March 27, 2020

To our valued NBAA members,

As we all contend with the highly challenging circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBAA team continues to work at all levels to support your daily operations, and to represent the broader business aviation community.

In these turbulent times, our work at the federal level, before local authorities, with media sources, and elsewhere emphasizes of the importance of business aviation to the nation’s economy and transportation system, to achieve the right outcomes for the industry.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Earlier this week, NBAA welcomed Senate passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), containing NBAA-initiated provisions that will assist the business aviation community. In addition to creating loan and grant programs that can apply to general aviation commercial operators, FAR Part 145 repair stations and other small- to mid-size aviation businesses, the bill adds $100 million in Airport Improvement Program funding dedicated to GA airports, in recognition of their importance to thousands of underserved communities, especially in times of crisis. In addition, the bill temporarily suspends air transportation excise taxes for commercial operations. Review NBAA’s press release on the CARES Act, including a guide to the key provisions in the legislation.
  • NBAA advocacy also led the FAA to issue a series of extensions allowing Part 135 operators to temporarily forgo certain training requirements related to crew safety concerns with COVID-19, and allowing certain personnel up to three additional months to complete recurrent and upgrade training and qualification activities. These steps by the FAA allow many charter operators to continue flying, and provide much-needed assistance to communities and medical facilities during the crisis. Review the list of Part 135 extensions.
  • The FAA also responded to NBAA requests for relief by allowing pilots to continue to fly if their airmen medical certificates expire between Mar. 31 and Jun. 30, to reduce the burden on the country’s healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic, and limit the potential spread of the virus across the pilot community. Read the FAA’s notice of the policy decision.
  • At the local level, in collaboration with the FAA, we halted a COVID-19-driven attempt to close general aviation airports in Puerto Rico; as a result, all the island’s airports remain open, with three designated as ports of entry. We will remain vigilant to protect against similar attempts to limit airport access elsewhere. Review the guidance related to business aviation access to Puerto Rico.
  • As always, NBAA has also corrected misleading news accounts about the business aviation community, and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the industry. For an example of our work in this area, review this message sent to CNBC following a recent, misleading account from that network.

Of course, NBAA continues to provide COVID-19-focused resources and other support for members’ specific day-to-day priorities. Our dedicated COVID-19 operational considerations resource has a variety of tools to help members think through the legal, medical, operational, technical and other aspects of flight department operations

We have also introduced two new offerings – the NBAA News Hour interactive webinar series, and the NBAA Insider Daily news service – to help you navigate your toughest challenges. I encourage you to participate in an upcoming webinar, and subscribe to the daily news dispatch.

As NBAA works to support you, I take encouragement knowing that the people and companies in business aviation are working to support each other, and their communities. Countless stories tell of companies lending a hand, like the aviation businesses that are repurposing their equipment and workers to produce protective masks for local medical personnel, or the regional group’s coordinated effort to fly medical supplies to rural areas. Visit the No Plane No Gain website to see just one example.

Their service underscores our industry’s humanitarian spirit, especially at a time such as this. As we all work to support one another, my thanks to you for your continued support for NBAA.


Ed Bolen