May 4, 2015
Every day that Congress is in session, NBAA representatives, including government affairs vice presidents Dick Doubrava and Christa Fornarotto, are working to ensure that lawmakers on Capitol Hill understand the importance of business aviation to their constituents and communities back home. While that represents a large portion of the Association’s advocacy efforts, it’s only one aspect of NBAA’s engagement on behalf of the industry.
“From meetings with international officials and aviation stakeholders to conversations with mayors and other local representatives across the country, NBAA works tirelessly to promote policies, regulations and initiatives that support the positive contributions of business aviation,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.
For example, NBAA promotes the interests of business aviation within the executive branch – including engagement with officials at the FAA, National Transportation Safety Board, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Treasury – on a diverse range of regulatory matters affecting business aviation.
Recently, these efforts resulted in clarification from the FAA on whether cockpit voice recorders are necessary on certain Part 135 operations normally operated by a single pilot. The agency also acknowledged the need for a science-based approach to measuring the effects of aircraft noise on communities around airports used by business aviation.
NBAA also consults with international officials on topics of importance to the industry, including its participation earlier this year through the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Second High-Level Safety Conference, and in regular meetings with European and Asian aviation safety regulators.
Closer to home, NBAA’s regional representatives meet with state and local lawmakers, including at recent events organized in support of general aviation and business aviation in Michigan, North Dakota and Texas.
“Lawmakers from the local, state and national levels attended these gatherings and heard firsthand how our industry helps local businesses remain flexible and competitive while also providing jobs and other economic benefits to their constituencies,” noted Steve Hadley, NBAA’s director of regional programs and the Association’s Southwest regional representative.
NBAA also works with state legislatures to promote fair taxation policies for business aviation users. These efforts have resulted in exemptions for general aviation (GA) aircraft to New York’s sales and use tax; “fly away” sales and maintenance exemptions in Arkansas; and seeking legislation in Texas to deal with interpretations from the state Comptroller that would impose significant new burdens for aircraft operators to qualify for the ‘sale for resale’ exemption through aircraft leasing.
“This work also extends to the national level; for example, NBAA recently met with the Office of the Tax Legislative Counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department and had a positive and productive discussion about federal excise tax matters,” added Scott O’Brien, NBAA Senior Manager, Finance & Tax Policy. “Our Members also engage their elected representatives on these and other issues, with some even flying their business aircraft to D.C. for these meetings.”
Staff members from NBAA also participate in numerous rulemaking committees and joint industry/government working groups. These include the RTCA (an official FAA advisory committee tasked with developing industry standards for aircraft and ground equipment), as well as groups working on such important initiatives as NextGen and integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace.
NBAA Air Traffic Services (ATS) personnel stationed at the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center represent the interests of business aviation when decisions are made about how air traffic will be handled.