NBAA plans to work with its counterparts in Canada to educate American and Canadian government officials on the benefits of business aviation and issues that impact the industry.
Steve Brown, NBAA’s chief operating officer, and Merlin Preuss, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA), discussed the details about their coordinated efforts at CBAA’s 2015 Convention & Exhibition, held June 15 to 18 in Montreal.
“Canada’s federal election takes place this fall, with the U.S. federal election coming only one year later,” noted Brown. “NBAA’s No Plane No Gain campaign, which began with detailed economic studies, has been an effective educational tool in the U.S., and we are working with CBAA to develop a similar program in Canada. We know these programs improve our associations’ abilities to advocate with legislators on behalf of our members, which is especially critical when going into an election cycle.”
CBAA’s studies, similar to those produced by NBAA, will include employment numbers, tax base figures and overall economic contributions of business aviation.
During his presentation, Brown noted that NBAA and CBAA have had a long history of collaboration regarding regulatory issues, including working together to address customs, immigration and security challenges through many outreach efforts, including the annual cross-border seminar. Brown also explained how the two countries have similar taxation and airport support challenges, such as decreases in local funding for airports and local governments’ efforts to increase taxes. On challenges such as these, the two associations work together to determine common strategies.
In other areas, awareness and education are key.
“Safety management systems (SMS) is one area in which the two countries’ requirements diverge,” said Brown. “SMS is a regulatory requirement in Canada, but not so in the U.S. NBAA encourages aircraft operators to adopt an SMS as a best practice, and we advocate for proactive risk-management processes, but this is one example of a regulatory difference that we need to be aware of and continue to discuss.”
NBAA and CBAA also often coordinate their activities when dealing with other aviation bodies. For example, NBAA’s Board of Directors and CBAA President Rudy Toering recently met at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal, and briefed ICAO officials on current business aviation issues.
“We appreciate our very positive relationship with CBAA,” said Brown. “The two associations, successful in their own right, are even more productive when we work together. We look forward to advocating for issues important to our members during the upcoming election cycles.”