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  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) Celebrates 50 Years of Aviation Finance Expertise see more

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2021                      

    Contact: Tracey Cheek

                                                                                                                  TLC@NAFA.aero

                                                                                                                 405.850.1292

     

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) Celebrates 
    50 Years of Aviation Finance Expertise 

     

    Edgewater, MD: 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of NAFA’s inception. The occasion comes at a pivotal moment in the world of aircraft financing—a time when the professional education, lender access, and networking opportunities NAFA provides are more important than ever. 

     

    The History of NAFA 

     

    NAFA was born in the late 60s when Tom Harvell, Bob Beech, Carol Davis, Jim Peters, Victor Hermey, Bob Keeling, William Staub, and other lenders who financed aircraft in large volume came together with an idea: improve and facilitate the lending process to support aircraft buyers. 

    Their first order of business? Figure out who was lending on aircraft. For that, they reached out to a local Oklahoma City title and escrow firm, which conducted research to identify this common core of entities. Over the next few years, the group began meeting in a more formal way as the Aircraft Finance Association, or AFA for short. In its early years, the AFA worked to develop a streamlined FAA escrow process to immediately secure lienholder interest in aircraft—a process that, at the time, was an uphill battle requiring much litigation. They also worked to improve the process of reporting aircraft interests, with an end goal of better grasping how exactly to value an aircraft, specifically when it comes to financing used assets.  The solution, in part, lead to the formation of the industry’s first comprehensive aircraft value guide for both business and general aviation.  

    What started as a small, scrappy group of lenders figuring out how to corral the industry grew, by the 1980s, into a network of approximately 70 member companies.  It was at this point that AFA rebranded to become the National Aircraft Finance Association, or NAFA. 

     

    NAFA Today 

     

    Fast forward to today, and the organization has grown to nearly 200 member companies, including the five largest banks in the United States. In addition to niche financiers, NAFA is home to certified appraisers, aviation attorneys, title and escrow firms, aviation tax specialists, aircraft insurance firms, aircraft manufacturers, brokers, and dealers—essentially anyone involved with the touchpoint of buying and/or financing an aircraft. This diverse representation has allowed NAFA, over the past 50 years, to successfully facilitate the exchange of ideas and capital that finance the world’s business and general aviation aircraft. 

    Key tenets of the organization include:  
     

    • A world-class network 
      NAFA hosts a complete network of lenders and product/service providers, all of whom regularly convene via in-person or live video events to discuss and resolve key, timely industry issues. 
       
    • Industry expertise and education 
      NAFA members obtain comprehensive education on the latest industry developments, laws, and regulations from a vetted group of experienced professionals. 

     

    • Unparalleled access to lenders and borrowers 
      With NAFA, all aircraft financing needs are housed in one organization, with tailored solutions for first-time and experienced buyers alike that not only support but promote aircraft finance.  

     

    The Future of NAFA 

     

    50 years in, NAFA is showing no signs of slowing down. Aircraft purchasers are leaning on financing more than ever as a way to become more liquid while maintaining their cash reserves. There is also an uptick in first-time aircraft buyers (people entering the market who haven’t owned before as well as entities who may have owned an aircraft 15-20 years ago and are now returning)—a large percentage of whom are financing their purchases.  This all coupled with historically low interest rates is fueling an increase in financing demand.

    NAFA is primed for the surge in demand with a 2021 plan that includes:
     

    • Expanding educational offerings through articles and newsletters. During COVID-19, NAFA also launched webinars, which covered topics such as best practices in aircraft lending, how to manage a loan portfolio in this unique economic environment, and impending regulatory changes in the market. 
       
    • Developing and growing NAFA as the voice of aircraft finance by closely tracking activity and changes in the market and publishing recurring market updates on the state of aircraft financing.
       
    • Collaborating with other aviation associations as a way to expand access to aviation and aircraft ownership.  

     

    • Investing in the future of aviation professionals with a newly established NAFA Foundation, and a scholarship program that supports aircraft finance students from universities across the country. 

    According to Jim Blessing, President of NAFA, “Many things may have changed over the past 50 years, but NAFA has retained the founders’ love of aviation and original purpose: to promote aircraft financing and the organizations that support it.”

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    About NAFA: The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a professional association that has been promoting the general welfare of aircraft finance for 50 years. Our network of members is comprised of lenders and product service providers who work together to finance general and business aviation aircraft. NAFA sets the standard for best practices in aviation finance by educating its members with the most up-to-date industry trends and best practices. Government legislation, market influences, and industry insights allow member companies to provide the highest quality services the industry has to offer.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Trident Funding Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ​March 5, 2021 

    Contact: ​Tracey Cheek

    tlc@tlcmarketingok.com

    405.850.1292

     

    Trident Funding Joins National Aircraft Finance Association

     

    Edgewater, MD: ​National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Trident Funding has recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders under the leadership of Michael Bryant (Senior Vice President, Credit Analyst) and Craig Bowers (Director, Aircraft Lending).

    Trident Funding is a nationwide broker specializing in both consumer and commercial lending solutions for Aircraft, Marine, and RV since 1996. Founded by industry veterans Michael Bryant, Bob Dunford, and Jim Foley, Trident now has offices conveniently located through the US. They have developed more than 20 different institutional partners to ensure a funding solution across a wide variety of general aviation use profiles, providing lending solutions from as low as $25K to more than $10M in both Part 91 and 135 operations.

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome Trident Funding to our growing organization as we celebrate our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, president of NAFA.

    About Michael Bryant:

    As the founder of Trident Funding Corp, Michael has been in consumer financing for over 45 years, specializing in the larger vessel and aircraft space. He now serves as Senior Credit Analyst for Trident Funding LLC’s aircraft division and works closely with Craig Bowers to supply the best financing solutions for consumer, charter, and light commercial aircraft markets.

    About Craig Bowers:

    Craig has been actively involved in aviation for over 40 years. Learning to fly in high school, he went on to become a Marine Corps pilot, finishing his military career as an instructor at the US Navy Test Pilot School. An active pilot, he is currently qualified as an international captain in the Gulfstream G550 aircraft. Craig has been involved in the active selling and financing of corporate aircraft for the past 20 years and currently sits on the Board of the Northern California Business Aviation Association.

    For more information about Trident Funding, visit https://www.nafa.aero/companies/trident-funding.

    ####

    About NAFA: ​The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a professional association that has been promoting the general welfare of aircraft finance for 50 years. Our network of members is comprised of lenders and product service providers who work together to finance general and business aviation aircraft. NAFA sets the standard for best practices in aviation finance by educating its members with the most up-to-date industry trends and best practices. Government legislation, market influences, and industry insights allows member companies to provide the highest quality services the industry has to offer.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Texas Partners Bank Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2021 

    Contact: Tracey Cheek

    tlc@tlcmarketingok.com

    405.850.1292

    Texas Partners Bank Joins National Aircraft Finance Association

    Edgewater, MD: National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Texas Partners Bank has recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders under the leadership of Alan Smith (Executive Vice President, Specialty Finance Group) and Sam Marshall (Vice President, Specialty Finance Group).

    Established in 2020, Texas Partners Bank is comprised of three independent banks that merged under a new charter: The Bank of San Antonio, The Bank of Austin, and Texas Hill Country Bank. Under this new alliance, Texas Partners Bank has deep resources and strong local ownership to provide greater accessibility and enhanced service opportunities for Central Texas businesses.

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome Texas Partners Bank to our growing organization as we celebrate our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, president of NAFA.

    About Alan Smith:

    Alan has more than 34 years of banking experience with a majority of those spent in San Antonio, Texas. He currently runs the specialty finance group at Texas Partners Bank, which focuses on lending in niche sectors, specifically aircraft finance. Before joining Texas Partners Bank, Alan was VP of Private Client Services at Compass Bank, where he focused on providing trust, investment, banking, and insurance services to business and private clients. Alan holds an M.S. in Finance from Texas A&M University and is a general aviation enthusiast who currently has his private pilot’s license (PPL).

    About Sam Marshall:

    Sam has 8 years of banking experience, with 7 of those spent in commercial lending. He currently manages the specialty finance loan portfolio at Texas Partners Bank, which consists of an eclectic mix of niche business sectors, including aircraft loans. Before joining Texas Partners Bank, Sam held commercial lending positions with Intrust Bank and Iberia Bank. He holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Mississippi and is a general aviation enthusiast who is currently working towards his private pilot’s license (PPL).

    For more information about Texas Partners Bank, visit https://www.nafa.aero/companies/texas-partners-bank.

    ####

    About NAFA: The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a professional association that has been promoting the general welfare of aircraft finance for 50 years. Our network of members is comprised of lenders and product service providers who work together to finance general and business aviation aircraft. NAFA sets the standard for best practices in aviation finance by educating its members with the most up-to-date industry trends and best practices. Government legislation, market influences, and industry insights allows member companies to provide the highest quality services the industry has to offer.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Webinar: GATS: Global Aircraft Trading System see more

    GATS:  Global Aircraft Trading System

    Meet our Moderator and Panelists:

    Ford von Weise, Director & Head, Global Aircraft Finance, Citi Private Bank

    Jeffrey Towers, Vice President & General Counsel, TVPX

    Scott McCreary, Shareholder, McAfee & Taft

    This NAFA webinar originally aired on November 10, 2020. 

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Webinar: Digital Signatures: The Landscape see more

    FAA Registry Update: What's New?

    Meet our Moderator and Panelists:

    Ford von Weise, Director & Head, Global Aircraft Finance, Citi Private Bank

    Ed Kammerer, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

    This NAFA webinar originally aired on November 10, 2020. 

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Webinar: FAA Registry Update: What's New? see more

    FAA Registry Update: What's New?

    Meet our Moderator and Panelists:

    Ford von Weise, Director & Head, Global Aircraft Finance, Citi Private Bank

    Debbie Mercer-Erwin, President, Wright Brothers Aircraft Title

    Scott McCreary, Shareholder, McAfee & Taft

    This NAFA webinar originally aired on November 10, 2020. 

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Webinar: FAA Aircraft Registry: What Is Its Purpose? see more

    FAA Aircraft Registry: What Is Its Purpose?

    Meet our Moderator and Panelists:

    Ford von Weise, Director & Head, Global Aircraft Finance, Citi Private Bank

    Debbie Mercer-Erwin, President, Wright Brothers Aircraft Title

    Scott McCreary, Shareholder, McAfee & Taft

    This NAFA webinar originally aired on November 10, 2020. 

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Webinar: Bringing Title and Registration Into the 21st Century see more

    The FAA is updating and modernizing its title and registration system in accordance with the GAO report, but how much do you know about what changes are actually being made and how those changes might affect your business operations, costs, and registration systems. 

    What issues might arise from a newer, more modern electronic filing system and digital signatures?  What is the difference between digital and electronic signatures, and what position is the FAA taking on this in the modernization process.  

    And what about GATS?  What is it and how does it fit into the new modernization system? 

    Watch our webinar to learn more about everything that is happening to bring Title and Registration Procedures into the 21st Century.   

     

    Meet our Moderator and Panelists:

    Ford von Weise, Director & Head - Global Aircraft Finance & Aircraft Advisory Services, Citi Private Bank (Moderator)

    Scott McCreary, Shareholder, Director, McAfee & Taft

    Debbie Mercer-Erwin, President of Wright Brothers Aircraft Title 

    Jeff Towers, VP & General Counsel for TVPX

    Ed Kammerer, Shareholder for Greenberg Traurig, LLP 

     

    Webinar slides can be viewed here.This NAFA webinar originally aired on November 10, 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    2021 Trends, Trials, Triumphs - BizAv Trade Associations Working for You see more

    NAFA member and Marketing Director of The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA), Tracey Cheek, shares the latest trends in general and business aviation.

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) recently hosted a webinar with industry leaders: Ed Bolen, President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA); Pete Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA); Tim Obitts, President and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA); and Mark Baker, President of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); moderated by Business Aviation Advisor Publisher Gil Wolin to discuss the changing state of the aviation industry.

    What are some trends – both positive and negative – that business aircraft owners and users can expect to see?

    • General and business aviation use increased dramatically since April, as have first-time jet card buyers and charterers. Initially, 90% of these flights were personal, while only 10% were for business. However, as the year progressed, while the percentage of flight activity for business increased, travel remains challenged because there isn’t a lot of business to be done. According to NBAA, larger international jet traffic is slow. Fortunately, these flight departments have not shut down or sold off their fleet. They are still using their aircraft for intracompany flying between and among remote facilities, while preparing to gear up to resume travel to other cities when it’s safer to do so.
    • Health and safety continue to be drivers for increased charter. Ed Bolen cited a recent McKinsey study indicating that travelers flying commercially encountered more than 780 “touchpoints” with others, while those flying business aircraft had fewer than two dozen. For that reason alone most of these new business aviation flyers  already say they have no intention of returning to commercial travel. This bodes well for current owners. If your aircraft is available for charter, these new entrants will book more charter hours, helping to maintain or even increase your aircraft’s asset value. History indicates that many of those new charter users will eventually buy their own aircraft, thus bolstering the resale market.
    • Baker indicated that flight schools are reporting a dramatic increase in students, from both new flyers and those inactive pilots seeking a refresher. AOPA’s Flying Club initiative, launched in 2016, has to date created 161 clubs, serving more than 2,400 pilots nationwide.
    • As the pandemic continues, an interesting new phenomenon has emerged: people are leaving cities for remote suburbs. While they’ve learned to work remotely, they still need mobility. Bunce indicated that the network of GA airports makes that possible, as people are using small aircraft to commute from larger city airports to their new homes. 

    What are your trade associations doing to support you, and business aviation in general?

    • Illegal charter continues to be an issue in the industry. Many owners still do not understand that as soon as money changes hands, that flight can be construed as a commercial flight. NATA has been on the forefront of this issue, along with the FAA, the Department of Homeland Security, and Customs and Border Patrol, educating those who use and operate business aircraft. According to Obitts, it mostly is an issue of dealing with the “clueless and careless.” AOPA is working to inform owners about how to properly share aircraft via safe and legal “dry” (aircraft only) leases. 
    • After many years of no increases, insurance rate hikes for both new and renewal policies are significant. Insurance underwriters also are discriminating against older pilots, charging higher rates and even denying them coverage. Neither AOPA nor the NTSB has found any correlation between age and fatalities or significant accidents. AOPA is leading industry efforts to fight this age bias by educating insurance providers on the facts, encouraging them to look at individual qualifications, and discussing options like training and level of experience.

    In some instances, owners are placing planes in aircraft management companies, while in others, operators are pooling insurance companies to share risk. In all instances, parties are working to understand the real discriminators and to find alternative ways to mitigate risk to the underwriters. Despite these efforts, NATA suggests premiums will likely continue to rise over the next couple of years.   

    • Safe and efficient business and general aircraft travel depend on access to all airports, especially those with FAA-tower control. NBAA and AOPA work tirelessly to ensure those government-funded towers remain open and functioning, reminding authorities that they fall under the same essential regulatory requirements as interstate highways.
    • The one real positive outcome to the pandemic is an increased awareness of, and improvement in, sanitization. NATA created its Safety First Clean Initiative, creating standards for cleaning both aircraft and ground facilities, covering aircraft from landing to departure. FBOs are educating travelers with billboards outlining steps they’ve taken to keep the aircraft and their passenger lounges and maintenance hangars clean. The industry is discovering new uses for ultraviolet and ionizing sanitation procedures, and examining how HEPA filters work to filter cabin air.  AOPA’s website, regularly accessed by thousands, is updated daily with a list of restrictions by state. Because of these efforts, all airports remain open today, and these new standards for cleanliness will last long after the pandemic is over.
    • The industry continues to invest in the future, ensuring that owners will have the flight and support personnel needed to continue flying safely and securely. Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) continues to be an important part of these efforts. AOPA’s donor-supported program has created 400 classes and introduced more than 8,000 children to aviation as a career, 25% of whom are girls and 40% come from diverse backgrounds. GAMA has initiated a Washington, DC program to help introduce inner city students to aviation, as well. NBAA recently conducted a Safety Week, focused on training, technology, and personal fitness. 
    • To counter ongoing negative public perceptions of business aviation, your trade associations are assertively promoting the usefulness of the industry, advances in sustainable aviation fuel, use of composite technology, and the adoption of GPS. New efforts will celebrate advances in electric, hybrid, and even hydrogen propulsion, as well as aviation technology, such as drones, supersonic travel, Advanced Air Mobility, and particularly Urban Air Mobility – vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
    • Charitable use of aircraft is increasing. In support of pandemic and disaster relief efforts, many companies are donating their aircraft and crews, moving people and supplies to areas that need it most. Bunce stated that aviation manufacturers too are responding generously, diverting their plant capabilities to making much-needed medical and safety equipment to support health care requirements.

    This past year has wrought unforeseen changes, for both new and existing users of business and general aviation. We are more aware of the way we travel and conduct business. We now have an increased awareness of the value of time: the cost of time lost or wasted, and how we can travel more safely and efficiently.

    That bodes well for both segments in 2021, and beyond. BAA

    This article originally appeared in Business Aviation Advisor November/December 2020.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Webinar: Final Comments - Overview of the Current State of the Aviation Industry see more

    Final Comments - Overview of the Current State of the Aviation Industry

    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
    NAFA Webinar: Continuing Rise in Insurance Prices see more

    Continuing Rise in Insurance Prices 

    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
    NAFA Webinar: Current and Future Issues in Aviation see more

    Current and Future Issues in Aviation

    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
    NAFA Webinar: Advances in Technology and Hybrid Options in Aviation see more

    Advances in Technology and Hybrid Options in Aviation

    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
    NAFA Webinar: Overview of the Current State of the Aviation Industry see more

    Overview of the Current State of the Aviation Industry

    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
    NAFA Webinar: Illegal Charter Issues see more

    Illegal Charter Issues

    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.