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June 13, 2011     null     Volume 10 Issue 24
Topics in this Volume


null2011 Air Charter Summit Highlights Key Issues Affecting Community

NATA concluded its popular Air Charter Summit last week. The Air Charter Summit is the Part 135 on-demand air charter industry's most important event with its wide array of business, regulatory and legislative topics on issues affecting the aviation community at-large. This year's summit included a robust agenda with issues that touched on all facets of the Part 135 and fractional program management communities, including charter brokering, Transportation Security Administration updates, audit standards, combating drug trafficking, frequently issued Part 135 violations and the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program. Popular sessions featured advice on how to protect your business against clawbacks in bankruptcy proceedings and a forum with the FAA Part 135 Branch where several industry hot topics were discussed, including the transfer of pilot training between operators and the use of iPads by flight crew.

Other Summit Highlights:

  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent In Charge Patrick Arata opened the summit with an overview of DEA and recent activities. Arata discussed possible indicators of drug trafficking, including modified tail numbers, blocked-out windows and recent paint jobs.
  • FAA Director of Flight Standards Service John Allen’s FAA regulatory briefing included an update on flight, duty and rest regulations. Allen said that the FAA is working through public comments on the proposed rules for Part 121 in order to publish a final rule by July 31. He also said that it is likely that future rulemaking efforts will propose extending the Part 121 rule to Part 135.
  • The 2011 Air Charter Summit also helped NATA and McFarren Aviation Consulting highlight their support of the Veteran’s Airlift Command (VAC). NATA and McFarren Aviation Consulting pledged $10 each per attendee with a combined minimum of $5,000 in addition to money and other contributions by NATA members and summit attendees. The VAC is a charitable organization that provides free air transportation to wounded warriors, veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes. Thousands of dollars were raised through this effort, but much more can be done to help support wounded warriors. Visit to find out how you can contribute funds, donate unused card member or fractional share flight hours or give a corporate gift of flight hours.  

NATA President James K. Coyne said, "The solid turnout at this year’s Air Charter Summit illustrates an engaged and active Part 135 community. There is no shortage of issues facing Part 135 and NATA’s Air Charter Summit is the premier event to increase awareness of the existence of these issues and where they stand, provide a forum for discussion and present resources to address questions and challenges.”

“I am especially pleased that a portion of the proceeds of this year’s summit will help support the work of the Veteran’s Airlift Command. I encourage everyone to visit to find out how they can continue to contribute to this noble and worthy cause,” concluded Coyne.

Visit to obtain copies of speaker presentations.

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nullNATA Comments On Proposed 139 Airports SMS Rule

Last week, NATA submitted its formal comments on the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would create a requirement for airports certificated under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 139 (Part 139), to develop and implement a Safety Management System (SMS). The SMS proposed in the rulemaking would extend to aircraft movement and non-movement areas on the airside of the airport, including exclusive use ramp space leased by airport tenants such as fixed base operators, flight schools and maintenance facilities. Under this proposal, airport management would be required to assume the primary responsibility for safety on these tenant ramps. According to the FAA, that responsibility would extend to “issues including employee safety, ground vehicle safety, and passenger safety to the extent they are related to aircraft operations.”

In its comments, NATA expressed significant concern over the impact this proposal could have: “Under this proposal, the FAA firmly inserts the airport operator into a tenant’s business operations.[For example] if, in the airport’s sole determination, a proposed change, such as staffing levels, is determined to present a risk, the airport could prohibit that change.” NATA requested that the “rulemaking be modified to exempt from the airport’s SMS oversight areas exclusively leased for use to tenant businesses.”

In addition to the issue of SMS implementation on tenant ramps, NATA commented on the following topics:

  • Multiple SMS standards
  • Regulatory authority of an SMS standard
  • Need for approval of an airports SMS
  • Inspector guidance and training

Click here to read NATA's full comments on

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nullCongressional Committee Reports On Private Screening Vs. Federal Screening Model

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released a report on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) airport passenger security screening models. The report demonstrates that the private-federal screening option known as the Screening Partnership Program (SPP) is the most cost-effective screening model. The report further illustrates that the all-federal screening model is more costly and less efficient.
The Aviation Transportation Security Act of 2001 (ATSA), which created the SPP, was signed into law following the September 11, 2001terrorist attacks. The SPP was established to allow TSA-certified contractors, under federal supervision and regulation, to conduct passenger and baggage screening at airports. The law provided that airports could “opt out” of all-federal screening and utilize private screening contractors. 

To read a summary of the committee report and its recommendations, please click here.

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nullConfused By Air Charter Taxes? COTS Has Answers!

COTS is the Commercial Operators Tax Seminar. A two-day seminar presented by NATA and Conklin & de Decker, COTS provides operators with detailed information on federal excise taxes (FET), how those taxes intertwine with FAA operational regulations, tips for surviving an FET audit and other key tax issues. 

For 2011, COTS is in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on August 23 – 24. Early registration is now available.

All sessions are designed to answer the questions most commonly faced in an on-demand operation and provide attendees with clear, concise guidance to take back to the office.
NATA and Conklin & de Decker know that those involved in the air charter industry often have numerous tax questions. This is why ample question-and-answer time is provided to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their unique situation addressed.

You can learn more about COTS by participating in a free one-hour webinar on June 29 at noon. Join speakers and co-hosts Nel Stubbs of Conklin & de Decker and Jacqueline Rosser of NATA as they provide an overview of the many topics covered during the seminar. Click here to register for the June 29 preview webinar.

For more information about the Commercial Operators Tax Seminar on August 23-24, including how to register, please visit

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nullFuel QC - NATA's E-Learn Summer Webinar Series Starts June 29

Every day, millions of gallons of aviation fuel are pumped into a wide range of general aviation aircraft. The fuel quality control chain has a myriad of different inspections and procedures that overlap to provide coverage so a failure in one area does not result in poor quality fuel being delivered to an aircraft. It is important to remember that it's not just the policies and procedures that make the system so successful - it is the people who implement them.

Professionalism, attention to detail and dedication are displayed by the thousands of individuals who, every day, ensure that the aviation fuel delivered to their customers is clean, dry and on-specification.

NATA is offering a summer series of webinars led by a panel of industry experts to help ensure that your team is equipped with the latest tips, techniques and knowledge on Fuel Quality Control. You may purchase single webinars or receive special pricing on packages to access the entire series.

The Fuel QC webinar series lineup includes:

June 29, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern
The Basics of Aviation Fuel Filtration And Mandatory Specifications by Frank Clark with Facet International and Fuel Receipt Procedures by Reed Fuller with Ascent Aviation

July 20, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern Contaminants In Fuel And How To Detect Them by Frank Clark with Facet International and If You Didn't Write It Down, Did You Actually Do It by Walter Chartrand with Air BP Aviation

August 3, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern Filtration And Separation Options by Frank Clark with Facet International and The Straight Scoop On Additives by Carl Hammonds with Hammonds Companies

August 17, 2011, 1300-1400 Eastern
Filter Equipment Maintenance Procedures: How And Why - What ATA-103 Requires by Frank Clark with Facet International and An Aircraft Operator’s View Of QC by Trace Talley with Flight Options

Visit to view individual webinar and package pricing and to register today.

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nullFact Of The Week – Aviation Fuel Quality Control

One of the most amazing pieces of technology in the aviation fuel quality control chain is the filter/water separator. The separator performs two vital tasks, fuel filtration and water separation, in the process of fuel quality control. Most filter/separator vessels contain two elements; a coalescing element and a separator element. The coalescing element pulls double duty, acting as both a filter for the fuel and as a mechanism to coalesce very small droplets of water into larger droplets that are then able to fall out of the fuel to the bottom of the vessel. The separator element, which is basically a fine metal mesh screen coated with a Teflon-like material that allows fuel but not water to pass through, prevents small amounts of water from passing through the vessel.

Most FBOs are aware of the need (or requirement) to change coalescing elements on an annual basis, but many also change the separator element at the same time as a matter of routine. However, most separator element’s manufacturers allow for the element to be inspected and returned to service if still functional. Spending a few minutes implementing the manufacturer’s recommended procedures for separator element inspection and return to service could save your FBO money on element replacement every year.

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    Upcoming Events

06/26-06/28 - St. Louis, MO AAAE GA Issues & Security Conference

06/28-06/29 - St. Louis, MO AAAE/AMCG Sponsor Assurances, Leasing Policies and Minimum Standards Workshop

08/23/2011 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2011 Commercial Operators Tax Seminar

10/09/2011 - Las Vegas, NV
2011 Fall Committee Meetings

11/07/2011 - Atlanta, GA
Line Service Supervisor Training

11/08/2011 - Atlanta, GA
FBO Success Seminar

03/05/2012 - Las Vegas, NV
2012 Spring Training

NATA E-Learn Webinars

Commercial Operators Tax Seminar Preview Webinar - 06/22/2011

Fuel Quality Control Webinar Series

Basics of Aviation Fuel Filtration And Mandatory Specifications Webinar -06/29/2011

Contaminants In Fuel And How To Detect Them Webinar - 07/20/2011

Filtration And Separation Options Webinar - 08/03/2011

Filter Equipment Maintenance Procedures: How And Why - What ATA-103 Requires - 08/17/2011

Special package discounts are available.

Click here to view archived webinar recording

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


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