Emergency response plans for charter operators are a priority, as is standardizing a uniform auditing procedure. Another challenge facing the group, Priester says, is the variety of aircraft being flown by charter operators. “In the charter industry today there’s a pretty broad gamut,” he says.
ACSF will hold an Air Charter Safety Symposium in mid-February, and plans to hold more events in the future. Membership includes an extensive board of governors and executive committee, and is focused on Part 135 charter and Part91-Subpart K operators.
Meanwhile, Back at NATA
NATA President Jim Coyne says he’s keeping an open mind about the new associations. “We have no problem having different people to work with,” Coyne says. “We’ve worked with different associations like NBAA and AOPA and a wide range of sister organizations.”
Still, concern lingers that the new associations might be ultimately after more than what they say. “There’s some people who speculate that the goal here is to create a new part of the FAA regulations just for air taxi operators,” Coyne notes. “I would doubt that that’s going to happen. I think over time all of these different companies providing commercial air taxi service will realize that the part 135 regulations are the best place for them to be.”
“Not that it’s perfect, Lord knows.”
For the most part, the associations agree on this issue. “Part 135 works perfectly well for air taxis,” Leader at ATXA says. “But I think that there is general acceptance in the marketplace, and even in the government, that there needs to be put in place regulations that make Part 135 more efficient for air taxi utilization.”
In the meantime, industry support seems to be the main theme for the associations. “I think that we feel like the ATXA has an altogether different mission than what we’ve conceived for NGAMC,” Blank explains. “We’re always looking to partner with other organizations as appropriate where we bring complementary skill sets.”
“I can’t comment on NGAMC but we fully support their efforts,” Leader notes.
As to the coming growth of charter as a whole, Blank says, “There are all the signs of an emerging and successful industry out there.”
Comments Coyne, “There’s no doubt that just as the airlines were dominant in the 20th century, I think air charter is going to be the hugely more important transportation service in the 21st century.”
An article in USA Today claims to expose failures in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight of on-demand charter operators.
Part 135 operators discuss NextGen; regulatory standardization