 50%

The current jet fuel tax imposed by the California is two cents per gallon of jet fuel sold or used by a fuel dealer. Assembly Bill 81 (AB 81), introduced in the California Assembly on January 4 by Assemblyman Jim Beall (24th district), proposes lowering that tax by 50% to one cent per gallon. No action has yet been taken on this bill, and final passage would require a majority vote from both houses of the California legislature. Due to the economic enabling effect of general aviation, NATA is supportive of the proposed bill and will monitor its status in the coming weeks.

112th Congress Sworn In; Rep. John Boehner Officially Elected Speaker of the House

On January 5, 2011, Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives were sworn in, marking the beginning of the 112th Congress. Last year’s historic election victory brought 94 new members, 85 of whom are Republican, to the U.S. House of Representatives alone. During the official swearing in ceremony, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) handed over the gavel to the newly elected Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH).

Rule changes have taken place this week to reduce Congress’ total operating budget. The House passed a rule to reduce spending for all legislative offices and committees by 5%, while the Committee on Appropriations instituted a 9% reduction in spending. The budget cuts are expected to save $35 million in the congressional operating budget and answer the call from taxpayers to put the economy and jobs of the American public first.



NTSB To Consider Effects of Airbag Use In GA Aircraft
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced that it will consider the safety impacts of airbag use in general aviation aircraft during a public meeting on January 11. The meeting will review the results of a study on the effects of airbag use including:
  • The effectiveness of airbags in mitigating occupant injury in survivable general aviation accidents
  • The identification of any unintended consequences of airbag deployments
  • The development of procedures to assist investigators in documenting airbag systems in future investigations

The meeting will be held on January 11, at 9:30 a.m., in the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C., and is open to the public. The meeting will also be available to view online by clicking here.


NTSB Recommends Inspection Of All GA Aircraft ELT Installations
Last week, the NTSB recommended that the FAA require the inspection of all ELTs installed in general aviation aircraft. The NTSB’s recommendations stem from the August 2010 aircraft crash in Alaska that killed Senator Ted Stevens. According to the NTSB, the crash caused the installed ELT to separate from its mounting and antenna rendering it useless.

"In this case, the airplane was equipped with a functioning 406 megahertz ELT, which can be a tremendous aid to search and rescue operations," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "But this vital life-saving technology won't do anyone any good if it doesn't stay connected to the antenna."     

In a letter to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, the NTSB recommended that the FAA:

  • Require a detailed inspection, during annual inspections, of all emergency locator transmitters installed in general aviation aircraft to ensure that the emergency locator transmitters are mounted and retained in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Determine if the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) mounting requirements and retention tests … are adequate to assess retention capabilities in ELT designs. Based on the results of this determination, revise, as necessary…requirements to ensure proper retention of ELTs during airplane accidents.

Two Opportunities to Review Aviation Fuel Quality Control
Webinar and Guidebook Provide Valuable Guidance

On January 12, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. (EST), NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France will host a webinar highlighting quality control procedures for general aviation facilities.

Aviation fuel quality control is a concern for any FBO, charter operator or corporate flight department that deliverers fuel into aircraft. Quality control is an overlapping system of procedures, inspections and tests that ensure that fuel delivered into aircraft is clean, dry and on-specification.

To sign up for this FREE webinar, click here.

Additional information and resources on this topic are also available in NATA's 2011 revision of its popular guidebook Refueling and Quality Control Procedures for Airport Service and Support Operations. The 2011 revision is a complete update that contains an in-depth review of topics relating to aviation fuel handling, full-color photographs and a new easy-to-read format.

FAA advisory circular (AC) 150/5230-4A, Aircraft Fuel Storage, Handling and Dispensing on Airports references this publication 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."

This guidebook is offered to NATA member companies at a special rate. Orders can be placed online at


FBO Leaders Convene In February To Discuss Industry Landscape
Register For the 2011 FBO Leadership Conference Today!

NATA’s 2011 FBO Leadership Conference takes place February 7-8 immediately preceding NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Savannah, Georgia. This is a must attend event for FBO leaders to meet with their customers and find out about the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

The first day conference agenda items include:

  • General Aviation Leadership Luncheon

Learn the latest developments from the general aviation industry’s top leaders as the community looks to rebound in 2011 from the recession.

  • Political Leadership Session

With Republicans picking up the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as a number of state governorships, how will the political landscape change in 2011 and what impact will these changes have on general aviation?

  • General Aviation Security Update

As the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continues to consider unveiling a new supplemental rule to the Large Aircraft Security Program, don’t miss this opportunity to learn what the TSA’s general manager of general aviation security has slated for this and other key issues in 2011.

  • Get The Most Out Of NATA’s Safety 1st & Workers’ Compensation Programs

USAIG President and CEO David McKay will begin by reviewing the types of losses NATA Workers’ Compensation Program participants are having and identify key areas where a renewed focus could have the greatest impact on the safety of your operation. NATA Director of Safety and Training Amy Koranda will cover best practices for incorporating industry standard safety programs such as NATA Safety 1st Professional Line Service Training, Operational Best Practices and a wealth of additional management and safety training resources into your operation and how to encourage staff engagement to address these key safety areas.

  • End day one of the FBO Leadership Conference discussing the day’s events, catching up with friends and relaxing at the Leadership Reception at the Westin.

To view the full program agenda, catch the preview video or register for the conference today, visit



Preview of Spring Training Week Events

NATA is pleased to host our third annual Spring Training Week in conjunction with the Cygnus Aviation Expo (formerly the Aviation Industry Expo) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spring Training is a line service camp featuring all-star seminars designed to enhance safety practices, provide major league knowledge and help you coach your team to a winning season. NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France and NATA Director of Safety and Training Amy Koranda host a video that will take you through this year’s event line up.

Spring Training Week Events Include:

  • Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar
  • NATA Safety 1st Trainer Seminar
  • Environmental Compliance Seminar
  • Sports Trivia Challenge for a chance to win prizes at NATA Booth 1804  

Click here to view the video; then visit to register today!


Byer’s Blog

NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer’s latest blog responds to a recent story in The Atlantic titled “Private Plane, Public Menace.”

To read Byer’s blog, please click here.



 NATA Sustaining Members:


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Phone: (800)808-6282
Fax: (703)845-8176

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