(Originally published in the Q3 Aviation Business Journal)
There are many ways that NATA members can actively contribute to the association’s efforts throughout the general aviation industry. NATA’s four committees are great examples of how members can help the association make a positive impact on our industry. These groups meet at our annual conferences—the Aviation Business Conference in June and the Aviation Leadership Conference in November—along with several other times during the year. The committees are also great resources for members seeking information or help pertaining to their businesses.
I hope you will feel compelled to reach out to our committee liaisons and their leaders if you are interested in joining, or if you would like assistance with an issue that you are facing. NATA is here to serve the needs of our members, not the other way around. We encourage you to take advantage of all our offerings, including interacting and networking with fellow aviation business professionals and experts.
If you have any further questions, comments or concerns, please reach out to me directly at TObitts@nata.aero. Keep reading below for a description of each of NATA’s committees.
AIRPORT BUSINESS COMMITTEE
The NATA Airport Business Committee addresses challenges and opportunities faced by businesses operating on an airport, including FBOs, repair stations, charter operators, and other aeronautical service and support operations. The Airport Business Committee includes members also interested in airport business management and environmental issues.
The committee is made up of people who work at aeronautical businesses and are familiar with issues that arise as part of owning and operating that business. As such, committee members are tasked with promoting the interests of the association’s airport businesses by addressing regulatory and legislative issues and industry concerns. The committee members represent the diversity of airport operations by working on a variety of issues, such as: community relations, leasing, minimum standards, environmental, security, miscellaneous business concerns, and regulatory compliance issues.
The committee is currently developing a NATA FBO Management Certification Program; issuing proposed guidance changes to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 409 – Standard on Aircraft Hangars; and conducting the NATA 2018 Compensation Survey.
The Airport Business Committees Staff Liaison is Megan Eisenstein, Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs, MEisenstein@nata.aero.
AIR CHARTER COMMITTEE
The NATA Air Charter Committee is focused on issues affecting Part 135 on-demand charter and Part 91K operations. The group is tasked with promoting the interests of the association’s members that hold on-demand Part 135 air carrier certificates by addressing regulatory and legislative issues and industry concerns. The committee members represent the diversity of operations found under the Part 135 regulations and include operators of a range of aircraft from large turbine-powered business jets, to small single-engine, piston-powered airplanes, and helicopters.
The committee and the Part 135 industry in general, are overwhelmingly comprised of small businesses as defined by the Small Business Administration.
This year, the committee formed the NATA Illegal Charter Task Force subcommittee to combat illegal charter, addressing a growing concern among members and industry. This initiative reinforces the association’s ongoing efforts in opposing a serious threat to air charter and the public that is often difficult to identify due to the use of deceptive and convoluted agreements. To read more about this initiative, visit http://www.nata.aero/AvoidIllegalCharter.
The Air Charter Committee’s staff liaison is Jacqueline Rosser, NATA’s Senior Advisor of Regulatory Affairs (Air Charter), who can be reached at JRosser@nata.aero.
AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE AND SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
The Aircraft Maintenance and Systems Technology Committee is involved with issues affecting aircraft maintenance and certificated repair stations. The committee promotes the interests of the association’s members relative to aviation maintenance, repair stations and aviation technology. It works in a cooperative and constructive manner with Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration in the monitoring and promulgation of regulatory and legislative language and procedures affecting aviation maintenance and operations. To do this, the committee studies and recommends policy concerning existing and proposed aircraft maintenance regulations and legislation, and participates in sessions with appropriate legislative and regulatory agencies to express the needs and views of association members. In addition, the committee recommends and arranges programs on issues pertinent to its objectives for association meetings and annual conferences.
Staff support is provided by the committee to assist in the role of policy development, conduct research, maintain contact with appropriate legislative and regulatory entities, develop responses to legislative and regulatory proposals and provide administrative support. Current issues of the committee include Part 145 compliance, DRVSM, national air tour safety standards (NPRM), the Part 135 rewrite, Draft AC 147, Draft AC 43-FAB, recommendations for the NATA annual maintenance award and ELTs.
Carol Giles, NATA’s Senior Advisor of Regulatory Affairs
(Maintenance), is the staff liaison, CGiles@nata.aero.
The Safety Committee provides input and advice on NATA’s highly successful Safety 1st programs and other safety initiatives. The committee reviews and examines issues impacting safety across the association membership and works to identify possible solutions or mitigations to industry-wide problems. The NATA Safety Committee was instrumental in launching the NATA Ground Handling Safety Symposium and is currently investigating options for increasing the use of shared safety data across our industry.
NATA recently held its second annual Ground Handling Safety Symposium, made possible by the Safety Committee, in September 2018 in Ashburn, VA. The Symposium is a two-day event with the goal of promoting safety at FBOs and other general aviation ground handling businesses and operations.
NATA’s Managing Director of Safety and Training Michael France is the Safety Committee’s staff liaison, MFrance@nata.aero.