general aviation

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Finance, answers your aircraft purchase questions. see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, answers your aircraft purchasing questions.

    Question:  I am a healthy 60 year old, retired student pilot with aspirations to purchase a used Cessna 182 for recreational travel after successfully passing my private pilot check ride. My intention at this point is to pay cash /not finance, but that decision is not based on considerations other than a personal aversion to debt. My expected budget for the purchase is $100-$175K, including any ancillary expenses associated with the purchase (inspections, taxes, fees, etc.) I am ignorant of the various considerations involved in choosing / buying an airplane and am curious about any services AOPA may offer to assist new pilots in purchasing their first airplane.

    Are there benefits to financing? Is there a “playbook” on buying an airplane that AOPA provides for its members? Is there a financial advantage to waiting, i.e., is the current market in used GA aircraft likely to soften into a “buyers market?” Is it typically more cost effective to acquire a low tech platform and update avionics or look for a plane with glass panel already installed? Other considerations not mentioned?

    Answer: The biggest benefit to financing is for folks with cash flow that want to preserve liquidity. Right now, especially, we are seeing people preserve capital either for investing in the market or for a safety margin if things start to get tight, cash flow-wise, down the road. In terms of a “play book”, we have a great resource page on our website for members trying to navigate the purchasing and financing process:

    At this point, it seems unlikely for the used GA aircraft market to soften. Inventory levels of good 182s was limited prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. What we’ve seen since the COVID-19 outbreak is very few new listings of aircraft for sale, making it just as hard to find deals. Could it change down the road?  Possibly, but at the rate things are going it won’t likely be for a while longer. In terms of acquiring a low tech platform and updating the avionics vs. looking for an airplane with glass panel already installed, you are almost always better off (economically) buying an airplane someone else has done upgrades on. They put the money in but won’t get it back out. We always recommend that members get pre-approved so that when you find the airplane you like you’re not going to lose out to a cash buyer. Please reach out to us by calling 800.627.5263 so we can answer any other questions you may have.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Finance on May 29, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Asset Insight Launches Podcast Series Focusing on the Aircraft Ownership Lifecycle see more

    July 7, 2020 – Asset Insight today announced the launch of a new podcast series, available through the company’s website ( and across all podcast platforms, free of charge. The library of episodes is stocked with 15 to 30-minute sessions focused on all segments of the Business & General Aviation aircraft ownership lifecycle – Acquiring, Financing, Operating, Maintaining and Selling. Host Anthony Kioussis visits with expert guests from numerous industry organizations and sectors who offer best practices, timely advice, proven principles, and explore specific aspects of the business aviation industry.

    The Asset Insight Podcast library presently features 8 episodes, including sessions with Jay Mesinger at Mesinger Jets; Jim Blessing at Air Fleet Capital; Shelly Svoren at First Republic Bank; Lee Rohde at Essex Aviation; Jim Simpson at First Republic Bank; René Bangelsdorf at Charlie Bravo Aviation; Janine Iannarelli at Par Avion Ltd; and Ryan Waguespack with NATA. More podcasts will be made available each week.

    “Asset Insight is in a unique position to bring aviation professionals together to hold timely discussions in short, interesting, educational and entertaining on-demand podcasts.” said Tony Kioussis, president of Asset Insight, LLC and host of the series. “This new aviation podcast series offers our community the opportunity to select episodes and topics on their schedule, and according to their interest and business segment. As many of us work from home to maintain safe social distancing, our podcasts allow people to remain connected. The podcasts can also assist new personnel entering the industry; people that would otherwise find it challenging to secure such information.”

    Asset Insight Podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts,, and wherever you get your podcasts.

    This release was originally published by Asset Insight on July 7, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Webinar: Ready to Buy & Fly? see more

    Educational Webinar Covers Best Practices & Acquisition Strategies Teaming Strategies

    Are you thinking about purchasing an aircraft? It can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you’re a first-time buyer, but there are experienced industry professionals who are ready to help.

    In a free educational webinar on May 28 2020, Essex Aviation President and CEO Lee Rohde joined GKG Law Principal Chris Younger to talk about everything you need to know when it comes to purchasing an aircraft.

    The webinar, Ready to Buy & Fly? Best Practices & Teaming Strategies for a Successful Aircraft Acquisition, includes resources, tips, and information on the following topics:

    • Steps to a successful aircraft transaction (including a week-by-week timeline!)
    • The necessary parties you should include when it comes to purchasing a plane, including:
      • CFO, CEO, and the COO
      • Corporate general counsel
      • An aircraft technical consultant
      • Commercial lender
      • And many more
    • Key closing checklist items
    • Potential post-closing issues
    • Net operating loss (NOL) carrybacks and The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

    Essex Aviation handles everything from new and pre-owned aircraft acquisitions to private jet charter counseling and membership. GKG Law works with purchase and sale transactions, aircraft ownership, federal and state tax planning, aircraft ownership trusts, and more.

    To find out more about purchasing an aircraft or to ask our industry experts any questions, contact Essex Aviation today.

    View Webinar Here

    This webinar hosted by Essex Aviation and GKG Law originally aired on May 28, 2020.


  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    GAMA Publishes First Quarter 2020 Aircraft Shipments and Billings Report see more

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its report of general aviation aircraft shipments and billings for the first quarter of 2020. Piston, turboprop, business jet and rotorcraft deliveries declined across all segments during the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the first quarter of 2019.

    “While the year started off strong, the health and safety restrictions put in place to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic began to significantly impact global operations, supply chains and deliveries towards the end of the first quarter. Companies rapidly implemented a wide range of health protocols in accordance with local, regional and national level guidance to keep production, maintenance and training activity churning. Many companies then supplemented ongoing activities with the production and transport of health care materials needed by front line health care workers and communities across the globe. These actions serve as a testament to the adaptability and resilience of our industry’s incredible workforce who will play such a pivotal role in our recovery process,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce.

    The first quarter of 2020, when compared to the first quarter of 2019, saw piston airplane deliveries decline 11.7%, with 219 units; turboprop airplane deliveries decline 41.8%, with 71 units; and business jet deliveries decline 19.1%, with 114 units. The value of airplane deliveries through the first quarter of 2020 was $3.4 billion, a decline of approximately 21.3%.

    Turbine helicopter deliveries for the first quarter of 2020, when compared to the first quarter of 2019, saw a decline of 18.3%, with 85 units; and piston helicopter deliveries saw a decline of 43.9%, with 37 units.

    GAMA’s complete 2020 first quarter report can be found at

    This release was originally published by GAMA on May 27, 2020.


  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Overview of the GAO Report on FAA see more

    In March of 2020, at the request of Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Peter King with the Subcommittee on National Security and the Committee on Oversight and Reform, the GAO released its long-awaited report on the FAA Registry’s ability to handle fraud and abuse risks in aircraft registrations.  As the title of the report clearly implies, the GAO found that the FAA Needs to Better Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Fraud and Abuse Risks in Aircraft Registration.  

    More specifically, however, the report found that the FAA needs to better review and vet the actual owners of aircraft.  As we all know, the FAA currently takes filed documents at face value, and records them if they meet certain requirements as set by the FAA itself.  While the rest of the industry has been subject to more and more demands to Know Your Customer, and to adhere to KYC and OFAC guidelines, the FAA has remained immune.  This report suggests that it is time for the FAA itself to do more due diligence and better vet the entities registering aircraft on its registry.

    There is also a clear need to allow law enforcement agencies more access to the data contained in the FAA registry.  Currently, registration information is mostly provided in .pdf format which is not easily searchable or accessible.  Many law enforcement agencies expressed frustration with an inability to have easy access to this information, and the report outlines opportunities for the FAA to be a center point to house data that could help law enforcement agencies to not only have better access to information, but to potentially allow for better cross-agency coordination to crack down on illegal activity involving the registration and use of general aviation aircraft.  

    The report seems to focus on increasing transparency in “Opaque Ownership Structures” for registering aircraft, which the GAO believes are at the highest risk for fraud and abuse.  Opaque Ownership Structures are legitimate business structures that are widely used by corporations and individuals to facilitate commerce as well as for asset and tax management. However, they lack transparency related to aircraft registrations and can create challenges for safety and law-enforcement investigators seeking information about beneficial owners to support timely investigations. 

    These ownership structures can include the following:  

    • shell companies, especially in cases where there is foreign ownership that is spread across jurisdictions; 
    • complex ownership and control structures involving many layers of shares registered in the name of other legal entities;
    • formal nominee shareholders and directors where the identity of the beneficial owner is undisclosed;
    • trusts and other legal arrangements that enable a separation of legal ownership and beneficial ownership of assets; 
    • use of intermediaries in forming legal entities, including professional intermediaries.  

    It is worth noting that the report specifically excludes publicly traded companies, shifting the focus of these security measures away from commercial airlines and towards the general aviation industry.  

    On pages 58-59 of the report, the GAO outlined 15 recommendations for Executive Action by the FAA.  Many of the recommended improvements to the FAA system are expected to be implemented in the FAA’s modernization project, slated to be completed by October 2021.  Generally speaking, the modernization project is expected to help streamline and automate the aircraft registration process,  and make the FAA records available to the public at all times.  The GAO report includes recommendations for using this new system to improve the FAA’s vetting process of owners registering aircraft on the FAA’s system, and using that technology to allow law enforcement officials more access to registry data.  Initial conversations with the FAA indicate they are on track to complete this project by the stated October 2021 deadline.  

    While the GAO has many recommendations to the FAA, there are still many questions to be answered.  These are the Top Issues we have identified:

    • The biggest unanswered question causing the most consternation in the industry, is the one involving transparency of ownership information.  How much transparency will there really be?  Will all aircraft ownership information be made available to the public, or only some?  Will there be sections of registry data that remain “private” and only made available to authorized government agencies?  That remains to be seen.  
    • Possibly the second largest question includes cost.  The report is clear that the $5 filing fee set in 1964 is not enough to cover even today’s operating expenses, much less the costs to modernize the system.  FAA has been talking about increasing registration costs for years, so an increase can likely be expected, but the question of how much remains to be answered.   How much will it cost to register an aircraft in the future?  
    • Time is money, so questions about increases in registration time also remain.  If FAA will be doing more vetting of its registrants, how much time will that take?   How much longer will it take to register an aircraft with the FAA?  What will this do to aircraft closing timelines?
    • Lastly, there is the issue of international operations.  The report expresses clear concern for FAA’s ability to issue Declarations of International Operations without knowledge or consent of specific law enforcement agencies.  FAA currently expedites requests for international flights on a daily basis for the general aviation community, but will they be able to do that in the future?  Or will there be a more stringent system of checks and balances required to issue Declarations of International Operations?  And how long will it take to finally have one issued?

    The FAA has yet to officially respond to the GAO’s report, but they have updated their website on the CARES Initiative to enhance and modernize the FAA registration services.  To learn more about it, you can go to their website here:

    Furthermore, on March 30, 2020, they issued their Third Request For Information, requesting information from the industry.  To participate, click here:  

    As NAFA members, it is important that we participate in any proposed changes to the FAA registration process as much as possible.  To the extent that you have time to fill out the FAA’s RFI, we encourage our members to do so. 

    NAFA will continue to monitor the proposed changes and the FAA’s eventual response and will report those to the membership.  

    The full report can be found here:


  • 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

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

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    State of general aviation with AOPA President Mark Baker see more

    NAFA member, Mark Baker, President of AOPA, discusses the latest on AOPA's advocacy efforts to protect general aviation pilots and community airports during the coronavirus pandemic. 

    AOPA President Mark Baker hosted a recent livestream on YouTube to bring you the latest updates on our efforts to obtain relief for pilots on several certification deadlines, secure funding for airports, maintain access to airspace, and more.

    Mark took questions and answered them during the live discussion moderated by AOPA Senior Vice President of Marketing Jiri Marousek.

    In case you missed it, listen to the livestream now: State of general aviation with AOPA President Mark Baker.

    This livestream was posted by AOPA on April 22, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    GA Airports in ‘Survival Mode,’ but Ready to Support Business Aviation see more

    NAFA member, NBAA, shares its recent webinar moderated by Alex Gertsen, NBAA Director for Airports and Ground Infrastructure, regarding the challenges general aviation airports are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The latest NBAA News Hour webinar, held April 17, addressed the challenges facing general aviation (GA) airports, as traffic levels have continued to plummet during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the situations operators may encounter when flying to fields that may have reduced hours or services in the current environment.

    Moderated by Alex Gertsen, NBAA director for airports and ground infrastructure, the webinar included participants from the FAA, as well as several directors of medium and large GA facilities around the country. The webinar served as a platform allowing NBAA to bring the regulator, airports and operators together in a virtual, interactive forum.


    In general, the airport directors noted that even while traffic levels have fallen drastically – to “near-zero” flight activity in some cases – GA airports remain staffed and open as essential facilities and continue to be safety-focused and ready to provide services to business aviation customers.

    The airport directors spoke about special COVID-19 related procedures in place – often due to governors’ executive orders in various states – and how those are being executed and enforced. Participants also looked ahead to the post-health emergency world and the expectations for GA flights under a post-pandemic “new normal.”

    For its part, the FAA addressed its efforts to keep airports open and operational as states and municipalities attempt to set their own policies. The agency emphasized that aircraft operators should be aware of specific restrictions, but that municipalities do not have jurisdiction to limit flights from hot-spot areas, and that federally obligated airports are required to receive approval from the FAA before implementing operational restrictions.

    The webinar also explored the details of the general aviation airport grants being distributed through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to facilities often struggling with steep revenue losses. The directors noted that, in receiving the relief funding, their emphasis is on maintaining airport businesses in “survival mode” so they are best prepared for a return to profitability in a post-COVID environment.

    While FAA funding from the CARES Act is being distributed swiftly, the process requires a significant amount of time at the airport level, and in many cases city government or airport board approvals are also required, especially if changes to leases and other contracts are necessary. The airport managers suggested that business aviation operators rely on the federal aid available directly to them as a first resort, and on direct airport assistance as a final option.

    Webinar participants had an opportunity to share their first-hand perspectives. Most flight departments and operators have ceased flying for the moment and are doing what they can to maintain currency and keep their aircraft mission-ready for when flight operations resume. In the meantime, participants noted, maintenance and flight training continue.

    This webinar, titled “Airports in the COVID-19 Environment, and What You Should Expect,” is just one in a series of educational opportunities NBAA has planned for the coming weeks. Learn more, register for upcoming webinars and view recordings of past webinars on the NBAA News Hour site.

    This article was published by NBAA on April 18, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $10 Billion in Relief for America’s Airports see more

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the award of approximately $10 billion to commercial and general aviation airports from the Trump Administration's newly created Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program. The effort will provide unprecedented and immediate relief to American families, workers, and businesses.  

    “This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. 

    In less than two weeks since the bill was signed into law, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ready to deliver CARES Act grants to eligible airports throughout the nation. The grants will provide economic relief to airports around the country affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    “Thank you to the dedicated men and women from the FAA’s Office of Airports for creating an entirely new program in record time to assist airport sponsors in desperate need of these funds,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.  

    This funding will support continuing operations and replace lost revenue resulting from the sharp decline in passenger traffic and other airport business due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

    The FAA encourages airport sponsors to spend the grants funds immediately to help minimize any adverse impact from the current public health emergency. Airport sponsors should work with their local FAA Office of Airports field office on the application and grant-agreement process. 

    The CARES Act also provides funds to increase the Federal share to 100 percent for grants awarded under the fiscal year 2020 appropriations for Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Supplemental Discretionary grants. Under normal circumstances, AIP grant recipients contribute a matching percentage of the project costs. Providing this additional funding and eliminating the local share will allow critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned regardless of airport sponsors’ current financial circumstances.

    The FAA will use a streamlined application and grant-agreement process to make this funding immediately available for critical airport needs. The funds will be available as soon as the airport sponsor executes a grant agreement. 

    The CARES Act provides new funds distributed by various formulas for all airports that are part of the national airport system. This includes all commercial service airports, all reliever airports and some public-owned general aviation airports. 

    There is additional program information on the CARES Act website.

    This release was originally published by the U.S. Department of Transportation on April 14, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NBAA Welcomes Treasury’s COVID-19 Accommodations for Charter Companies see more

    Washington, DC, April 10, 2020 – Today, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) applauded guidance from the Department of the Treasury, ensuring that qualifying passenger air carriers – including many small charter operators in NBAA’s membership – have more flexible access to the Payroll Support Program contained in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

    Through this program, air carriers can apply for support to continue paying employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    During the debate on the CARES Act, NBAA led a significant effort to ensure that general aviation air carriers, such as FAR Part 135 operators, were eligible for this relief. NBAA’s effort led to the inclusion of general aviation in crucial provisions of the CARES Act.

    The new guidance provided by the Treasury Department recognizes the critical role general aviation air carriers play in the nation’s transportation system, and states that operators receiving less than $100 million of payroll assistance are not required to provide financial instruments to the government.

    Air carriers receiving payroll support must meet minimum service requirements, limit any share buybacks, follow executive compensation limits and refrain from involuntary furloughs; however, the provision of financial instruments to the government as appropriate compensation is no longer required.

    In a March 31 letter to Secretary Mnuchin, NBAA explained that initial guidance on the payroll support program presented challenges for general aviation businesses, as specific requirements were structured for the major scheduled airlines. Review the letter to Secretary Mnuchin. The additional guidance issued today responds directly to these concerns, and provides essential flexibility for general aviation air carriers seeking payroll support.

    The Treasury Department noted that the majority of payroll support requests received from small air carriers are for less than $10 million, and that funds will be available promptly upon approval of their applications.

    “We appreciate the significant efforts of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Chao to understand the unique financial challenges of general aviation air carriers and provide additional flexibility while ensuring that taxpayers are properly compensated,” said NBAA President & CEO Ed Bolen. “These companies are often small and mid-sized businesses, which support jobs and economic investment in their local communities.”

    Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

    # # #

    Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and professionals and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

    Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via email. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release email list, submit the online form.

    This release was originally published by NBAA on April 10, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    GA Fights for Public Benefit Exemptions, Accommodations see more

    NAFA member, AOPA, fights for the general aviation industry public benefit exemptions and accommodations.

    As the coronavirus pandemic alters every facet of life and how industries around the globe operate, the aviation sector is trying to find its new normal. The FAA has taken steps to address the heavily impacted operations of commercial carriers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and now, general aviation continues to ask for the same treatment as it provides vital services to the public and economy while fighting a worldwide crisis.

    General aviation is providing vital services to the public and economy during the coronavirus pandemic, as exemplified by Michigan Seaplane flight school instructors Nick Hall and Mike Mato, who have been flying medical face shields to a Michigan hospital in a Cessna 206. AOPA and other aviation groups are requesting exemptions for GA because it is serving a critical role. Photo courtesy of Nick Hall and Mike Mato.

    In an April 1 letter to FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Ali Bahrami, AOPA and seven other industry groups urged the agency to empower the continued health of the multibillion-dollar GA industry through extensions to examinations, certifications, maintenance, and filings. GA has stepped up in many ways to help the nation deal with the COVID-19 crisis through its more than 5,000 public airports across the country, providing transportation and logistical support for needed supplies and personnel.

    While the commercial aviation sector has taken center stage as being hard hit throughout the pandemic, the vital contributions of GA often go unrecognized.

    General aviation has long been vital to the nation’s transportation and economic infrastructure,” said Christopher Cooper, AOPA director of regulatory affairs. “From providing medical resources to remote locations to supporting millions of jobs and economic activity across the United States, the benefit general aviation provides to the public, especially in times of national crisis, is enormous. Having these exemptions and deviations approved by the FAA will ensure general aviation has limited delay in operations to help the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    The letter also cited a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP study showing that GA contributes 1.2 million jobs and $247 billion in economic activity to the United States. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, has designated transportation, which includes GA, as a critical infrastructure sector. Air medical is specifically named by CISA as a critical workforce, and air medical aircraft continue to provide lifesaving missions for those in need whether stricken by COVID-19 or other health emergencies. 

    “This letter builds upon an earlier request sent to the FAA on March 17, further explaining why these extensions are justified since general aviation is, indeed, a public good. Regulations and exemptions must be found to be for the public good, and this is the rationale the FAA used to provide exemptions for air carriers and commercial operations. We believe general aviation should also be provided exemptions based on the same rationale,” said Cooper.

    Similar regulatory activity has already been enacted by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency in Europe and the Civil Aviation Authority in the United Kingdom, where comparable exemptions have been granted to both commercial and noncommercial operations in their respective countries. 

    Along with AOPA, the Air Medical Operators Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, the National Agricultural Aviation Association, the National Air Transportation Association, and the National Business Aviation Association signed the April 1 letter.

    Requested exemptions

    AOPA and seven other GA organizations signed an April 1 letter to the FAA requesting a wide range of exemptions and deviations:

    • Extension of FAR Part 61 pilot currency requirements, including the flight review and instrument proficiency check.
    • Guidance that 709 reexaminations or paperwork inspections in person (such as logbook inspections under FAR 61.51, or maintenance record inspections under FAR 91.417) be deferred or at least be conducted electronically during the current social distancing safety protocols and directives regarding nonessential activities.
    • Extensions for certificated flight instructor certificate renewal, expiration, and endorsement periods. 
    • Extension of knowledge exam expiration period.
    • Extensions for applicants on the ability to complete practical examinations.
    • Extension for filing documents under FAR Part 13 (Subparts C, D, and G).
    • Extensions for aircraft maintenance and continuing airworthiness requirements with necessary mitigation procedures.

    This article was originally published by AOPA on April 2, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Associations Seek Exemptions to Continue Flying During COVID-19 Pandemic see more

    Washington, DC, April 3, 2020 – In an April 1 letter to FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Ali Bahrami, NBAA and other general aviation (GA) groups requested exemptions and other accommodations to ensure continuity of operations and commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Included requests for exemptions or deviations most applicable to NBAA members include:

    • Extension of 14 CFR Part 61 pilot current requirements, e.g. flight review, IPC, PIC/SIC proficiency checks;
    • Extensions for certified flight instructor certificate renewal, expiration and endorsement periods; and
    • Extensions for aircraft maintenance and continuing airworthiness requirements with necessary mitigation procedures.

    The group letter notes other aviation authorities have provided similar exemptions for commercial and noncommercial operations.

    The April 1 letter highlights the important role general aviation plays in the U.S. and global economy and the significant public benefit provided by the industry. For example, general aviation contributes 1.1 million jobs and $247 billion in economic activity to the U.S. economy and is a literal lifeline to many communities, connecting more than 5,000 public airports, compared to the 500 used by scheduled airlines.

    The Air Medical Operators Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, National Agricultural Aviation Association and National Air Transportation Association also signed the April 1 letter to Mr. Bahrami. 

    Read the GA groups’ letter in its entirety

    General aviation provides extensive air medical services, which are designated by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) as a critical workforce; monitors pipelines and powerlines; transports critical medical personnel; and conducts important aerial applications in agriculture and pest control programs.

    Perhaps most importantly during this crisis, general aviation airmen and aircraft conduct humanitarian flights delivering masks, ventilators and other essential items.

    Prior to signing on to this most recent letter, NBAA also sought and received exemptions for certain Part 135 training requirements in March. The FAA also worked with NBAA and other groups to issue a COVID-19-driven exemptionallowing pilots to continue to fly if their airmen medical certificate expires between March 31 and June 30. 

    “We appreciate the FAA’s cooperation and efforts to provide these exemptions and exceptions, keeping business aviation flying without compromising safety or negatively impacting the National Airspace System,” said Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA’s director of flight operations and regulations. “Business aviation plays an important role as the nation continues its work to contain COVID-19, mitigate the devastation the virus might cause and – eventually – begin nationwide recovery.”

    Review NBAA’s COVID-19 resources.

    Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

    This release was originally published by NBAA on April 3, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Update: FAA Extends NBAA’s Small Aircraft Exemption Until 2022 see more

    NAFA member, NBAA, shares update on FAA's NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption.

    The FAA recently approved a 24-month extension to NBAA’s Small Aircraft Exemption until March 31, 2022, allowing NBAA members that operate small aircraft to take advantage of the flexibility usually offered to operators of larger, turbine-powered aircraft. The exemption includes a new item in the Conditions and Limitations section.

    Review the current version of the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption.

    The current version of the exemption – officially known as Exemption 7897K, the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption – provides operators of piston-powered airplanes, small airplanes (those with a gross weight of 12,500 pounds or less) and rotorcraft a number of advantages, including the use of alternative maintenance programs and limited cost-reimbursement for certain flights in accordance with Part 91 Subpart F of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

    The cost-sharing benefits of Part 91 Subpart F are typically limited to aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of over 12,500 pounds, multi-engine turbojet aircraft or fractional ownership program aircraft.

    The cost-reimbursement options of Part 91 Subpart F are useful in regards to transportation of a guest on a company aircraft, the use of the aircraft by employees of a subsidiary company and other common scenarios. Time sharing, interchange and joint ownership agreements are also permitted under Part 91 Subpart F.

    A new condition is included in the updated exemption.

    As of Sept. 27, 2020, no person may operate an aircraft under the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption unless that person files a “Notice of Joinder to FAA Exemptions No. 7897K.” This requirement can be met electronically and must include:

    • Basic contact information for the person,
    • The person’s NBAA membership number,
    • A statement requesting the FAA appends the Notice of Joinder to the list of NBAA with authorization to use this exemption,
    • A statement attesting the person will not conduct operations under this exemption if the person ceases to be an NBAA member, and
    • An attestation the person will comply with all conditions and limitations of the exemption.

    “Use of the exemption is overseen, in part, by a requirement to notify the local Flight Standards District Office when an operation will be conducted under the terms of the exemption,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “This notification requires the operator to provide a copy of the time-sharing, interchange or joint ownership agreements, and is an opportunity for the local office to review these documents and details of the operation for compliance.

    “The FAA is bringing additional compliance checks and scrutiny to all exemptions, so it’s important that NBAA members understand this additional submission to the docket will ensure the NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption continues to be valid and is utilized appropriately,” said Carr.

    NBAA will create a form to allow members to easily comply with the new requirements of the exemption. This form will be available prior to the Sept. 27, 2020, notification date.

    “This NBAA-provided form will ease the burden of compliance and allow small aircraft operators who need the exemption to operate as they are currently, in compliance with regulations and the exemption conditions,” said Carr.

    This article was originally published by NBAA on April 3, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Stimulus Package Includes $100 Million for GA Airports see more

    NAFA member, AOPA works to support GA Airports across the country.

    A $2 trillion stimulus package passed unanimously by the Senate to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic includes $100 million to protect general aviation airports and maintain small and rural communities’ access to aviation services.

    The funding for GA airports—which the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) made a top advocacy priority for fighting the pandemic’s impact—is part of a $10 billion emergency appropriation for airports in the stimulus plan that passed the Senate by a vote of 96 to zero on March 25. The package is expected to be approved by the House and sent to President Donald Trump on March 27 for signing.

    Of the more than 3,300 airports in the federal system, 2,815 airports that have no scheduled air service or have fewer than 2,500 passengers per year on scheduled routes will be eligible for the $100 million in grant awards—roughly $36,000 per airport.

    The money will come from the general fund, not the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and may be used for any purpose on which airport revenue may lawfully be spent.

    No local match will be required as the federal government’s share of the grants will be 100 percent. Non-hub and small airports were exempted from a condition requiring airports receiving the grant funding to retain at least 90-percent of their workforce through the end of the year.

    “We need these airports and I just want to thank those in Congress who understand the importance of them, especially the thousands of small airports across the country. I appreciate the fact that they ensured this emergency funding is a priority as the nation works to meet the challenges caused by this pandemic,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “These airports provide critical services to many communities and account for millions of operations each year, while also doing distinguished service during emergencies including natural disasters.”

    Other provisions of the stimulus package related to aviation require the Department of Transportation to take into consideration the air transportation needs of small and remote communities.

    The legislation suspends certain aviation excise taxes through the end of 2020 including the passenger ticket tax, cargo tax, and fuel taxes on kerosene used in commercial aviation, including Part 135 operations.

    AOPA is continuously updating its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on general aviation. For more information please visit this page.

    This article was originally published by AOPA on March 26, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NBAA Welcomes Legislation Providing COVID-19 Relief see more

    Washington, DC, March 25, 2020 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed Senate passage of a $2 trillion stimulus bill that would grant relief to the nation’s aviation industry, including general aviation (GA), as it grapples with the staggering effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed by the Senate today; the House is expected to likewise approve the legislation, with the President’s signature to follow shortly thereafter.

    Review NBAA’s analysis of key provisions for general aviation businesses in the CARES Act.

    NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen pointed to several provisions in the bill that will benefit the GA community, including business aviation. These include additional relief for airports through a $10 billion increase to Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding, with $100 million specially allocated to general aviation airports, in recognition of their critical importance to communities, particularly in times of crisis.

    The bill also contains relief from the 7.5% air transportation federal excise tax for general aviation commercial operations, including FAR Part 135 flights, and suspension of the commercial fuel tax until Jan. 1, 2021. NBAA successfully worked to have these measures extended to all GA operators that pay such taxes. 

    In addition, the CARES Act provides loans and grants to passenger and cargo air carriers, including general aviation commercial operators, such as FAR Part 135 charter providers. For these commercial passenger operators and FAR Part 145 repair stations, $25 billion in direct loans and loan guarantees are available. An additional $25 billion in grants are available to air carriers for the continuation of wage payments to workers. NBAA led a general aviation industry letter to lawmakers to ensure that general aviation commercial operators were eligible for these programs. Read NBAA’s letter in its entirety.  

    Additional loan programs for small and mid-size businesses are also made available under the measure, and while they are not specific to aviation, they may offer further assistance to the thousands of small and midsize aviation businesses in the industry.

    “On balance, this bill is helpful for general aviation,” Bolen said. “The industry clearly made its voice heard in ensuring that the important provisions for general aviation airports, general aviation commercial operators and other small businesses were considered as this legislation was assembled, and we look forward to the bill’s passage into law.”

    Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

    # # #

    Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 11,000 companies and professionals and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

    Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via email. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release email list, submit the online form.

    This release was originally published by NBAA on March 25, 2020.