2006 Press Releases

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Business Aviation Associations Announce FAA Operational Control and 'Wet Lease' Workshops to Be Held Across U.S.

Contact: Dan Hubbard at (202) 783-9360 or dhubbard@nbaa.org

WASHINGTON, DC, May 8, 2006 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) today announced dates and locations for several Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) briefing sessions, which are designed to inform FAA inspectors and the industry about operational control, "wet leases" and other business aviation management relationships common to charter operations. All charter operators and aircraft owners engaged in "managed charter" relationships are strongly encouraged to attend one of these briefings.

In the past year, the FAA has been investigating long-standing lease arrangement practices between air charter operators and aircraft owners. The FAA's review has included an examination of air carrier operational control systems, the use of wet leases (which involves providing an aircraft and at least one crew member), and the use of fictitious business names, known as "DBAs," or "doing-business-as."

Late last year, the FAA issued preliminary guidance on these matters, which, as written, would have caused significant confusion throughout the industry and might have unnecessarily changed existing regulations via policy guidance, rather than through the formal, federal rule-making process. The two associations met regularly with the FAA to articulate the best practices of the industry and better inform FAA policy decision-making.  The new draft policy guidance and a new air carrier "operations specification" will be presented at the briefing sessions.

The schedule of sessions and locations is as follows:
  • May 16, 2006 – Van Nuys, CA
  • May 23, 2006 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • May 25, 2006 – Atlanta, GA
  • June 7, 2006 – Anchorage, AK
  • June 13, 2006 – Chicago, IL
  • June 20, 2006 – Seattle, WA
  • June 29, 2006 – Dallas, TX

The all-day sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. when registration opens. Presentations will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. FAA officials participating in the sessions include:

  • Hooper Harris, Manager, Commuter, On-demand, and Training Center Branch
  • Harlan Sparrow, Aviation Safety Inspector, Flight Standards Service
  • Kent Stephens, Aviation Safety Inspector, Flight Standards Service
  • Joe Conte, Manager of the Operations Law Branch, FAA Office of Chief Counsel
  • Allan Horowitz, Manager, Special Programs, Enforcement Division, Office of the Chief Counsel

Presentations will include information detailing the FAA's new guidance relating to wet leases and operational control, including these topics:

  • What is "operational control?"
  • What are the key factors in assessing operational control?
  • What is an illegal "wet lease?"
  • When is the use of assumed business names permissible?
  • Case studies of FAA enforcement action
  • Implementation of the new guidance nationwide

Those wishing to attend a briefing should reserve a seat by registering online at: http://www.nata.aero/events/. Those not registered for a session three business days prior to the workshop will be accommodated on-site on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the exact location of the briefing sessions and general information related to relationships common to charter operations, visit: http://web.nbaa.org/member/ops/part135/wetlease/ or http://www.nata.aero/about/WetLeaseResource.jsp.

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Founded in 1947, NBAA serves more than 7,000 Member Companies by promoting the aviation interests of organizations utilizing business aircraft in the United States and worldwide. The association provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.