NATA Will Not Support “Leap of Faith” FAA Reauthorization Proposal

The following is a statement by National Air Transportation Association President and CEO, Thomas L. Hendricks, following the recent release by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. The Committee is expected to consider the legislation on Feb. 11.


“NATA cannot support the legislation’s proposal to create a federally chartered, not-for-profit air traffic control corporation. We have been quite clear throughout the development of this legislation that we will not support ‘leap of faith’ proposals that place the fate of any segment of general aviation — in this case the air charter community — in the hands of a yet-to-be-determined board of directors — especially given the fact that this segment of general aviation is denied a voice in the corporation’s governance. A user-fee funded ATC corporation, controlled in perpetuity by a board of industry insiders, will place general aviation in constant peril, starve rural America of access to cutting-edge technology, and saddle the travelling public with ever increasing fees. 

NATA understands and respects the process that Chairman Shuster undertook to develop this legislation. We also acknowledge the legislation contains many provisions that reflect NATA’s suggestions for making the FAA a more efficient organization. While we agree with the Chairman that maintaining the status quo risks our nation’s supremacy in aviation, this draft legislation poses even greater risks — to the safe and stable nature of the world’s best air traffic control system and America’s vibrant general aviation community.”


EAA Proposes ADS-B Solution for Light-Sport Aircraft

EAA has proposed a path forward for owners of special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) to equip ADS-B equipment per the FAA’s 2020 mandate. Currently, the manufacturer has the sole approval authority over any alteration to an S-LSA. In some cases, this can be a barrier to ADS-B equipage, either because the manufacturer declines to approve an installation or the manufacturer no longer exists or no longer supports the product.

In comments to a recent change to FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 90-114A, EAA proposed a way to leverage existing regulation to empower the Chicago Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) to approve alterations to S-LSA aircraft. The proposal would allow the ACO to evaluate changes on a case-by-case basis. The traditional system of manufacturer-approved alterations in S-LSA would also remain unaltered.

“Owners of light-sport aircraft are an important part of the general aviation community, and we always look for ways to support them,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “Our proposal is meant to help some owners of special light-sport aircraft have an easier time installing mandated equipment without having to resort to options such as the experimental light-sport category.”

EAA has an active role in the FAA/industry “Equip 2020” working group, which works to identify barriers to affordable ADS-B equipage and eliminate them. A major victory won by EAA through Equip 2020 in the past year has been the FAA affirming that non-TSO equipment may be used to satisfy the ADS-B mandate in the experimental category.



GA Groups to U.S. Congress: ATC Reform More Than Just User Fees; Request Sufficient Time to Review and Debate Bill

With the U.S. Congress preparing to consider FAA reauthorization legislation this session, a host of general aviation association leaders recently joined together to send letters to U.S. House transportation leaders, underscoring “real and longstanding concerns” regarding a concept being pushed by some big airlines regarding air traffic control governance and funding.

Specifically, the organizations cited concerns over a proposal promoted by some big airlines for the creation of “a new governance and funding model for our nation’s aviation system, based on systems in other parts of the world.

“The general aviation community has very real and long-standing concerns about foreign air traffic control models, which go well beyond the user fee issue,” the letter states. “These concerns are based on our operating experiences in foreign systems, as well as thoughtful analysis about what those systems might look like in the United States.”

The Air Care Alliance, Aircraft Electronics Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Commemorative Air Force, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, International Council of Air Shows, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Air Transportation Association, National Business Aviation Association, Recreational Aviation Foundation, Seaplane Pilots Association and Veterans Airlift Command sent their joint letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), T&I Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA).

To read the full letter, visit


NTSB Unveils 2016 Most Wanted List, Stresses Technology

The National Transportation Safety Board unveiled its 2016 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements this month, calling it a “road map from lessons learned to lives saved.” The list focuses on 10 broad safety improvements on which the NTSB has made recommendations that have not yet been implemented.

Several items on the list demonstrate the importance of technology in saving lives, preventing accidents and lessening the number and severity of injuries from accidents. For example, the list calls for promoting both the availability of collision avoidance technology in highway vehicles, and the completion of rail safety initiatives to prevent accidents. The list also calls for strengthening occupant protection in all modes of transportation, including laws mandating primary enforcement of seatbelt use, and age-appropriate child restraints.

Twenty years ago, the NTSB issued its first recommendation on the use of technology to prevent rear-end collisions. Implementation of this technology could significantly reduce motor vehicle crashes – by far the leading cause of death and injuries in transportation. Although federal regulators have made progress toward including such technologies in the five-star safety rating on new vehicles, the NTSB advocates, including such new technologies as standard equipment on all new highway vehicles – including commercial vehicles – just as airbags and seatbelts are now standard equipment.

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AOPA Air Safety Institute Releases Video Aimed at Collision Avoidance

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Institute (ASI) has released a new video aimed at informing pilots about how to avoid midair collisions. Collision Avoidance: See, Sense, Separate helps pilots to know when and where most midair collisions occur as well as steps to reduce the risk. 

“While there are only an average of about five to 10 midair collisions a year, the risk is not zero, and the AOPA Air Safety Institute is committed to working with pilots to bring that number down,” said ASI Senior Vice President George Perry. “This video does a great job pointing out the times and places where extra vigilance can prevent midair collisions.” 

The video, made possible by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Flight Safety Foundation and Donner Canadian Foundation, looks at some of the commonalities among midair collisions and offers some strategies for minimizing your chance of being involved in one.

About the Air Safety Institute  

AOPA’s Air Safety Institute is dedicated exclusively to providing continuing pilot education and safety programs for general aviation. It is funded by donations from individual pilots and organizations, which support the cause of improved general aviation safety. Since 1950, ASI has served all pilots and aviation enthusiasts — not just AOPA members—by providing free safety education, research, and data analysis. ASI offers award-winning online courses, nearly 200 live seminars annually throughout the U.S., flight instructor refresher courses, safety videos, accident case studies, and other materials to keep pilots safe and well informed. To learn more, visit ASI at

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