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 NATA News

February 21, 2011                                                                        Volume 10 Issue 7



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:




Senate Finalizes Two-Year FAA Reauthorization Bill
Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate approved S. 223, FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. The bill authorizes the FAA through September 2013, among other provisions. In addition, the legislation authorizes the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and the extension of various aviation taxes, including the 14-cents-per-gallon increase on jet fuel that has been incorporated into previous legislation. No general aviation “user fee” provisions were included in the bill.

A major topic of debate while the bill was being considered on the floor of the U.S. Senate was the controversial issue of allowing additional long-distance flights into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Currently, 12 long-distance flights are allowed into and out of DCA daily. A compromise amendment doubles the number of flights with the potential for eight more after a thorough FAA study.

“NATA is pleased that the Senate has worked so diligently to pass such an important bill for the aviation industry,” stated NATA President James K. Coyne. “We thank Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Rockefeller and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison for shepherding this bi-partisan legislation through the Senate.”

With the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure marking up its version of long-term legislation earlier this week, there is optimism that the full House will soon approve the bill so a House-Senate conference committee can meet to resolve remaining differences between the bills and then send to the President. “As the March 31st deadline looms, we encourage leaders in both the House and Senate to continue building on this progress so a long-term bill can reach the President’s desk without having to do another short-term extension,” Coyne concluded.

To view NATA’s Legislative Report on S. 223, please click here.


Coyne Applauds Passage Of Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Bill By House Committee

Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure approved H.R. 658, FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011. A four-year bill, H.R. 658 includes a number of critically important initiatives including streamlining and authorizing funding for NextGen air traffic control modernization projects.

The bill also includes two provisions supported by the association that would require the FAA to address the consistency of its regulatory interpretations as well as to analyze the size and scope of the Part 135 on-demand air charter industry.

“We applaud the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for approving a comprehensive, long-term reauthorization bill,” stated NATA President James K. Coyne. “This bill provides a solid foundation to continue modernizing our air traffic control system, while addressing issues important to our membership including the lack of consistency with FAA regulatory interpretations and a study reviewing the makeup of the Part 135 industry.”

The House Committee on Ways and Means will next mark-up the tax title of the bill, and the complete bill will head to the Floor for consideration and approval by the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We thank Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica and Subcommittee on Aviation Chairman Thomas Petri for their leadership on this bill, and strongly support passage of the measure by the entire U.S. House of Representatives as soon as possible,” Coyne concluded.

To view NATA’s Legislative Report on H.R. 658, please click here.



President Offers FY 2012 Budget Proposal

Last week, President Obama offered his administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget proposal. The proposal, like last year’s, did not include any “user fee” proposals for the general aviation community and provides for a $370 million increase in funding for NextGen air traffic control modernization projects. The President’s budget also slashes Airport Improvement Project funding from $3.5 billion for FY 2011 to $2.4 billion in FY 2012.

“We believe that the President’s FY 2012 Budget proposal clearly identifies the need to modernize our nation’s air traffic control system,” stated NATA President James K. Coyne. “The President’s proposal is the first step in an important process to ensure the necessary funding to support NextGen, airport infrastructure development and a number of other critical safety programs.

Commenting on the recent letter sent to President Obama in opposition to the inclusion of user fees within his FY 2012 budget proposal, Coyne stated, “We also thank those House members who joined the letter to the President opposing new user fees for general aviation. We believe this letter helped provide the impetus for a budget proposal void of new user fee taxes on the general aviation community.”

To view NATA’s Legislative Report on the President’s FY 2012 budget proposal, please click here.



NATA Comments On Proposed Photo Pilot Certificate Rule

Last week, NATA submitted its comments to the FAA on the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would require photos on all pilot certificates.

NATA understands that the FAA is acting upon a congressional mandate requiring photographs on pilot certificates. However, NATA fails to see the benefit to pilots or overall aviation security by simply requiring photographs to be placed on those certificates. As such, NATA believes that relieving burdens on pilots and the industry in general must be a priority in this rulemaking,” stated NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France.

NATA published a regulatory report on these proposed rules in November 2010 that detailed the requirements of the NPRM. NATA targeted the following four specific items in its formal comments:

  • Ability to submit digital photos
  • Changes to the student pilot certificate
  • Expiration of photographs
  • Expansion of the designee program for identity verification

The full NPRM is available for download here.

Click here for NATA Regulatory Report on the Photo Pilot Certificate NPRM.

Click here for NATA’s comments on the Photo Pilot Certificate NPRM.


NATA Supports Industry Effort To Count Sport Pilot Training Hours

Last week, NATA indicated its support, in a letter to the FAA, of the industry effort to petition the agency to change the rules prohibiting sport pilot training hours from counting towards training for a Recreational or Private Pilot Certificate.

The controversy began with a 2009 legal interpretation from the FAA’s Office of Chief Counsel that stated, “The FAA … does not permit flight training provided by [sport pilot] instructor(s) to be used to meet the flight training requirements [for a private or recreational pilot certificate.” This interpretation places a roadblock in front of sport pilots who received their initial training from a sport plot instructor but now wish to move on to higher ratings. Those pilots are, in essence, required to start over and complete the same number of hours of training as an individual who has never flown an airplane when pursuing a private pilot certificate.

The petition for a change in rules was originally submitted to the FAA by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufactures Association and the National Association of Flight Instructors. The petition calls for changes to Part 61 that would allow training provided by a sport pilot instructor to count toward a private or recreational pilot certificate while still requiring all additional training necessary to be provided by a traditional Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).

“Creating a regulatory environment that recognizes achievement and training is vital to ensuring the long-term success of our industry and creating safe pilots,” said NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France in a recent Policy Playbook Blog on the subject. France went on to discuss how vital it is for the industry to be able to create a pathway for sport pilots to continue their flight training and achieve higher ratings without receiving a “training penalty.”

Click here to view the full rulemaking petition.

Click here to view NATA’s letter of support.

Click here to visit NATA’s Policy Playbook Blog!



Concerns Raised Over Replacement Of Incandescent Bulbs With LEDs At Airports
The FAA is alerting all users of advanced vision systems to be aware that airports are replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with LED lights and that the LEDs can be significantly less visible. LED lights are also being used to light obstacles.

Certain systems, including Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) and Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS), rely on thermal imaging process for vision enhancement, and the ability of those devices to image LEDs is greatly diminished due to the light wave length and heat signature of LED lights when compared to incandescent bulbs. As a result, LEDs are not sensed by EFVS and EVS.

Users of Night Vision Goggles (NVG) are also notified of issues with LEDs. NVGs rely upon light amplification, but some LEDs fall outside the spectrum of NVG.

The FAA summarized its caution to users of EFVS, EVS and NVG equipment by stating, “Dramatic image changes may occur when maneuvering from a surface marked with incandescent lights to a surface marked with LED lights, additionally, LED obstacle beacons may be more difficult to identify.”

The FAA is currently working to arrive at solutions that will permit full interoperability between LEDs and advanced vision systems.

EFVS, EVS and NVG users are encouraged to review the FAA Information Document on this subject.


Should Federal Excise Taxes Be Applied to Landing Fees?
Find Out In A New Webinar For Charter Operators On March 9
A new NATA e-Learn Webinar, "FET Overview for Air Charter Operators," will give employees responsible for managing federal excise tax (FET) assessment, collection or remittance for air charter operations the knowledge to accomplish those tasks successfully.

Have you ever been confused about why some flights to Canada are taxed as domestic and others as international?

Are you unsure of whether to apply FET to landing fees or overnight expenses for the crew?

Do you know if hospitals, universities and other non-profits are exempt from FET?

If you're looking for the answers to these questions, you need to attend NATA's newest Webinar on Wednesday, March 9, at noon EST.

Topics Covered

  • Commercial and Noncommercial FET rates
  • Items subject to and exempt from FET
  • Operations exempt from FET
  • Fuel credits
  • IRS Forms and Publications


Jacqueline Rosser, Director of Regulatory Affairs, NATA


Click here to register now. Registration for "FET Overview for Air Charter Operators" is $49.95 per location and includes a copy of presentation materials and link to a recording of the webinar.


Spring Training Starts Today
Participate in the Home Version of the Spring Training "Sports Trivia Challenge"

NATA's Spring Training Week is in full swing in Las Vegas starting today with day one of the popular Line Service Supervisor Training Seminar. The event continues with the NATA Safety 1st Trainer Seminar on February 23 and Environmental Compliance Seminar on February 24 (the only one offered in 2011). NATA's Spring Training Week is once again being held in conjunction with the Cygnus Aviation Expo (February 23-25). Stop by NATA's booth (booth 1804) to say hello and to participate in the Sports Trivia Challenge for a chance to win one of two gift cards or a webinar registration.

In the meantime, participate in the home version of the Sports Trivia Challenge by answering this question:

"Name the past NATA event guest speaker who has coached 66 players who have either been drafted or played professional basketball."

The first person to email the correct answer to will recieve an NATA baseball cap! 

Seminar spaces are filling fast, please visit for more details and register on site today! Spring Training seminars take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.



2010 NATA Industry Excellence Awards Call For Nominations

NATA has published its annual call for nominations to acknowledge the individuals, offices, and organizations demonstrating excellence in their field and the highest level of customer service to the general aviation community.

Each year, NATA presents seven awards to the exceptional individuals and companies that have helped to improve the general aviation community. The recipients of five of these awards are chosen based upon NATA member-submitted nominations.

These awards cover five categories:

The Airport Executive Partnership Award recognizes an airport manager for outstanding efforts to nurture the relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators.

The Aviation Journalism Award identifies a journalist, writer, or publication that excels in consumer education or editorial support that is beneficial to the general aviation industry.

The Excellence In Pilot Training Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in safety, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in the field of pilot training.

The FAA Customer Service Excellence Award recognizes an FAA facility or facility staff member who represents the highest degree of customer service and elevates the quality of interaction between the FAA and aircraft maintenance and repair facilities, Part 135 certificate holders, airport service organizations, and flight schools.

The ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award acknowledges the exceptional performance of a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic or radio repairman who has practiced his or her craft for a period of 20 or more years.

Last year’s winners were:

  • Airport Executive Partnership Award – Eric Frankl, executive director, Blue Grass Airport
  • Aviation Journalism AwardAINalerts
  • Excellence In Pilot Training Award – Arlynn McMahon, director of training and marketing, Aero-Tech Aviation
  • FAA Customer Service Excellence Award – South Florida Flight Standards District Office
  • ATP/NATA General Aviation Service Technician Award – Pat James, field service engineer, Cessna Aircraft Company

All nominations for these five awards must be received by NATA no later than March 18, 2011. The nomination form is available by clicking here. Members may also obtain a nomination form by calling the NATA headquarters at 800-808-6282 or by e-mailing Celeste Clark.

The awards will be presented during the 2011 NATA Day on the Hill and Spring Committee Meetings to be held in the Washington, DC area.




Byer’s Blog

NATA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Eric R. Byer’s latest blog focuses on another busy week of legislative activity on Capitol Hill involving FAA reauthorization legislation.

To read Byer’s blog, please click here.



Policy Playbook Blog “Removing Training Roadblocks”

NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France discussesthe industry effort to petition the agency to change the rules prohibiting sport pilot training hours from counting towards training for a recreational or private pilot certificate.

To read the blog, please click here.



NATA Environmental Compliance Minute
In this month’s Environmental Compliance Minute, presenter George Gamble, of 2G Environmental, spends a few minutes discussing Tier II reporting requirements. If your facility stores aviation fuel, you are most likely covered under the Community Right to Know Act and are required to submit Tier II information annually by February 28. Click on the link below to view this month’s Environmental Compliance Minute.


Click Here To View
(Please be patient while video loads. Runtime: 3-5 min.)


NATA’s Office Closed In Observance Of Presidents’ Day Holiday

NATA Headquarters will be closed today in observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday. NATA offices will resume normal office hours tomorrow.




 NATA Sustaining Members:




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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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