NBAA

  • 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
    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.

  • 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.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    What Lies Ahead for Business Aviation After COVID-19? see more

    NAFA member, NBAA, shares their recent NBAA Flight Plan podcast regarding the future of business aviation post COVID-19. 

    Business aviation has never faced a situation like the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s no secret that both U.S. domestic and international business aviation operations have fallen dramatically over the past few months. How long should we expect these challenges to last, and what lies ahead for our industry? “We’ve been trained as a society to stay away from other people in a very short time,” notes industry analyst Brian Foley. “So I could make the case that business aviation will come back a little sooner than the airlines, and certainly those in the industry will take the demand as it comes and do what they can with it.”

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

    • Brian Foley, president of aerospace research and guidance firm Brian Foley Associates and contributor to Forbes.com
    • Doug Gollan, Forbes.com contributor and editor in chief of PrivateJetCardComparisons.com

    Listen to the podcast here.  

    This article was originally published by NBAA on April 20, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Patience Is Key for Successful Aircraft Transactions During COVID-19 see more

    NAFA member, NBAA, shares a review of their recent webinar about processing aircraft transaction documents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The FAA Aircraft Registration Branch continues to process aircraft transaction documents during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the process has been slowed. In a recent NBAA News Hour webinar, experts discussed how to successfully complete aircraft transactions during these challenging times.

    VIEW THE RECORDED NBAA NEWS HOUR WEBINAR

    Peter Korns, NBAA’s senior manager of tax, operations and workforce engagement, moderated the webinar. Scott McCreary – shareholder and aviation group leader of McAfee & Taft – and Chris Younger – principal at GKG Law, P.C., – provided expert guidance.

    The FAA aircraft registry maintains information on more than 300,000 civil aircraft to facilitate aviation safety, security and commerce. The registry accepts and processes documents to register and operate aircraft in the United States, as well as to “perfect” or validate interests in an aircraft, explained Younger. The registry typically accepts filings by mail or commercial delivery services, via email or in person at the FAA Public Documents Room in Oklahoma City, OK.

    Several new, temporary policies are in place to mitigate concerns about COVID-19 exposure and ensure appropriate social-distancing practices for filers and registry employees. The Public Documents Room is currently closed for direct filing, although parties may leave documents in a nearby bin for regular pickup by registry staff. All mailed documents are subject to a 72-hour quarantine period, which means those documents will not be processed or file stamped until at least 72 hours following receipt or acceptance. Filers should be aware that due to this quarantine, the accepted date of the documents is not the same as the file stamp date.

    Fortunately, the FAA has expanded the ability to file documents by email. McCreary summarized new email filing procedures, including a requirement for documents to be digitally executed through a digital signature program, such as DocuSign. As is the case for mailing documents, an email receipt message does not constitute the date of formal filing with the FAA.

    Younger added that import and export processes can also be more complicated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, imports from Mexico are subject to a 72-hour quarantine.

    The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 designated registry employees as “excepted” or “essential employees” in the event of a government shutdown or emergency furlough.

    Although it’s unclear if the legislative language is broad enough to cover the COVID-19 crisis, the experts see no signs at this time of a disruption of operations or possible closure of the registry. However, the experts caution this is a fluid situation, and there is no projected timeframe to return to normal registry and transactions procedures.

    “In business aviation, there’s always an urgency to get transactions closed,” said Younger. “Now there’s an increased tension because the process is slower to be more protective of FAA employees.”

    Aircraft transactions can still be completed, but patience is key.

    This webinar, titled “FAA Transaction Guidance During the COVID-19 Crisis,” 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 originally published by NBAA on April 13, 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.

    VIEW THE RECORDED NBAA NEWS HOUR WEBINAR

    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
    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, dhubbard@nbaa.org

    # # #

    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 nbaa.org.

    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
    Federal Excise Taxes Suspended for Many Business Aviation Operators see more

    NAFA member, NBAA, discusses federal excise tax suspensions for business aviation operators.

    This information is intended to provide members with an introduction to certain provisions of the CARES Act. Readers are cautioned that this information is not intended to provide more than an introduction to the subject matter, and since the materials are necessarily general in nature, they are no substitute for seeking the advice of legal and tax advisors to address your specific business/personal needs.

    The recent suspension of air transportation federal excise taxes (FET) that apply to commercial operations – including Part 135 operators – is an example of NBAA’s round-the-clock efforts to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the general aviation industry. As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which provides more than $2 trillion of relief to the economy, NBAA played a key role in securing the following excise tax relief provisions included in the legislation:

    • The federal air transportation excise taxes that apply to commercial operations (i.e., Part 135 flights) are suspended effective March 27, 2020, through Jan. 1, 2021.
    • The suspension of taxes is not retroactive and only applies to flights conducted after March 27, 2020.
    • The suspension includes all taxes that a commercial operator normally pays, including the 7.5% tax on amounts paid, applicable domestic and international segment fees and the 4.3 cents per gallon portion of the fuel tax (the 0.1 cents per gallon tax to fund the leaking underground storage tank fund is not included in the suspension).
    • Any business that was collecting or remitting these taxes before is covered by the suspension. For example, if an air charter broker collects and remits these taxes on behalf of an operator, the suspension would apply to them.
    • In addition to Part 135 operations, there are some Part 91 flights that the IRS deems commercial, such as timeshare flights. The suspension would apply to these flights as well.

    In addition, the 6.25% tax on air transportation of property is suspended through Jan. 1, 2021.

    “We urge our members to consult NBAA’s Federal Excise Taxes Guide for more details on how air transportation excise taxes are administered and to check our website frequently for new details as they become available,” said Scott O’Brien, NBAA senior director, government affairs. “While we understand the significant impact that the pandemic has had on operations, we are working relentlessly to make sure that relief for business aviation operators is included in the CARES Act and other economic stimulus efforts.”

    O’Brien noted that NBAA was in the forefront of efforts to secure excise tax relief for general aviation commercial operators, which included a letter to congressional leadership, follow-up with individual U.S. House and Senate offices, and a call to action to affected NBAA members.

    For more information, review NBAA’s coronavirus (COVID-19) resources and federal excise taxes resources.

    This article was originally published by NBAA on March 31, 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, dhubbard@nbaa.org

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

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NBAA Marks Passing of Former CAN Executive Director Peter Fleiss see more

    Washington, DC, April 7, 2020 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is saddened to learn of the passing of Peter Fleiss, executive director emeritus for the Corporate Angel Network (CAN).

    “Peter was an effective leader for CAN and a valued friend,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “His passing is a profound loss for the business aviation community. We extend our condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time, and to those with the organization he led so effectively for 11 years.”

    Fleiss led CAN until 2016. During his tenure, he grew CAN’s member companies to include over 500 supporters, encompassing half of the Fortune 100, and the organization celebrated its 50,000th patient flight. 

    Before joining CAN, Fleiss worked at Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, and in close collaboration with Safe Flight founder and CAN co-founder Leonard Greene. 

    “Peter was instrumental in developing CAN into the organization it is today,” said CAN Executive Director Gina Russo in an April 6 release issued by the organization. “His continued commitment to the mission was well known by patients and business aviation peers alike.” Fleiss passed away April 3 at the age of 76.

    Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

    This release was originally published by NBAA on April 7, 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
    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, dhubbard@nbaa.org

    # # #

    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 nbaa.org.

    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.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NBAA, Other Aviation Groups Join in Combating COVID-19 Spread see more

    WASHINGTON, DC, March 18, 2020 – With the United States facing unprecedented challenges from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined forces with four other aviation groups to inform lawmakers the nation’s general aviation (GA) industry, including business aviation, is prepared to assist as needed to respond to the crisis.

    “As our nation works to respond to the threat of the coronavirus, we wanted to make ourselves available to assist in any way possible,” reads the associations’ letter to Elaine Chao, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “We stand ready to work with the administration so that the important role our industry can play in responding and mitigating the many challenges of this health issue is fully realized.”

    The groups further note the diversity of the nation’s GA and business aircraft fleet, the industry’s ability to operate from more than 5,000 GA airports across the country and its extensive experience with responding to humanitarian crises, from transporting time-sensitive supplies, medical specimens and equipment, to flying critical care patients and medical personnel.

    Read the full letter (PDF).

    “Business aviation has always been at the forefront of relief efforts in times of need and to assist citizens and communities in their most challenging times,” added NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Just as we’ve joined together as a nation to face this challenging and evolving situation, I know that our industry is prepared and eager to provide whatever assistance we can to fight the spread of COVID-19.”

    In addition to NBAA, the letter was signed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Helicopter Association International, and; the National Air Transportation Association.

    The signatory groups have also adopted “proactive measures to inform operators, manufacturers, and maintenance providers about appropriate coronavirus response actions,” and committed to sharing the latest information and best practices with their respective members in responding to COVID-19, including regular consultations with subject matter experts on the situation.

    Review NBAA’s COVID-19 resources

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    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 www.nbaa.org.

    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 18, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NBAA Marks Passing of Aviation Pioneer Joe Clark see more

    Washington, DC, March 30, 2020 – NBAA is saddened to learn of the passing today of blended winglet pioneer Joe Clark, founder and CEO of Aviation Partners, Inc. (API), and chairman of the joint venture Aviation Partners Boeing.

    Asked by entrepreneur Dennis Washington to find a method by which his Gulfstream II business jet could fly across the country nonstop, Clark launched API in 1991 to develop and market blended winglet modifications for business and commercial aircraft. Today, the company estimates its winglets have saved the industry in excess of 10 billion gallons of fuel. 

    “Joe found extraordinary joy in all things aviation,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “His legacy will long be visible on the thousands of business and commercial aircraft fitted with his winglets to increase performance and efficiency, while also reducing carbon emissions. It will also be deeply felt by the thousands of individuals and aviation organizations Joe touched in his remarkable lifetime. Although Joe has left us too soon, his vision, passion and humanity will continue to take our industry farther and do so more sustainably.”

    API’s blended winglets and split-scimitar winglets are installed on a wide variety of business aircraft, including the Dassault Falcon 50, 900 and 2000; Hawker 800 and 800XP; and Boeing Business Jet, as well as on Boeing 737, 757 and 767 commercial aircraft.

    In 2015, NBAA honored Clark with its prestigious Meritorious Service to Aviation Award celebrating extraordinary lifelong professional contributions to aviation. For decades, it has been presented to individuals who built the aviation industry, including business aviation. 

    View NBAA’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award video honoring Clark

    Clark’s passion for aviation began with flying lessons in college and a trip to the 1964 Reno Air Races with his friend Clay Lacy aboard a Lear 23 business jet. Two years later, Clark founded Jet Air, the first Learjet dealership in the Northwest.

    He was later named vice president of sales for aircraft modification specialist Raisbeck Engineering. Clark also cofounded regional carrier Horizon Air, which later became part of Alaska Airlines, and Avstar, Inc., a system to market business aircraft previously used for military training.

    This release was originally published by Dan Hubbard with NBAA on March 30, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    FAA Responds to NBAA’s Call for COVID-19 Accommodations on Part 135 Training see more

    NAFA member, NBAA, shares FAA's response to call for COVID-19 accommodations on Part 135 Training.

    Faced with an unprecedented situation driven by the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, the FAA has answered NBAA’s call for the agency to take unprecedented steps to ensure that many charter operators are able to continue flying through the crisis.

    On March 25, the agency issued the following four exemptions in effect through May 31, 2020, and applicable to most Part 135 operators:

    • FAA-2020-0291, exempting Part 135 operators from the requirement that crewmembers don protective breathing equipment or oxygen masks during recurrent and upgrade training, testing and checking.
    • FAA-2020-0292, allowing Part 135 ground personnel and crewmembers to complete recurrent training and qualification activities up to three calendar months after the month that the activity was due to have been completed, for requirements that were due to be completed through May 31, 2020.
    • FAA-2020-0307, exempting Part 119 certificate holders, including some Part 135 operations, from the requirement that crewmembers don protective breathing equipment or oxygen masks during recurrent and upgrade training, checking and evaluation.
    • FAA-2020-0308, allowing Part 119 certificate holders, including some Part 135 operations, allowing ground personnel, crewmembers and dispatchers to complete recurrent training and qualification activities up to three calendar months after the month that the activity was due to have been completed, for requirements that were due to be completed through May 31, 2020.

    “We thank the FAA for its responsiveness to our request for these accommodations to ensure that business aviation operators will be able continue flying through this unprecedented and challenging situation,” said Brian Koester, NBAA director of flight operations and regulations. “As we continue to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 environment, NBAA will work to ensure our industry is fairly represented in these and other actions taken to maintain our nation’s aviation infrastructure.”

    In issuing these exemptions, the FAA noted that the agency has circumvented the typical publication process in the Federal Register, as “delaying action would have an adverse and potentially immediate impact on [the] continuity of critical aviation operations essential to the public interest.”

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