INSURING THE FUTURE
As both an ongoing issue and a result of September 11, insurance costs and availability continue to be an issue for aviation businesses. "It takes a lot of work on the businesses' part to be very active with their agents, with their underwriters, demonstrating that they aggressively manage the safety aspects of it and try and minimize losses," says Kennedy.
TRAINING: INTEGRATING SAFETY & SECURITY
In December 2001, NATA announced its acquisition of the Aviation Training Institute (ATI) from Aviation Resource Group International (ARGI). The acquistion adds line service training materials to the NATA Safety 1st Program's written and practical tests.
Amy Koranda, manager of education and training for NATA, says that aviation insurance providers are lauding the training program. "They're going to be ... cross-referencing when they do FBO audits, looking to see, 'Have these folks trained and tested?' And they're actually looking for the NATA Safety 1st program."
The next training module under development will cover security. Koranda says the outline for a security video is in the works and that NATA is waiting for FAA regulatory requirements to be determined before proceeding with the project. Once completed, the Safety 1st program will be comprised of ten modules on line safety and security. The video will be distributed to NATA Safety 1st/ATI participants.
The fight for a general aviation relief bill drags on. Eric Byer, manager of legislative affairs for NATA, says that NATA is doing all it can to push an economic relief bill through Congress.
The General Aviation Reparations Act, introduced by Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), was in the hands of the Aviation Subcommittee in December. NATA's Coyne says there is a good chance Mica's bill will be voted on or appended to another vote in the coming months, though nothing is certain.
According to Byer, there is a large contingency of Democrats more concerned with compensation for unemployed airline workers that may get in the way of the Mica bill. There is also another bill from Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) that calls for $400 million for general aviation businesses that NATA is working on pushing through the Senate.
The Mica bill includes grants and loans through the Small Business Administration to cover actual losses related to September 11. The difficulty with that, is quantifying those losses and justifying them when applying for the loans, says Schober. And, he adds, even if the bill does go through, it will be a long time before aviation businesses see any of that relief money.
Compensation has been established for Part 135 carriers, but those operations are being compared to Part 121 carriers when it comes to doling out the funds. NATA has expressed concern to DOT, explaining that the nature of charter operations is entirely different from scheduled airlines.
NATA is requesting set-aside funds to cover on-demand carriers. Jacque Rosser, manager of flight operations for NATA, explains that many operators that have applied for funds and have received them, have in fact received about 10 percent of the total of their losses.
The set-aside funds would cover the majority of losses, and would be open to all operators, including those who had already received some economic relief and those who had not yet applied. NATA is also requesting a right of appeal for operators who feel they were not given sufficient funds.
"We heard that the airlines, if they had an operating cost of six cents per mile, they were getting four cents per mile. For the charter operator, ... they were looking at 25 cents per mile cost and up, but getting that same four cents," says Rosser.
Rosser says there is overwhelming support for the separate funds within the industry and expects to hear one way or the other by March.
The 12-5 Rule and Overall Security On April 1, the 12-5 Rule went into effect, which dictates certain security requirements for aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or more. Richard Van Gemert...
PAMA's MX Finds New Home in AMT Brian Finnegan The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) is pleased to announce that Mx, our flagship publication, will now be published...
Issues 2001 Maintenance, employee shortages head agenda as NATA, PAMA meet By Lindsay M. Hitch, Assistant Editor April 2001 The National Air Transportation Association (NATA...
The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association recognizes individuals, chapters, and organizations that improve the association and the aviation maintenance industry.