COVID-19

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Webinar: The Industry's Response to Aircraft/Facility Cleanliness and Safety see more

    The Industry's Response to Aircraft/Facility Cleanliness and Safety

    Meet our Moderator and Panelists:

    Gil Wolin, Publisher, Business Aviation Advisor Magazine.

    Ed Bolen, President and CEO, NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) 

    Pete Bunce, President and CEO, GAMA (General Aviation Manufacturers Association)

    Tim Obitts, President & CEO, NATA (National Air Transportation Association)

    Mark Baker, President, AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association)

    This NAFA webinar originally aired on October 15, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Immediate Private Aviation Solutions During and After a Pandemic see more

    NAFA member, Amanda Applegate, Partner with Aerlex Law Group, answers your questions regarding private aviation during and after a pandemic.

    As the United States and other countries around the world start to lift their stay-at-home restrictions, many individuals and companies are electing to increase or exclusively fly privately for the foreseeable future. Prior to the global pandemic, a number of companies and individuals used either a hybrid solution of flying, which included both private and commercial flights, while others elected to fly all flights commercially, even when private aviation was financially viable. The reasons for these choices, such as cost savings or flight shaming, are now being significantly overshadowed as a result of the global pandemic. Today those companies that previously used a hybrid model have new mandates which extend private flying rights to more employees for both business and/or personal use. In addition, those who previously elected to fly commercially are now more likely to select a private aviation solution when it is financially practicable.

    I have been inundated with questions related to immediately available solutions to cover the new normal individuals and companies are navigating. When looking for a private aviation solution the usual choices are still available: ad hoc charter, membership programs, pre-paid jet cards, leases, fractional ownership and whole aircraft ownership. What is different and hard to evaluate is the financial stability of the various service providers. When considering a service provider for private aviation, a few new questions should be asked:

    • What was the cash position of the service provider prior to the pandemic?
    • Did the service provider receive any funds from the CARES Act?
    • Has the service provider defaulted on any significant loans?
    • If funds are prepaid to the service provider, are the funds maintained in separate accounts and who is the owner of those accounts?
    • What budget cuts has the service provider implemented during the pandemic? Have any employees been laid off?

    We have already seen the closure of some private aviation companies as a result of the downturn in flying caused by the global pandemic. Some of these companies had significant prepaid deposits from customers on hand at the time of the closure, which are unlikely to be recoverable. Furthermore, we know that as companies struggle financially that budget cuts will be made, and it is important to understand how the budget cuts may impact safety and service.

    As a result of the financial uncertainty of many private aviation companies, it is more important than ever to have any unsecured prepaid funds maintained in a separate account and in the name of the customer. If that is not an option and the financial information of the service provider is questionable or not available, then negotiating that the prepayment of funds be adjusted into smaller and more frequent payments is recommended.

    When transitioning into a private aviation solution and/or increasing private aviation use, it is also important to look at the duration of time that the use and/or increase in private aviation use will occur. If the new normal for you or your company will likely become a permanent change, then whole aircraft ownership or fractional ownership should be strongly considered, particularly if the number of flight hours needed per year will exceed 100. If the change is anticipated to be temporary or the number of flight hours needed is not significant, then a less permanent solution such as a membership program, jet card or a fractional lease should be considered. If whole aircraft ownership is not the solution selected, then the cleaning process and safety procedures implemented by the service providers should also be evaluated.

    Finally, it is important to not rush the process of purchasing an aircraft or selecting a private aviation service provider. Be sure to evaluate the service provider selected and in the case of the purchase of a whole aircraft, the aircraft selected should go through a complete pre-purchase inspection. Taking such precautions and being deliberate in your evaluations will save you money and help you avoid pitfalls in the future.

    This article was originally published by Aerlex Law Group on July 14, 2020, in Articles, BusinessAir Magazine, The Latest.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    How Creative Thinking Closes Deals see more

    NAFA member, Jetcraft's Pascal Bachmann, discusses closing deals in the business aviation industry during COVID-19.

    If you want to survive and thrive in turbulent times, you need to be flexible, inventive and tenacious. The business aviation industry is no exception. It requires clever thinking to close major deals during Covid-19.

    Bringing buyers and aircraft together safely for viewings during lockdown has been a challenge, but it’s hard for clients to place a deposit on a multi-million-dollar private jet they haven’t seen in person. In some cases, we’ve used high-resolution photos and video to bring the viewing experience to the customer. In others, we’ve flown the aircraft directly to the buyer’s hometown for a viewing.

    I’m proud to say that Jetcraft recently facilitated the closing of a US-based Embraer Legacy 450 aircraft in a record-breaking seven days.  This is not typical, though.  Every deal is different, and whatever logistical challenges we face, they can be overcome with a little imagination. A complex European sale of a Dassault Falcon 7X, which closed on April 1, is one such example.

     

    NAVIGATING A COMPLEX CLOSING DURING COVID-19

    Firstly, we needed to find crew who could drive to Geneva, where the 7X was located, and make the arrangements to ensure those pilots could enter Switzerland. The buyer also wanted to paint the aircraft after closing, so we had to find an FBO open and able to carry out the work.

    Our initial plan to close the deal in Guernsey became impractical when coronavirus struck and a 14-day quarantine was imposed on anyone landing there. I’m not saying it’s not nice to spend two weeks on that beautiful island, but understandably the buyer didn’t want their new jet to be stuck there after closing.

    We found a second possible location, which might have worked with clever manoeuvring of crew across international borders, but we needed a confirmed tax ruling from the authorities, who were shut down and wouldn’t respond.

    By now, we were considering a bit of everything, including closing in international airspace, which would have been possible but not ideal from a tax perspective. Clients might want to use this option in future, though, especially if Covid-19 border restrictions remain in place

    We finally found a closed airport in the buyer’s home country, so we had to arrange for the facility to open, and firefighters to be present, to be able to land the jet and complete the deal there.

    We still faced the challenge of retrieving aircraft documents from an OEM service center in another country. With minimal staff working at the facility, even finding keys to the archive doors took longer than usual. I was so frustrated, I nearly jumped in my car and drove there to get the paperwork myself!

    We were determined never to be beaten. At every stage of the transaction, our team persevered, and had the vision to find a creative solution.

    NAVIGATING A SEVEN-DAY CLOSING DURING COVID-19 

    Considering the complexity of the Falcon 7X closing, how did our sales team move so quickly to close the Embraer Legacy 450 aircraft in seven days?

    The aircraft (part of our owned inventory) was new, so no further inspections were needed ahead of the sale. We took the lead in flying the jet to the buyer in the US for initial viewing.

    It always takes two parties to close a deal. Both our team and the cash buyer did everything promised to secure the sale quickly. This kind of mutual commitment is priceless.

    Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, demand to buy or upgrade private jets has remained. There are definitely challenges in meeting those requests – if we’re bringing a European aircraft to the US, for example, we need European pilots for the test flight after going through the ‘C’ check. But it’s easier to move aircraft around the US than Europe because there aren’t border closings between states, so we’re repositioning some of our jets there for viewings.

    With an experienced and creative sales team in place, aircraft trading can continue wherever you are, even in a lockdown, while keeping all parties healthy and safe and following the guidance of authorities. Miracles take time, but we can usually manage the impossible within 24 hours.

    This article was originally published by Jetcraft on June 29, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Business Jets: Not Just for Business see more

    NAFA member, Peter Antonenko, Chief Operating Officer at Jetcraft, discusses the business of business aviation.

    I’ll come right out and say it: I love airplanes, I love flying, and I love the business of business aviation. The combination of short-field landing capabilities, range and speed make private aircraft a perfect corporate tool. But something that’s often overlooked is how business aviation has an exceptionally broad range of utilizations, particularly in times of crisis, supporting air ambulance, cargo, and governmental missions.

    Many industries have done an excellent job pivoting to meet the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic – distilleries making hand sanitizer, fashion brands stitching surgical masks and car manufacturers producing ventilators.  At Jetcraft, we are proud and privileged to be part of a sector that was ready to act when needed.

    For example, aircraft cabins configured to carry the same life support equipment found in trauma centers have been used widely to transport patients, especially during this crisis. The variety of these specially equipped business jets gives people access to larger hospitals regardless of how small their local runway is, or how far they need to travel. This medical capability was true before Covid-19 and it will remain true long after.

    Medevac operations are not the only use for business aircraft during a pandemic. Throughout this crisis we have seen private jets previously used for corporate missions being offered for cargo – in particular, transporting personal protective equipment, ventilators and medications. Efficiency is a must at times like this, as outbreaks spike at different rates around the world and needs are constantly shifting.

    Statistically, 40% of air cargo is transported in the belly hold of passenger aircraft. With a significant portion of the world’s airline fleet grounded, a pinch point to move supplies occurred. Business aviation stepped up with owners and operators taking on some of the critical capacity needs.

    A focal point of air transport, business or commercial, has been putting people in front of one another with great speed. Video conferencing is helping fulfill the role of in-person meetings in the short term, but the need hasn’t been replaced. In this regard, business aviation has been instrumental in the fight against Covid-19, as governments and agencies use private aircraft to fly scientists on fact-finding missions and reposition medical staff to areas with a shortage.

    As for corporate owners, these jets have proven more useful than they may have ever imagined. Business aircraft are making it possible to move employees during a time when airline flight options are minimal, and allowing key individuals to be where they are needed to keep supply lines running smoothly.

    Business aviation has long been a tool designed to fit around people’s needs, and it is also worth mentioning the select group of people who make these missions possible. It is thanks to the pilots, mechanics, ground crews, line technicians, and staff at the manufacturers, FBOs and MROs across the globe, that staffed, flew and maintained these aircraft so they might complete their missions. To them, we share our greatest thanks for their hard work in enabling our sector to support Covid-19 relief efforts, and for their continued dedication to our industry now, before, and in the future.

    This article was originally published by Jetcraft on May 27, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    AMSTAT and VANGAS publish charts demonstrating the impact of COVID-19. see more

    Tinton Falls, NJ – July 22, 2020: AMSTAT and partner VANGAS Aviation Services, the leading provider of business aviation analytics have published charts showing monthly trends in business aircraft values in 2020 by market group. This data has been generated using the AMSTAT Aircraft Valuation Tool.

    In the Heavy Business Jet market group, 2020 stated with a 4% increase in the average estimated value for this group. This trend was reversed in the second half of March and start of April offsetting the initial gains and more with a 7% decline. Values plateaued in late April and early May and then proceeded to fall 16% for a net year-to-date decline of 18%. Early data suggests a recent slowdown in this decline.

    In the Super-Mid Business Jet market group estimated values rose for the first 2 months of 2020, gaining 6%. There then followed a period of values oscillated between March and April. Between the second half of May through June the average estimated value for Super-Mid Business Jets fell 15%. Year-to-date values in this group fell 14%.

    As with the Heavy Jet and Super-Mid Business Jet groups, the Medium Business Jet average estimated value rose at the start of 2020. For Medium Jets this increase was 3%. Between February and May average estimated values in this market group fell 22%. This downward trend slowed in June and may have started to level off recently.

    In the Business Turboprop market group, the average estimated value rose 4% between January and February 2020. The trend between March and May was generally downward, falling a net 14%. As with the Light Jet group, the average estimated value of Business Turboprops has lately started to regain some of the loses from earlier months. Since the start of June, the average estimated value has risen 5%.

    Andrew Young, AMSTAT General Manager said: “The AMSTAT Aircraft Valuation Tool is constantly incorporating the latest market data and is able to quickly generate serial number specific aircraft values that reflect current market conditions. The data generated by this tool has enabled VANGAS to create the charts we see here showing the impact of COVID-19 on aircraft values in 2020 and how some market segments might be starting to show some recovery in values.”

    Don Spieth at VANGAS added, “The Aircraft Valuation Tool allows users to access information about current market conditions including event driven impact like COVID 19. We are also able to leverage decades of AMSTAT research to determine probabilistic outcomes by comparing previous market disruptions in business aviation. These tools empower our industry with the ability to react to trends and adverse market conditions to better serve their clients.”

    Read full report here

    This release was originally published by AMSTAT on July 22, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    AINsight: Best Five Options To Fly Privately see more

    NAFA member, David G. Mayer, Partner with Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, shares the best options to fly privately. 

    As commercial airlines attempt to fill seats amid the Covid-19 pandemic, some families, businesses, and individuals have made a flight to safety by traveling again or for the first time on private aircraft.

    These travelers set their schedules and itineraries for on-demand business or personal flights. They can travel to about 5,300 public-use airports in the U.S., roughly 10 times the number of airports available to commercial aircraft. International airport access expands the flexibility to travel globally. Travelers greatly value saving travel time, the healthy and safe environment, productivity, and convenience of private aircraft while enjoying a comfortable, interconnected, and protected flight experience.

    Although the reasons to fly privately may be obvious, especially in the age of Covid-19, deciding on the right providers and approaches to flying are more complex. Three modes of aircraft travel involve no capital investment: chartering, jet or fraction cards, and membership programs. Each of these options holds strong attributes for new and some repeat flyers. Two other options require capital outlays for frequent flyers: purchasing a whole aircraft or a fractional share of an aircraft.

    Before All Else

    Before making choices from the five types of private aircraft travel described below, each person should complete the following diligence and processes to select the best possible flight experience:

    • Aircraft supports the mission. Identify the right aircraft for your “mission”—industry lingo that refers to identifying the details of a trip. In general, a mission profile covers logistics, operating hours, amenities, connectivity, catering, luggage/storage capacity, number of passengers, and travel distance. One size aircraft might not fit all travel needs, especially for owners or lessees that have access to only one aircraft.

    • Stellar manager, operator, and pilot safety records. Insist that the commercial operator, aircraft manager, and pilots have stellar safety records. The commercial operator should supply a top-flight team, including experienced pilots approved by the operator’s insurer. Managers, operators, and pilots should be free of enforcement actions by, or violation notices from, the FAA. Ask them.

    • Aircraft in good condition. Confirm whether the aircraft complies with its manufacturer’s maintenance and regulatory requirements. The aircraft should also present a well-maintained physical appearance.

    • Robust Covid-19 protocols. Verify that the aircraft manager, commercial operator, and FBO have designed and implemented a robust Covid-19 safety protocol for ground personnel, passengers, and crew, including health screening, social distancing, and personal protective equipment.

    • Adequate insurance coverage. Require that the aircraft manager or commercial operator provide written evidence of comprehensive liability insurance to protect you despite the tightening insurance markets.

    • Aviation experts. Use business aviation experts, including various brokers, technical consultants, and aviation lawyers, to assist in evaluating, documenting, and closing the best option or options for you.

    Chartering Aircraft

    charter is simply an ad hoc transportation service by private aircraft by the seat or whole aircraft. Charter makes the most sense for occasional and new flyers including those seeking a healthy and safe aircraft travel environment during the pandemic. Although more complicated, a charter is like taking a taxi. In legal terms, charter operators engage in air commerce by carrying persons or property for compensation or hire. You can hire a charter service in most cities with a private or public-use airport.

    Perhaps the simplest question about a charter and other options is what kind of aircraft does the traveler need to satisfy his or her top travel priorities? And how much will she or he spend to travel on a private aircraft? Charter rates can easily climb from approximately $1,200 to $12,000 per hour or more, depending on the aircraft selected from light jet or turboprop to an ultra-long-range jet.

    Though charter rates are not inexpensive, charters are somewhat more affordable because charter rates have dropped since 2019. Also, Congress approved, among other tax benefits, an excise tax holiday in the CARES Act, which suspends the 7.5 percent flight excise tax on amounts paid to charter operators from March 28, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020.

    Cost transparency is sometimes challenging in the charter world. Travelers should ask for receipts detailing charges on their accounts, watch for overlapping charges, and tie the charges to final invoices. It is advisable to compare operator fleet sizes and business models.

    One persistent legal and safety concern arises from illegal charter operations. Broadly speaking, illegal charters occur when the aircraft operator or pilot conducts charter operations without proper certification or fails to comply with strict safety requirements in applicable regulations. Illegal charters have ensnared frequent and occasional charter travelers.

    Customers should look for red flags such as an operator asking customers to sign short-term leases or timesharing agreements. As a result of these regulatory violations, the FAA has, in coordination with the business aviation industry, stepped up its enforcement actions against operators and warned pilots to shun illegal charter operations.

    Membership Programs

    Fee-paying members typically have access to private aircraft for a set number of hours that may range from 25 to 100 hours per year. Program terms, aircraft fleets, and quality vary widely as does pricing for membership and flights. Before joining, travelers should compare programs of operators that have developed creative ways to travel at a predictable cost.

    Jet and Fraction Cards

    Jet and fraction cards cost more than most other aircraft travel options and work like a pre-paid credit card that a traveler uses to pay for 25 to 100 or more flight hours. The cards enable travelers to dip a toe into private aviation. Card amounts vary, starting as low as $25,000 and perhaps lower in this changing segment. These cards and other options can provide supplemental lift to enhance travel flexibility.

    Whole Aircraft Ownership or Leasing

    Buying or leasing a “whole” aircraft often makes sense once a traveler anticipates using at least 200 flight hours per year and wants to control the use, customization, operational control, repair facilities, crewing, base location, and availability of the aircraft. However, many of my clients acquire aircraft knowing they will need fewer hours but also expecting to charter the aircraft to others to offset fixed costs.

    At the outset of deciding whether to buy a whole aircraft, businesses should determine whether bonus depreciation and other tax benefits may be available and structured to reduce their after-tax cost of ownership and operations. Financing is widely available for whole aircraft at historically low rates. It is important to use aviation experts here as purchase, sale, financing, or leasing transactions are often complex.

    Fractional Share Ownership

    Simpler than owning or leasing a whole aircraft, an owner or lessee of an aircraft fractional share typically commits to a five-year program. A fraction typically corresponds to a certain number of annual flight hours, often ranging from 25 to 300 hours, though some programs instead use number of travel days instead of flight hours. Fractional programs charge monthly management and per-hour flight fees, differ in quality, and provide highly personalized service. Bonus depreciation and/or other federal tax benefits might be available like whole aircraft. A few banks will lease or finance a fractional share.

    Conclusion

    To mitigate Covid-19 infection risk, some families, businesses, and individuals have abandoned commercial aircraft travel for on-demand travel in private aircraft. The five best options for such private aircraft flights consist of charter services, membership programs, and jet or fraction cards, along with purchasing or leasing whole or fractional shares of these aircraft.

    Covid-19 has boosted demand to fly by private aircraft, especially charter services. Perhaps this demand foretells a new era of sustainable growth in private aircraft travel as people realize that these flights not only save time but might also save lives.

    Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to convey, and does not convey, legal or other advice. Each person should consult his or her advisors to make decisions about flying privately, as well as any legal or economic implications, risks, or terms in connection with any such decision.

    This article was originally published by AINonline on July 17, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    AMSTAT releases interim business aircraft resale market data showing the short‐term impact of COVID‐ see more

    Tinton Falls, NJ – June 17, 2020: According to AMSTAT and partner VANGAS Aviation Services, the leader in business aviation analytics the average and median values of pre‐owned business aircraft have fallen between 10% and 15% so far during the COVID‐19 crisis, with some individual make model markets seeing decreases in excess of 20%. The update shows these declines in value in all segments since early April with some evidence of a recent slowing of this decline in some market segments.

    The report also shows that inventories have increased since mid‐March, but the increase is a continuation of a pre‐existing trend. The inventory of Business Jets was up 1.6% between January and March and then up 4.2% since mid‐March. The inventory of Business Turboprops was largely unchanged between January and March and up 2.8% from March to May. Inventory levels remain below 2016 levels and significantly below 2009 levels.

    Further, the report shows that resale retail transactions for Business Jets were ahead of 2019 levels in January and February but were down 23% in March YoY and down 40% in April YoY. Resale retail transactions for Turboprops were at or ahead of 2019 levels in January and February but were down 27% in March YoY and down 40% in April YoY.

    Andrew Young, AMSTAT General Manager said: “It remains to be seen whether the trends of the last few months will continue long‐term. However, whether the result of a COVID‐19 driven reduction in travel or the logistical issues surrounding getting deals done under quarantine, or both, there was a year‐over‐year reduction in resale transactions in March and April this year. Further, the analytics clearly show a reduction in estimated aircraft values”. He added, “what is also interesting is that inventories, while up, are not indicating a panic to sell and levels remain below recent highs seen in 2017. If inventory levels remain relatively low and interest in business aviation materializes as an alternative to commercial travel in parallel with an economic recovery, then we might expect to see a significant uptick in transaction activity leading to a recovery in aircraft values in the coming months”.

    For a full copy of the report go to:

    https://www.amstatcorp.com/pages/PressReleases/AMSTAT_Resale_Market_Update_June2020.pdf.

    About the AMSTAT Aircraft Valuation Tool

    The AMSTAT Aircraft Valuation Tool (AVT) is fully integrated into the AMSTAT Premier service and calculates objective statistically generated serial number specific estimated values for business aircraft in seconds.

    About AMSTAT, Inc.

    AMSTAT is the leading provider of market research information and services to the corporate aviation industry. Founded in 1982, and based in Tinton Falls, NJ, AMSTAT introduced the concept of providing researched information to corporate aviation professionals. AMSTAT’s mission is to provide timely, accurate, and objective market information to its customers. AMSTAT products and services provide aviation market and statistical information that generates revenue and delivers competitive advantage to brokers/dealers, finance companies, fractional providers, and suppliers of aircraft parts and services.

    Information: Andrew Young, AMSTAT GM, 732‐530‐6400 x147, andrew@amstatcorp.com

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Adam Meredith, of AOPA Finance, addresses commonly asked questions on aircraft ownership. see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Finance, addresses commonly asked questions on aircraft ownership during this difficult time.  Purchasing an aircraft can be a challenging process under normal circumstances, but can be even more difficult to navigate during market volatility.

    Question: With the current market volatility, do you find that lenders are tightening or loosening their credit requirements?

    Answer: We have definitely seen some that are tightening credit. Specifically, some lenders are requesting copies of bank/investment statements that are within the last couple of days (vs. 30 days, under regular times). Given stock market volatility this isn’t too surprising. Also, we’ve seen some lenders that are being more cautious lending to individuals with direct financial exposure to COVID-19 (i.e. service industry companies not deemed essential).

    Question: What advice are you giving to members who were currently looking to purchase before all of the shelter in place orders? Should we continue our search or place our search on hold until all of this blows over?

    If you’re personally at high risk (financially or otherwise) to COVID-19, you’d be well advised to pause the purchase process. However, for everyone else, I’d encourage you to keep looking and work with sellers to create a plan for how to push through the closing process. For advice on guidance with shelter in place requirements, reach out to our trusted legal staff if you’re a legal services plan participant. If not, reach out to our Pilot Information Center to get the latest guidance.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Finance on April 23, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Filing Aircraft Registration Documents With The FAA Registry During The COVID-19 Pandemic: What You see more

    NAFA member, Greg Reigel, Partner with Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, discusses filing documents with the FAA Registry during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    In another instance of a “new-normal” resulting from COVID-19, the window at the FAA Registry, where real-time filing of aircraft registration documents used to occur, has closed.  Although the FAA Registry is still open (for now), it has implemented new procedures for filing of aircraft registration documents.  Three options are now available for recording documents:

    Document Drop Bins.

    The FAA has placed two bins outside the Public Documents room.   One bin will be marked “Priority” and one bin will be for “Normal” processing (i.e. not priority).  The FAA will retrieve documents from the Priority Bin every hour. It will retrieve documents submitted for normal processing twice a day.

    Documents are filed when they are placed in one of the bins. However, will not be possible to obtain an immediate filing time for the documents as was the case in the past.  Actual filing times will only be available after the documents are indexed in, scanned and available for viewing online.  It is presently unclear how long that process will take.

    E-Mail Filing To An Electronic Portal.

    The FAA has a new e-mail filing process available subject to a number of limitations. Submitted documents must be digitally signed (i.e. Docusign, Adobe Sign, etc.) and each document must be 20 pages or less. Only one aircraft may be submitted in each e-mail and filing fees must be pre-paid at Pay.gov.

    After submission, FAA will send an e-mail acknowledging receipt.  However, documents will be processed during normal business hours with filing times available the same as when documents are filed via the bins.

    Filing Via Mail.

    As has always been the case, documents can still be filed via U.S. Mail, FedEx and UPS. And similar to the bin and e-mail filing, actual filing times will only be available once the documents are processed and in the FAA Registry’s system.

    These new processes will also impact timing for receiving a “fly-wire” and for receiving Form 135 needed to accomplish International Registry filings.  But it is unclear how much longer it will take to receive these back from the FAA.

    Conclusion.

    The good news:  The FAA Registry is still open and processing aircraft registration documents (for now). The bad news:  These updated procedures will result in some delays in closing transactions, and a little less certainty regarding when documents were actually “filed” by the FAA. For example, in a transaction transferring risk of loss at the time of filing, that could present a problem.

    Parties to aircraft transactions should review their documents to determine whether they are consistent with the new procedures. If they aren’t, parties should amend as needed.

    This article was originally published by Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP. on March 23, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    How To Shield Bizjet Owners from Virus Claims see more

    NAFA member, David G. Mayer, Partner with Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, discusses ways for bizjet owners to mitigate risk of COVID-19-related claims.

    The sudden onslaught of the contagious and deadly Covid-19 pandemic delivered a severe blow to business aviation’s global flight activity and paused (but did not derail) preowned business jet retail sale and lease transactions. The pandemic has already changed so much in our lives that, for now, no one can envision what a “new normal” will look like for business aviation.

    Regardless of what happens, today, as governments ease shelter at home restrictions, business aircraft owners and lessees, along with their managers and Part 135 operators (together, owners), face an imperative to protect anyone from Covid-19 who might come in physical contact with, or travel on, the operator’s business aircraft.

    These people include owners and their families, other passengers, crew, independent contractors, employees, and ground support personnel (together, affected individuals). The imperative applies both to Part 91 and 135 operations. If owners do not meet this obligation head-on, it seems inevitable that affected individuals will make negligence claims against owners for exposure to, and illness or death from, Covid-19.

    THREE WAYS TO MITIGATE RISK OF COVID-19-RELATED CLAIMS

    Owners should use this period of slower flight and market activity to take the following three actions that might limit the chances for affected individuals to contract Covid-19 and blunt any incentive to make damage claims against owners for their alleged negligence:

    First, develop comprehensive business aircraft protocols for each business aircraft to create a healthy and safe environment inside of, and close to, the aircraft.

    Second, request Covid-19 waivers and indemnities from affected individuals to mitigate the risk of Covid-19-related liability claims based on negligence or other legal theories.

    Finally, confirm whether the owner carries, or the owner can buy, liability insurance coverage that will respond to such liability claims.

    Covid-19 Negligence Explained

    As a general legal principle, business aircraft owners may be negligent and liable for money damages if the owner breaches its duty of reasonable care to maintain a safe and healthy environment for affected individuals inside of, or close to, their aircraft.

    Broadly speaking, the duty occurs because an owner can reasonably foresee that Covid-19 might live in and on business aircraft, be transmitted inside or close to the aircraft by one person to another, or from personal items such as luggage to an affected individual. If negligence is proven, a judge or jury can then award significant money damages in favor of the affected individual or his/her estate.

    Importantly, the affected individual who contracts Covid-19 must prove that the breach of the owner’s duty of reasonable care is the “proximate cause” of the Covid-19 illness or death. That is, the affected individual must provide evidence of an almost indisputable connection between his or her Covid-19 condition and the exposure to Covid-19 inside of, or close to, the business aircraft.

    As such, causation is likely to be the most difficult element to prove, especially given the challenges in tracing from the affected individual to the aircraft environment as the only possible source of the affected individual’s infection. However, no owner should rely on the difficulty of proving causation as an excuse to ignore safeguards and fail to develop a high-quality aircraft protocol.

    DEVELOPING A COVID-19 AIRCRAFT PROTOCOL 

    As noted above, owners can, and immediately should, develop and enforce a comprehensive protocol designed to protect any affected individual who is inside of, or might come in physical contact with, a business aircraft, its cargo, and any other affected individual. A protocol, in this context, refers to written standards, practices, and behaviors established by owners to ensure that the environment inside of, and close to, their business aircraft is free of the Covid-19 infection.

    Although important, cleaning and disinfecting an aircraft by itself does not constitute an aircraft protocol. Owners should include many other elements in a protocol such as screening each affected individual, safely bag or wrap potentially infected luggage, test passengers for Covid-19 before the flight, and provide each passenger with personal hygiene supplies and masks that must be used inside the aircraft.

    To help them meticulously design and write, as well as implement and update, a Covid-19 health and safety protocol, owners should hire appropriate medical, cleaning, and safety experts to contribute relevant parts of, and comment on, the entire protocol. Some managers and Part 135 operators have already taken steps to create all or part of a protocol or a rough equivalent, which is positive.

    Further, owners should conduct periodic audits to confirm strict compliance with the protocols. They should also retain records on, and immediately rectify any shortfalls from, the protocol implementation such as recording dates and times of disinfecting in and around an aircraft. These steps might entail some additional effort, but they should help mount a good defense to negligence claims.

    In all situations, owners and affected individuals should limit travel with operators that have not developed and comply with a protocol on every flight. After all, only one mistake or negligent act or omission can lead to tragic consequences involving Covid-19.

    COVID-19 RESOURCES TO CREATE A PROTOCOL

    In writing and updating the protocols, owners, experts, and their lawyers should study pertinent information from, among others, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, FAA, EBAA, and NATA. Notably, NBAA recently published a comprehensive resource that owners can use as the foundation of a quality aircraft protocol.

    Aircraft manufacturers should be able and willing to provide consulting services and aircraft products, including fresh air intake and filtering systems, to mitigate safety risks and negligence claims.

    LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE TO MINIMIZE PAYOUTS FROMCOVID-19 CLAIMS

    Liability insurance might cover Covid-19 negligence claims relating to business aircraft. Owners and their aviation insurance experts or lawyers should examine the wording in their liability insurance policies to determine whether any coverage exists against these claims. Some, but not all policies, contain explicit exclusions for viruses, which means Covid-19 claims might not be covered.

    Prospects to buy such insurance now are dismal, but large accounts might have a shot. If there is potential coverage, the insurer might have a “duty to defend” the insured, at the insurer’s expense, and therefore engage counsel to defend the insured against the Covid-19 claims.

    WAIVERS AND INDEMNITIES TO LIMIT IMPACT OF COVID-19 CLAIMS

    Each owner should ask any affected individual, before a flight, for a written, signed waiver of claims for Covid-19 illness or death. Separately, managers and Part 135 operators might consider asking for waivers and indemnities from owners for damages to furniture and hard surfaces in the aircraft allegedly caused by disinfecting chemicals used in or on the aircraft to rid the areas of Covid-19. Courts generally enforce properly drafted waivers and indemnities, but applicable laws might alter this outcome.

    CONCLUSION

    Covid-19 affects all of us in different ways. In business aviation, it seems urgent that, as governments lift stay-at-home restrictions, owners develop and implement comprehensive Covid-19 health and safety protocols for their business aircraft, secure waivers, and indemnities and maintain appropriate liability insurance.

    Properly structured, a protocol can protect the lives of business aircraft owners and their families, crews, independent contractors, employees, and ground support personnel from illness and death caused by Covid-19. Protocols can boost confidence in traveling by business aircraft and mitigate the risk of complex, expensive, and lengthy liability lawsuits against the business aircraft owners, managers, and Part 135 operators.

    The right choice seems obvious, but the end of this healthcare crisis and recovery of business aviation remains far from certain.

    Author note: “This blog is not intended to create or constitute, nor does it create or constitute, an attorney-client or any other legal relationship. No statement in this communication constitutes legal advice nor should any communication herein be construed, relied upon, or interpreted as legal advice. This communication is for general information purposes only regarding recent legal developments of interest, and is not a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included herein without seeking appropriate legal advice on the particular facts and circumstances affecting that reader.”

    This article was originally published by AINonline on May 15, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Charter Operations Feel the Impact of COVID-19 see more

    NAFA member, NBAA, shares their latest episode of NBAA Flight Plan regarding the impact COVID-19 has had on charter operations. 

    With business aviation flight operations across our nation and around the globe idled by the COVID-19 pandemic, what options are available to help operators weather this storm and when might we finally see our industry recover? “International travel is absolutely critical, particularly for long-haul aircraft,” notes aviation attorney David Mayer, a partner in the law firm Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP. “When you see evidence that, as a whole population globally we have confidence in travel across borders and across oceans, I think you will see business aviation respond fairly promptly.”

    In this episode of NBAA Flight Plan, host Rob Finfrock speaks with:

    • David Mayer, aviation attorney and partner at the law firm of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP
    • W. Ashley Smith, CAM, president of aircraft charter, maintenance and aeromedical provider Jet Logistics

    Listen to Podcast Now

    This article was originally published by NBAA on May 4, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    How is the Coronavirus Affecting the Closing Process for Aircraft? see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, discusses the challenges of aircraft closings during the Coronavirus pandemic.

    Unlike real estate, where the exchanged property does not move, the challenge with closing on an aircraft is that eventually it must be flown to its new home. It’s a rare transaction where buyers purchase an airplane from their home airfield. Therefore, how to legally move the aircraft is one major concern for buyers during the coronavirus pandemic. Another is how to get a pre-buy inspection done.

    First, there is the sticky problem of getting an aircraft inspected. It’s not clear whether maintenance and repair shops are currently open to perform pre-buy inspections, or whether their employees can even report to work. Some states have not deemed aviation techs “essential.” What jobs are deemed “essential,” how, and by whom such job designations will be enforced remains up in the air. Even if aviation techs are, parts suppliers might not be. That means needed parts may not get delivered. In normal times, a closing might take 30 days. In these abnormal times, plan on the process stretching to 45 days or more.

    Beyond that, is it legal for a ferry pilot or the new owner to fly an airplane from the airport where it is hangared to its new home base?  State laws vary on the subject. How complicated it will be to transport the aircraft may depend on factors like the route of flight and the number of states involved. Is the airplane going from California to Maine? Or from Wisconsin to Indiana? One has to ask oneself, “Am I going to have a challenge from this state?” Other questions follow, including, “Which governing body would enforce such a challenge — state or federal?” “Is it within FAA or state jurisdiction?” None of that is easy to navigate.

    If you can imagine the difficulty of flying from one European country to another and having to deal with the balkanized ATC system there, then you have some idea of the current complexity surrounding moving an aircraft across state lines during this pandemic. At AOPA Aviation Finance, (“AAF”), our advice is to call AOPA’s Legal Services to get better clarity on your specific situation.

    That is a great benefit of AOPA, having multiple resources all in one place. This complex situation is the perfect time to tap into them.

    Great advice. Great rates. From helpful and responsive reps you can trust. Three good reasons to turn to AOPA Aviation Finance when you are buying an airplane. If you need a dependable source of financing with people who are on your side, just call 800.62.PLANE (800.627.5263), or click here to request a quote.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on April 30, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Used Aircraft Maintenance Analysis – March 2020 see more

    NAFA member, Tony Kioussis, President of Asset Insight, shares the March 2020 Used Aircraft Maintenance Analysis. 

    During March, Asset Insight’s tracked fleet of 134 fixed-wing models and 2,218 aircraft listed for sale identified a 1.2% inventory fleet increase over February’s figure, for a year-to-date (YTD) increase of 1.6%.

    Concurrently, the available inventory’s maintenance status posted a 12-month best (highest) Quality Rating, keeping the fleet within the ‘Excellent’ range, virtually unchanged (at 5.297) compared with February’s 5.295, on a scale of -2.500 to 10.000.

    March’s Aircraft Value Trends

    While the average Ask Price for aircraft in the tracked fleet decreased a bit, the posted figure was only $20k below the 12-month high figure achieved in February, and only one group experienced a decrease.

    • Large Jets: Ask Prices remained virtually unchanged, increasing a nominal 0.1%.
    • Medium Jets: The only group to post a value loss, Medium Jets decreased 6.7%.
    • Small Jets: Increased 3.0%.
    • Turboprops: Rose 1.7%.

    March’s Fleet for Sale Trends

    The total number of used aircraft listed for sale increased 1.2% in March, and 1.6% for Q1 2020. That translated into a tracked inventory increase of 26 units in March and 36 units for all of Q1. Individual group figures broke down as follows.

    • Large Jet Inventory: Increased 1.3% in March (+6 units) and 7.9% during Q1 (+34 units)
    • Medium Jet Inventory: Rose 1.8% (+11 units) for the month, but down 4.9% for Q1 (-32 units)
    • Small Jet Inventory: Increased 0.4% (+3 units) in March and 7.5% (+48 units) YTD
    • Turboprop Inventory: Increased 1.4% (+6 units) for the month, but down 3.1% for Q1 (-14 units).

    March’s Maintenance Exposure Trends

    Maintenance Exposure (an aircraft’s accumulated/embedded maintenance expense) increased (worsened) 5.5% for the month and 4.0% during Q1. Individual results were as follows:

    • Large Jets: Worsened (increased) by 5.9% for the month and 6.3% during Q1.
    • Medium Jets: Improved (decreased) 0.6% in March and 4.1% for Q1.
    • Small Jets: Worsened (increased) 14.5% to post the group’s worst (highest) 12-month figure, while also increasing 22.3% during Q1.
    • Turboprops: Worsened (increased) by 1.3% in March, but improved by 11.7% YTD.

    March’s ETP Ratio Trend

    The fleet’s ETP Ratio worsened (increased) in pretty dramatic fashion in March, virtually erasing any previous improvement to post a figure of 71.1% (versus February’s 65.4% and the 64.8% it registered at Year-End 2019).

    The ETP Ratio calculates an aircraft's Maintenance Exposure as it relates to the Ask Price. This is achieved by dividing an aircraft's Maintenance Exposure (the financial liability accrued with respect to future scheduled maintenance events) by the aircraft's Ask Price.

    As the ETP Ratio decreases, the asset's value increases (in relation to the aircraft's price). ‘Days on Market’ analysis has shown that when the ETP Ratio is greater than 40%, a listed aircraft’s Days on the Market (DoM) increase, in many cases by more than 30%.

    During Q1 2020, aircraft whose ETP Ratio was 40% or greater were listed for sale nearly 68% longer than assets with an ETP Ratio below 40% (245 days versus 413 days). How did each group fare during March?

    • Turboprops: Continued to hold the top (best) spot by a wide margin posting the lowest ETP Ratio of 42.1% (the group’s third consecutive 12-month low/best figure).
    • Large Jets: Held on to second place at 64.7%.
    • Medium Jets: Kept their third position at 74.6%.
    • Small Jets: Posted the group’s 12-month worst (highest) figure of 90.2%.

    Excluding models whose ETP Ratio was over 200% during one of the previous two months (considered outliers), following is a breakdown of the business jet and turboprop models that fared the best and worst during March 2020.

    Asset Insight - March 2020 Most Improved Business Aircraft

    Most Improved Models

    All of the ‘Most Improved’ models posted a Maintenance Exposure decrease (improvement). While the Hawker 800A experienced an Ask Price decrease of $29,622 and the Dassault Falcon 900 saw no change in Ask Price, the remaining four models experienced price increases, as follows:

    • King Air B200 – Pre-2001 +$74,913
    • Gulfstream GV +$228,194
    • Hawker 800XP +$77,760
    • Hawker Beechjet 400A +$27,969

    Hawker 800A

    Since appearing at the bottom of January’s ‘Most Deteriorated’ list, the Hawker 800A claimed third place on February’s ‘Most Improved’ list, and leads the ‘Most Improved’ list for March.

    Two aircraft traded last month, and the 31 currently listed for sale equate to 13.7% of the active fleet. The latest fleet mix helped the model achieve its standing through a Maintenance Exposure decrease exceeding $243k (which overcame an Ask Price drop approaching $30k).

    The model’s 152.5% ETP Ratio is not going to magically spark additional buyer interest, but its improvement is notable, as is its ongoing market following.

    Dassault Falcon 900

    Second place goes to a model whose appearance was created through a 50% increase in available units for sale in March. That difference resulted in a decreased Maintenance Exposure of nearly $369k. With no change in the average Ask Price, the Falcon 900 earned its position on this list.

    Translation: Three aircraft are now listed for sale (as opposed to the two listed last month) and the recently-listed unit did not show an Ask Price. This should serve as proof that statistics can be misleading!

    The Falcon 900 has a strong following, though, and with an ETP Ratio below 45%, sellers should be able to locate interested buyers, even though the listed units represent 13% of the active fleet.

    King Air B200 (Pre-2001 Models)

    Third place goes to a model that recorded three transactions, one withdrawal, and four additions to the fleet for sale in March, lowering the Maintenance Exposure by nearly $48k and increasing the Ask Price by nearly $75k.

    The 43 units listed for sale offer a good selection for buyers while still representing only 5.5% of the active fleet, creating ample opportunities for sellers. Moreover, the model’s near 46% ETP Ratio is a testament to the following this >20 year-old aircraft continues to enjoy.

    Gulfstream GV

    Next on the ‘Most Improved’ list is an aircraft whose 19 sellers should have little problem locating interested buyers, considering listings represent 10% of the active fleet, and the Gulfstream GV’s ETP Ratio is below 30%. (Admittedly, the current pandemic may delay deal-making a bit.)

    One aircraft transaction was registered as we closed March, leading to a Maintenance Exposure decrease exceeding $556k that, along with an Ask Price increase of more than $228k, earned the model its ‘Most Improved’ ranking.

    Hawker 800XP

    Following the behavior of the Hawker 800A, the Hawker 800XP made the ‘Most Improved’ list thanks to a Maintenance Exposure decrease approaching $24k and an Ask Price increase nearing $78k. Four aircraft transactions were posted in March that, following some additions, a withdrawal and some other changes, meant 13.3% of the active fleet is currently listed for sale.

    The 800XP is sporting an ETP Ratio nearly half that of the 800A. Assuming an asset’s engines are enrolled on an Hourly Cost Maintenance Program, the model has sufficient following in the market for sellers to structure sensibly-priced transactions.

    Hawker Beechjet 400A

    Rounding out March’s ‘Most Improved’ list is the Beechjet 400A, an aircraft that occupied a place in the ‘Most Deteriorated’ rankings last month, and whose sellers may have a hard time convincing a limited pool of buyers that their aircraft is worthy of the price they seek.

    With 61 units, 22.6% of the active fleet, listed for sale, and aircraft age ranging from 17 to 30 years, differentiation is likely to focus heavily on price. The model’s 78.6% ETP Ratio was created through three sales last month, as well as one withdrawal from, plus six additions to the ‘for sale’ fleet.

    The revised inventory mix lowered Maintenance Exposure by over $20k while boosting Ask Price nearly $28k. Regrettably, with the current ETP Ratio most sellers are likely to find pricing discussions challenging.

    Asset Insight - March 2020 Most Deteriorated Business Aircraft

    Most Deteriorated Models

    All six models on March’s ‘Most Deteriorated’ list registered a Maintenance Exposure increase. The Bombardier Learjet 31A posted an Ask Price increase of $17,731, the Learjet 35A experienced no Ask Price change, and the remaining models underwent the following decreases:

    • Cessna Citation II -$4,444
    • Cessna Citation ISP -$20,015
    • Hawker Premier 1 -$13,183
    • Gulfstream GIV -$25,556

    Cessna Citation II

    March’s ‘Most Deteriorated’ model registered five transactions, but the 89 units currently listed for sale account for 17.5% of the active fleet, creating serious pricing challenges for sellers.

    The aircraft’s $241k Maintenance Exposure increase and Ask Price decrease are both symptomatic of the model’s 147.4% ETP Ratio. With aircraft age ranging from 25 to 42 years, sellers must rely on buyers seeking low pricing that addresses the very real probability they would become the aircraft’s final owner.

    Cessna Citation ISP

    The second ‘Most Deteriorated’ model this month is another member of the Citation family, except this one is older, since Citation ISPs range from 35 to 43 years of age. No transactions were noted in March, but three withdrawals from inventory left 17% of the active fleet (47 units) available for buyers focused on still-operable ‘antiques’.

    Surprisingly, the Citation ISP sports a lower ETP Ratio than the younger Citation II fleet. Nevertheless, the 126.1% Ratio (courtesy of a Maintenance Exposure increase approaching $176k and an Ask Price decrease exceeding $20k) offers buyers the opportunity to earn ‘final owner’ status with this model.

    Bombardier Learjet 31A

    The first of two Learjets on the ‘Most Deteriorated’ list this month posted no transactions in March, although one aircraft was withdrawn from inventory. At the last count, 38 Learjet 31As were listed for sale, representing 19.5% of the active fleet.

    These aircraft are now between 17 and 29 years of age, and while they are still quite productive assets, their 128.1% ETP Ratio is a testament to their challenging marketability.

    The Learjet 31A essentially earned its spot on this list through a Maintenance Exposure increase exceeding $246k, even though the aircraft actually posted an Ask Price increase. Whether or not the higher Ask Pricing can be achieved, especially at this challenging time, remains to be seen…

    Bombardier Learjet 36A

    The second Learjet on this list is a 27-44-year old model that also recorded no transactions during March, and no Ask Price change. (While statistically correct, this fact is also somewhat misleading as only one of the four listed units displays an Ask Price.)

    The aircraft earned its spot on this list thanks to a Maintenance Exposure figure approaching $210k. With its ETP Ratio exceeding 151%, this model is not readily marketable, although its operating capabilities are still quite impressive, by any standard.

    Beechcraft Premier 1

    No transactions were identified for the month of March, but the two inventory withdrawals and four additions created an availability of two dozen units, 20.2% of the active fleet. These assets are only aged between 15 and 19 years, but their ETP Ratio, which stood at nearly 90% during this latest analysis, negatively impacts their marketability.

    Maintenance Exposure approached $308k in March, while Ask Price dropped over $13k. Enrollment on an engine Hourly Cost Maintenance Program would lower the HCMP-Adjusted ETP Ratio, but that is not an effective differentiator for sellers, as most of these assets are enrolled on a program.

    Gulfstream GIV

    Rounding out our ‘Most Deteriorated’ list this month is a model whose ETP Ratio, quite frankly, surprised us. The GIV continues to have a respectable following. However, its ongoing Ask Price decreases (nearly $26k last month) and high Maintenance Exposure figure (over $563k in March) are clearly reflecting the aircraft’s 27-34 years of age.

    Two units transacted in March, one was withdrawn from inventory, and another was added to total 20 available units, equivalent to 11.6% of the active fleet.

    Here again, sellers whose aircraft engines are enrolled on an Hourly Cost Maintenance Program will see a lower HCMP-Adjusted ETP Ratio, but the figure will still be such that price is likely to be the transaction’s primary driver.

    The Seller’s Challenge

    It is important to understand that the ETP Ratio has more to do with buyer and seller dynamics than it does with either the asset’s accrued maintenance or its price. For any aircraft, maintenance can accrue only so far before work must be completed.

    But as an aircraft’s value decreases, there will come a point when the accrued maintenance figure equates to more than 40% of the aircraft’s ask price. When a prospective buyer adjusts their offer to address this accrued maintenance, the figure is all-too-often considered unacceptable to the seller and a deal is not reached.

    It is not until an aircraft undergoes some major maintenance that a seller is sufficiently motivated to accept a lower figure, or a buyer is willing to pay a higher price and the aircraft transacts, ultimately.

    A wise seller needs to consider the potential marketability impact early maintenance might have on their aircraft, as well as its enrollment on an Hourly Cost Maintenance Program where more than half of their model’s in-service fleet is enrolled on one.

    Sellers also need to carefully weigh any offer from a prospective buyer against the loss in value of their aircraft for sale as the asset spends more days on the market awaiting a better offer while simultaneously accruing a higher maintenance figure.

    More information from www.assetinsight.com.

    This Asset Insight report was originally published by AvBuyer on April 16, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Industry Leaders Praise Passage of More Relief Funding see more

    Industry groups welcomed U.S. congressional approval this week of additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), saying it provides the opportunity for much-needed relief for small aviation businesses. The nearly $500 billion measure—which included more than $300 billion to replenish the depleted PPP fund with $60 billion set aside for small lenders—passed the House yesterday, following Senate passage on Tuesday.

    “We are very pleased to see Congress respond to the continuing, highly challenging needs of many small businesses and their employees,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.

    Noting the majority of Helicopter Association International’s membership comprises small businesses, HAI president and CEO James Viola added, “Like most small businesses around the world, they are suffering from the effects of the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

    The business and general aviation community have been working to ensure Congress understands the harm the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the industry and continues to seek further assistance as Congress considers future measures.

    This is particularly true as smaller carriers are still struggling to obtain resources for that and funding that was specifically set aside for aviation. “We are hearing stories of difficulties with the PPP and the Air Carrier Worker Support Program,” NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts said, adding the organization is continuing to educate and push for access to all available relief programs.

    “As Congress considers additional legislation related to the Covid-19 pandemic, NATA has already begun discussions with key policymakers regarding the need for additional support for our industry,” said Jonathon Freye, NATA vice president of government and public affairs.

    Alluding to a possible fifth economic stimulus package, HAI pointed to “much-needed additional funding,” and said it would continue to impress upon Congress the importance of keeping the industry viable.

    This article was originally published by AINonline on April 24, 2020.