(Originally published in the Q1 Aviation Business Journal)
This year is off to an exciting start for NATA, its members and the entire general aviation community. I’m confident you’ve now heard of the industry’s success in combating the proposal to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system, and I want to thank you for your engagement and perseverance throughout this monumental effort. The combined force of NATA, our industry partners, Congressional advocates and each one of you who shared your concerns about the detrimental impact of this proposal, ensured our victory on this front. This result would not have happened if not for you. As we move toward long-term funding for the FAA, NATA remains vigilant on issues in the FAA reauthorization bill affecting sectors of our industry including air ambulance, aircraft
registration and a proposal to eliminate the barrier between commercial and private pilots and flights. With your continued support, NATA will work with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune and Congress to advocate for a long-term FAA bill that protects the interests of the aviation business community. It is vital that we continue our efforts to protect our nation’s airspace system—the safest in the world.
In addition to long-term reauthorization, NextGen modernization and deployment continue to be top priorities. The goal of NextGen is to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of our nation’s airspace system as it expands to accommodate growing demands. ADS-B is one of the foundations of NextGen, helping to improve situational awareness, safety and operational efficiency for pilots and controllers. As a member of the Equip 2020 Plenary and Working Group, NATA is working with the FAA on ADS-B outreach and implementation efforts. With projections indicating a 2 percent increase in air traffic over the next decade, we want to direct your attention to the increasingly-pressing issue of ADS-B Out compliance. Please be sure to read the informative guide, “Straight Talk About ADS-B,” republished with permission from our friends at Duncan Aviation (page 49).
NATA is also pleased to be a driver in increasing aviation safety with the launch of the Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System (Safety 1st FQMS)—a leap forward in fuel quality control. As an FBO owner, I know first-hand just how crucial comprehensive fuel quality control management is to safety. In an industry adept at leveraging technology to improve a range of functions, moving fuel quality record-keeping and management from a paper-based system to a digital cloud based system is essential to safety and efficiency. The Safety 1st FQMS improves accountability and visibility into an operation’s fuel quality control system, benefiting aircraft operators with the transparency created by the system’s ability to support remote records audits. More information about this revolutionary system can be found in Tim Obitts’ column on page 7 and Michael France’s article on page 77. We would be remiss in talking about aviation fuel quality control without recognizing that our industry lost a unique fuel quality pioneer early this year, Howard Gammon, a leader in developing testing procedures for aviation fuel handling, who designed and manufactured equipment we use every day. We will miss Howard, but his legacy will continue each time a line technician uses Gammon equipment to perform a safety check. Please help NATA commemorate his vast accomplishments on page 9.
While there is already much to celebrate this year, so much more is planned. As always, NATA will be at the forefront on issues and advances for the aviation business community.