April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

Dear Aviation Business Leader:

NATA is pleased to provide access to loan guidance and applications – as outlined in the CARES Act – available to many of our member companies. It is important that you carefully review all of the information and apply as quickly as possible.  We encourage all businesses apply for these programs.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Guidance and Applications

The Paycheck Protection Program authorizes up to $349 billion in funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Funds may also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. These loans apply to small businesses with 500 or fewer employees – also including self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors. Businesses with more than 500 employees are also eligible in certain industries (size standards can be found here ).

Provisions for loan forgiveness are outlined in the guidance below.

For those who intend on applying for relief through this program, lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as Friday, April 3, 2020. 

The loan application process begins on Friday, April 3, and it is strongly recommended that you send in your application as soon as possible. The guidance states, “Although, the program is open until June 30, 2020, we encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap and lenders need time to process your loan.”

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Loan Guidance and Applications for Part 135 and FBOs Providing Services to Part 121 Air Carriers

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published resources to assist eligible businesses in applying for payroll support to enable the continued payment of employee wages, salaries, and benefits, and for loans pursuant to the CARES Act.

The following guidance applies to certain FBOs providing commercial services to Part 121 air carriers:

Guidelines and Application Procedures for Payroll Support to Air Carriers and Contractors under Division A, Title IV, Subtitle B of the CARES Act

The following guidance applies to air carriers:

Procedures and Minimum Requirements for Loans to Air Carriers and Eligible Businesses and National Security Businesses under Division A, Title IV, Subtitle A of the CARES Act

For those who intend on applying for relief through this program, we strongly suggest you download, carefully review, complete the application, and submit by Friday, April 3, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. EDT. 

Today, NATA and NBAA sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, seeking additional guidance on these loan and grant provisions for air carriers and certain general aviation operators. You can read our announcement here and the letter text here.

Finally, NATA held a webinar for Part 135 members, providing additional information on the CARES Act, as well as the regulatory considerations in today’s environment. You can access a recording of that webinar here.

If we can be of further assistance, please contact us at covid@nata.aero.

Best,

Timothy Obitts

NATA President and CEO


March 31, 2020

March 31, 2020

Dear Aviation Business Leader:  

As NATA works to continue to provide access to relief for all aviation businesses, we wanted to inform you of guidance that is being provided by the Treasury for applying for payroll support available through the CARES Act. It is important that NATA members who intend to apply for relief understand that various loan applications periods become available starting Friday, April 3, 2020.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today published resources to assist eligible businesses in applying for payroll support to enable the continued payment of employee wages, salaries, and benefits, and for loans pursuant to the CARES Act.

The following guidance applies to certain FBOs providing commercial services to Part 121 air carriers:

Guidelines and Application Procedures for Payroll Support to Air Carriers and Contractors under Division A, Title IV, Subtitle B of the CARES Act

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The following guidance applies to air carriers:

Procedures and Minimum Requirements for Loans to Air Carriers and Eligible Businesses and National Security Businesses under Division A, Title IV, Subtitle A of the CARES Act

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We strongly recommend that you download the applications, carefully review the contents, and apply right away on the Friday, April 3, 2020 start date.

It is extremely important to note that the bill provides $500 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and other investments in support of eligible businesses, and separately makes available up to $25 billion in loans and loan guarantees to passenger air carriers and aircraft repair stations, and $3 billion for contractors. NATA has requested interpretation from our external consultants, and strongly advises businesses considering the avenues for assistance under the bill read this interpretation memo carefully .

To further assist, NATA will hold a webinar for Part 135 members, “ Operating in the New Regulatory Environment ,” which will cover additional considerations for applying for relief, as well as new operational guidance and provisions from the FAA and other agencies. The webinar will take place tomorrow, April 1 at Noon Eastern.

NATA will continue to work with the Treasury to provide our members clarifications on guidance and updates on program implementation under the CARES Act.

Finally, we welcomed a NATA-Requested exemption granted by the FAA for Part 135 expired airman medical certificates for operations outside of the U.S . This exemption is in addition to the FAA’s recently announced provision , allowing pilot flight crewmembers and flight engineers with expiring airmen medical certificates to be allowed to continue to fly domestic operations.

As always, NATA is here for YOU. If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please submit them to covid@nata.aero .

Best,

Timothy Obitts


NATA Briefing: CARES Act

March 28, 2020

March 27, 2020

Dear Aviation Business Leader:

Today, the House of Representatives passed the CARES Act and President Trump signed the Act into law this evening. While the Act provides some assistance from small businesses in the form of loans and payroll relief, and provides relief for the airlines and airports with commercial airline service (with only $100 million to general aviation airports), it falls short in helping the immediate crisis facing thousands of NATA members that provide critical services to our infrastructure.

NATA worked hard and was successful in getting Part 135 certificated charter operators and Part 145 MRO businesses included in the package provided to the airlines. Additionally, FBOs that provide ground handling services to commercial airlines are eligible for some relief. NATA was also successful in obtaining relief from the “ticket tax” and “fuel tax” for Part 135 operators. However, the bulk of relief provided by the Act aimed at aviation, was written with commercial airlines in mind and, thus, imposes a number of conditions on the recipients of federal assistance that aviation businesses might find untenable.

We are disappointed that the immediate relief needed for aviation businesses was largely left out of the Act. While these businesses may be eligible for the other small business support provided in the Act, the authors failed to recognize that aviation businesses in general aviation support 1.2 million jobs and $247 billion in annual economic activity.

With regards to relief specifically for aviation businesses the Bill does the following:

  1. Part 135 operators are eligible for the following:
  2. For those providing passenger operations:
  3. $25bill. in loans and loan guarantees (Sec. 4003)
  4. $25bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)
  5. For those providing air cargo:
  6. $4bill. in loans and loan guarantees (Sec. 4003)
  7. $4bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)
  8. Excise Tax Exemption:
  9. Part 135 exempt from paying 7.5% ticket tax (Sec. 4007) through Dec. 31, 2020
  10. Fuel Tax Exemption:
  11. Part 135 exempt from paying Jet fuel tax (Sec. 4007) through Dec. 31, 2020
  12. Part 145 maintenance facilities are eligible for the following:
  13. $25bill. in loans and loan guarantees (Sec. 4003)
  14. FBOs that provide ground handling at Part 139 certificated airports to commercial airlines are eligible for the following:
  15. $3bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)
  16. Caterers that are providing services to commercial airlines are eligible for the following:
  17. $3bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)

NATA has received many questions regarding how the SBA loans under the CARES Act works.

The following is a basic breakdown of the SBA protection program:

  1. Eligibility: An entity (i.e., a LLC, C Corp., S Corp., etc.) that employees 500 or less employees is eligible.
  2. Amount of Loan: 2.5 x (average monthly payroll for previous 12 months) = Loan Amount
  3. Nonrecourse (no personal guarantees)
  4. Loan Forgiveness: Equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan on payroll costs, interest payment on any mortgage incurred prior to February 15, 2020, payment of rent on any lease in force prior to February 15, 2020, and payment on any utility for which service began before February 15, 2020. The amount forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation.
  5. Interest and Costs: Can’t exceed 4% and no costs for the loan (the bank gets paid a formula for servicing the loan from the SBA).
  6. Lender:  You can get your loan through your local bank.

It would be prudent for you to start talking now with your local banker to start the process to benefit from the paycheck protection program.

In addition, the Act provides for other types of SBA loans, the following documents are instructive and provide greater detail:

Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act

Title 1 – Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act Section-by-Section

Monument Advocacy Guide to the Major Components of the CARES Act

NATA will continue our fight for additional resources for general aviation businesses. We are already in discussions with Members of Congress about what relief is immediately needed for your business to continue to support our Nation’s important aviation infrastructure.

Yesterday, I was pleased to announce that the FAA issued exemptions in response to NATA’s requests for relief from certain crew training and checking requirements for Part 135 operators. Next Wednesday, we will hold a discussion for Part 135 carriers on operating in the new regulatory environment. This webinar is hosted by NATA’s Air Charter Committee and led by NATA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs John McGraw and NATA Senior Advisor Jacqueline Rosser. This is yet another great opportunity for us to hear from our members about how this pandemic is impacting their businesses.

NATA is continuing to develop and provide access to valuable industry resources and information on our webpage: www.nata.aero/advocacy/coronavirus.

Aviation Businesses will be a lynchpin in our nation’s response to the coronavirus and a critical part of the recovery of the national air space system. Your business helps keep aviation moving and we will continue to do everything we can to support you.

Best,

Timothy Obitts

NATA President and CEO


Update from President & CEO Timothy Obitts

March 27, 2020

March 26, 2020

Dear Aviation Business Leader:

This has been another week of uncertainty for us all, but one thing that you can be certain of is that NATA members are working together through its committees to make a difference. There is also another thing we know, we can’t do it alone. We can’t thank you enough for your feedback, input, and words of encouragement. They mean everything especially at this time. Our team is listening and responding to your needs as agilely as possible and we are here to help you.

Several of NATA’s members have requested that the Association write a letter to their airport sponsor to ask for relief in the form of rent deferral or abatement of lease obligations. In response, NATA has drafted a letter that can be adjusted to meet your needs. If you are interested in NATA writing a letter for you, email Jillian Williams at jwilliams@nata.aero and be sure to include your airport sponsor’s contact information for submission by email and mail. NATA will draft, sign, and submit to your airport sponsor and will notify you when this has taken place. We ask that you contact your airport sponsor in advance as a courtesy. Decisive action must be taken to preserve companies conducting essential airport operations in support of the national air transportation system, as well as the regional economy. We believe that if airports take such decisive action, it will preserve the valuable services and jobs that aviation businesses provide and support in our communities.

Crewmember Relief

NATA staff has been meeting with FAA and other government officials daily during this crisis to obtain the latest information for members and provide input on industry needs. I am pleased to announce that the FAA issued exemptions in response to our requests for relief from certain crew training and checking requirements for Part 135 operators. These exemptions address several currency matters of operators. Every Part 135 operator should obtain and carefully review these exemptions outlined below.

Exemption No. 18509
Regulations addressed: §§ 135.293(b), 135.295(e) and (g), 135.297(c)(1)(i) and (ii), 135.331(c)(3), (5), and (7), 135.347(a), and 135.351(b)(2) and (c)Provides alternative methods to conduct certain required crewmember emergency procedures during recurrent and upgrade training, testing, and checking.

Exemption No. 18510
Regulations addressed: §§ 135.245(c), 135.247(a), 135.301(a), 135.323(b), 135.337(g), 135.338(g), 135.339(b), 135.340(b), and 135.505(d)

Provides additional time for completion of recurrent training and qualification activities for ground personnel and crewmembers of up to three calendar months after the month that the activity was due to have been completed.

These two exemptions are available to all Part 119 certificated carriers operating under Part 135. Two additional exemptions granted to A4A provide similar relief for those conducting training under Part 121. All operators seeking to use the available relief are required to provide a Letter of Intent to the FAA in the manner and form described in the exemption, obtain Operations Specification A005 from their FAA inspector, and follow other conditions and limitations outlined within the exemption.

Exemption No. 18511 and Exemption No. 18512 provide similar relief for those Part 135 operators required or opting to comply with Part 121 training regulations.

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We are confident additional action granting relief for certain expiring pilot medicals is forthcoming. In this time of need, we value the FAA’s willingness to continue to collaborate on effective solutions. The Association is grateful the FAA is acting quickly to ensure necessary access to air transportation remains available.

The NATA team continues to work to provide access to industry experts, vital information and valuable resources.

WEBINAR: Operating in Today’s Part 135 Regulatory Environment | Wednesday, April 1st at Noon Eastern

Next week, NATA will hold a discussion for Part 135 carriers on the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. This informative webinar will be hosted by NATA’s Air Charter Committee and led by NATA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs John McGraw and NATA Senior Advisor Jacqueline Rosser. Register here .

This week, NATA held an informative webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on employment law. You can access a recording of that session here .

Please let us know if there are topics you would like to see covered in a future webinar.

Thank you for your support and engagement as we navigate together through these troubled times.

Best,

 

Timothy Obitts

NATA President and CEO


Letter from President & CEO Timothy Obitts

March 26, 2020

March 25, 2020

Dear Aviation Business Leader:

Congress is putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive coronavirus relief package that is expected to move today. Currently, the bill is in a number of fragments that will ultimately be married together when it moves to the Senate floor for a vote.

With regards to relief specifically for aviation businesses the Bill does the following:

  • Part 135 operators are eligible for the following:
    • For those providing passenger operations:
      • $25bill. in loans and loan guarantees (Sec. 4003)
      • $25bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)
    • For those providing air cargo:
      • $4bill. in loans and loan guarantees (Sec. 4003)
      • $4bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)
    • Excise Tax Exemption:
      • Part 135 exempt from paying 7.5% ticket tax (Sec. 4007) through Dec. 31, 2020
    • Fuel Tax Exemption:
      • Part 135 exempt from paying Jet fuel tax (Sec. 4007) through Dec. 31, 2020
  • Part 145 maintenance facilities are eligible for the following:
    • $25bill. in loans and loan guarantees (Sec. 4003)
  • FBOs that provide ground handling at Part 139 certificated airports to commercial airlines are eligible for the following:
    • $3bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)
  • Caterers that are providing services to commercial airlines are eligible for the following:
    • $3bill. for wages, salaries and benefits for employees (Sec. 4112)

A company that receives a relief under the Bill would have to “maintain its employment levels as of March 24, 2020, to the extent practicable” until the end of September and would be prohibited from cutting its employment levels by more than 10 percent from what they were on that date. Additionally, companies that receive grants or loans would also face limits on executives’ compensation and stock buybacks. In addition, the legislation would allow DOT to order any carrier accepting federal assistance to maintain certain air routes. That authority would lapse March 1, 2022 .

The bill also provides $10 billion for airport sponsors, the vast majority being reserved for commercial service airports. $100 million is set aside for general aviation airports to be distributed based on proportional needs as determined by NPIAS at 100% federal share (no local match) and used for any purpose lawfully allowed by the Airport Improvement Program.

NATA continues to be contact with congressional leaders, who will now begin work on the next relief package entitled COVID 4, rumored for release sometime after Easter. Thank you for continuing to provide feedback on how your business is being impacted by this crisis. This information is vital to our advocacy efforts and we will keep you apprised of all developments. To that end, NATA is now posting a legislative briefing that will be available twice a day  on our website .

Your ongoing support of and engagement in our efforts is tremendous, and we can’t thank you enough. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please contact NATA at covid@nata.aero .

Together, we are stronger.

Best,

Timothy Obitts

NATA President and CEO


Essential Employees Guidance

March 25, 2020

March 24, 2020

Dear Aviation Business Leader:

I continue to be encouraged by the perseverance and drive of our membership, as well as that of our NATA team, volunteers, and industry partners. This is truly a battle that we are all in together, and together we will not only weather the impacts of this pandemic, but emerge on the other side armed with knowledge, tools, and resources to make us even stronger.

NATA, along with the assistance of our committee members, NATACS, and Attorneys Paul Lange and Shelley Ewalt, developed guidance and an accompanying letter for FBOs and other general aviation support businesses considered “essential services” under federal guidance. The Tier 1 Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker Letter may be personalized with your company’s information and carried by your employees to prove their designated status when accessing COVID-19 restricted areas. Access to both resources, and many others, can be found at www.nata.aero/advocacy/coronavirus.

We continue to advocate for funding and provisions for all aviation businesses. We thank all of you who are staying engaged with your members of Congress to express the immense value of your business and advocate for inclusion in relief legislation. If you have not already contacted your member of Congress, NATA has provided some tools on our website to assist you. Visit the NATA Action Center page for more information. In addition, NATA is now posting a legislative briefing that will be available each evening on our website.

Yesterday, NATA, along with six other aviation groups, urged Congress to consider funding specifically for small and general aviation airports that serve thousands of communities across the country that have also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. NATA participated on several other industry letters asking for consideration of all air carriers in funding packages, expressing the value of aviation businesses in emergency response, and highlighting the urgent need for overall protections for our industry.

NATA continues to track information on disaster relief loans available through the Small Business Administration. Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to check available states, apply online, and check the loan status.

Finally, below are two additional resources that we launched last week for the safety and education of our members. Once again, we sincerely thank all of those who were involved in their development.

NEW OPERATIONAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT FOR AVIATION BUSINESSES
NATA, along with a committee of front-line and technical experts, released the COVID-19: Guidance for FBOs and Ground Handlers. We are thrilled to provide this free resource to aviation ground support businesses in helping to mitigate risks associated with operations during the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis. As the situation is dynamic, this will be a living document and will be updated as needed.

WEBINAR: The Impacts of COVID-19 on Employment Law March 25 at Noon Eastern
As a reminder, NATA will host a webinar with Alison L. Squiccimarro, of the Law Offices of Paul A. Lange, LLC, and Michelle Morgan, of Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, on Wednesday, March 25, at Noon Eastern. This webinar will discuss how to navigate through the hurdles of this new environment, from supporting your business and employees to understanding the legislation that is being proposed and enacted in response to COVID-19. Register here.

Your ongoing support of and engagement in our efforts is tremendous, and we can’t thank you enough. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please contact NATA at covid@nata.aero.

Best,
Timothy Obitts
NATA President and CEO


Instructions and Sample Letter to Congress

March 25, 2020

March 22, 2020

Dear Aviation Business Leader:

I would like to thank our members for their ongoing support and diligence in assisting NATA with our efforts to advocate for aviation businesses. To keep you informed, our legislative team prepared the following update on the progress of the latest relief bill:

The Senate’s latest coronavirus proposal would extend relief to some general aviation businesses. The latest draft of the coronavirus stimulus bill introduced in the Senate is similar in scope to the original proposal. While for the past two days it had appeared as though negotiations were going well between the House and Senate on a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced that the House would prepare its own bill, but hoped that it would be “compatible” with the Senate’s proposal.

While NATA is very pleased that this legislation proposes to make Part 135 operators eligible for the $50 billion in loan guarantees for air carriers, the bill does not offer such assistance directly to other aviation service providers like fixed base operators (FBOs), Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul stations, or flight schools, which may be eligible under a much broader loan guarantee package also in the bill, though there is little guidance as to which businesses could receive such assistance. In addition, the plan would permit DOT to require any air carrier accepting assistance to maintain “scheduled air transportation service” to anywhere deemed necessary through March 1, 2022. Large
commercial service airports will receive almost $10 billion in the bill, with only $100 million reserved for general aviation airports.

NATA strongly advocated for relief for other aviation service providers in the Senate’s bill, found in our request to Congress. The House has already begun working on their version of the next stimulus legislation, and an early outline of the aviation relief section mirrored the Senate by making assistance available for Part 135 operators. NATA is actively discussing our requests with key members of the House of Representatives, and will continue to push hard for assistance to the broader network of general aviation businesses.

The Senate’s bill is still under negotiation, after the Senate failed today to clear a key procedural hurdle on the $1.6 trillion emergency rescue package to address the coronavirus crisis. We ask that NATA’s membership continue to unite as one voice and contact your member of Congress immediately. Your personal outreach to your elected representatives is critical as Congress is continuing to negotiate a coronavirus aid package. It is imperative that your business is included. We are asking for your assistance in delivering that message by contacting your Members of the House of Representatives right away. For your convenience, we’ve provided instructions below, along with a sample letter that you can copy and paste.

INSTRUCTIONS AND SAMPLE LETTER TO CONGRESS:

To find your member of the House of Representative, go to www.house.gov. In the upper right-hand corner, enter your zip code. On the next page, clicking on the representative’s name under their picture will take you to their website. You should use the “Contact” tab to send them an e-mail. Be sure to attach NATA’s requested provisions to the COVID-19 relief legislation to your letter.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear ______:

As you pursue assistance for the financial burdens upon the aviation industry as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we ask that you give serious consideration to the crucial role of general aviation service providers to rural America and hot spots affected by the virus. My company is one of the many small businesses, which are part of an industry that supports 1.2 million jobs and provides over $247 billion in economic output. Given the large uncommitted balance of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF), which is funded in whole by aviation businesses like mine, we believe the federal government should provide loan guarantees and assume lease obligations for essential aviation businesses through the end of this fiscal year. In addition, and in light of the surplus, we also believe an excise tax holiday for aviation fuel sales is warranted.

An essential lifeline to rural America, general aviation companies operate at nearly 4,500 airports and thousands of cities which are not served at all by the airlines. In times of crisis, they are best equipped to provide lifesaving support and time sensitive supplies.

General aviation service providers such as on-demand air carriers, fixed base operators (FBOs), and flight schools are the lynchpin that provide important connections and services to small and rural communities. Without these crucial businesses, the essential roles that GA fulfills will cease, leaving a serious void in disaster relief capabilities and diminishing the support of growth and prosperity in these locations

The over 2,000 on demand air carriers in the U.S. operate a diverse fleet of over 10,600 registered aircraft spread across all 50 states and territories, according to the most recent statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration. They provide vital transport of medicines and testing supplies, medical personnel and patients in need of specialized care, time sensitive medical infrastructure, and other critical functions such as organ transplants. These companies fly over 3 million flight hours per year and have considerable experience operating in times of crisis.

FBOs facilitate the movement of general aviation aircraft, particularly emergency response flights. The industry’s 3,661 FBOs are mainly small businesses located at thousands of public use airports across the nation. In past times of crisis, FBOs have served as critical staging hubs for general aviation operations benefiting the public.

Supporting all of this activity is a network of 5,100 Part 145 aircraft repair stations. These businesses keep general aviation moving, helping to ensure the safety and airworthiness of all aircraft.

Thank you for your time and consideration for an industry that helps support our communities and the nation in so many vital ways.

Sincerely,

Your name here

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As always, thank you for your support and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or to provide feedback.
Best,
Timothy Obitts
NATA President and CEO