Dec. 28, 2020
When the global pandemic shuttered companies, forced many to work remotely and left the business aviation industry with questions about how to move forward and persevere despite the challenges, NBAA had the answers they needed.
Of NBAA’s five most-read articles of the year, four dealt directly with the impact of coronavirus and how business aviation could meet its challenges head on. From how to disinfect aircraft to keeping members up-to-date on FAA exemptions due to the pandemic, NBAA sought to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information throughout this demanding year.
Take a look back at the five most-read articles of 2020.
Aircraft Disinfection and Cleaning Procedures Guide Now Available
In March, NBAA released a new Aircraft Disinfection and Cleaning Procedures Guide in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s important for business aviation to put aircraft disinfection and cleaning at the forefront, given the current global situation with COVID-19,” said Tyler Harper, of AEM Logistics and the principal author of the guide. “A cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets and spread 15 feet from the person without covering their mouth. This has the potential of contaminating most interior surfaces, considering the size of business aircraft.
FAA’s COVID-19 Exemption Allows Pilots to Fly With Expired Medical Certificates
Also on March, the FAA announced it would allow pilots to continue to fly if their airmen medical certificates expired between March 31 and June 30 to reduce the burden on the country’s healthcare system during the pandemic and limit the potential spread of the virus across the pilot community.
“NBAA is grateful to the FAA for working with us to keep the country’s medical resources focused where they are most needed and ensure that business aviation can keep providing essential humanitarian services without any negative effect to the safety of pilots or the National Airspace System,” NBAA Director, Flight Operations and Regulations Brian Koester, CAM, said at the time.
The FAA since extended those exemptions as the pandemic continues.
NBAA’s COVID-19 Resource Provides Real-Time ATC Status Update
With operators facing a constantly evolving environment as the nation continues to contend with the COVID-19 virus, the FAA developed a real-time graphical resource with the latest information on FAA facility limitations and closures resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
Available through NBAA’s dedicated Airport Operational Considerations with the Coronavirus resource site, the FAA ATC Facilities Affected by COVID-19 tool utilizes Google Map overlays to display the most current airspace and airport limitations available. Aviation-specific icons provide immediate insight into the nature of the restriction – if it affects an ARTCC facility or airport control tower or TRACON – with additional details available by clicking on the icon.
FAA Responds to NBAA’s Call for COVID-19 Accommodations on Part 135 Training
Faced with an unprecedented situation driven by the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, the FAA answered NBAA’s call for the agency to take unprecedented steps to ensure that many charter operators are able to continue flying through the crisis.
On March 25, the agency issued four exemptions in effect through May 31, 2020, and applicable to most Part 135 operators. These included exempting Part 135 operators from the requirement that crewmembers don protective breathing equipment or oxygen masks during recurrent and upgrade training, testing and checking and allowing Part 135 ground personnel and crewmembers to complete recurrent training and qualification activities up to three calendar months after the month that the activity was due to have been completed, for requirements that were due to be completed through May 31.
As with other exemptions issued during the pandemic, these were eventually further extended.
FAA to Discontinue Notices to Airmen Publication, Relocate Information
In February, the FAA announced it would discontinue publication of the notices of airmen publication (NTAP) effective June 18, with the final NTAP published on May 21. The decommissioning was part of the overall notices to airmen modernization effort.
“The decision to decommission the NTAP is part of the collaboration with the Aeronautical Information System (AIS) Reform Coalition,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director of air traffic services and infrastructure and business aviation’s representative on the AIS Reform Coalition. “NBAA has been involved throughout the process to ensure information that is currently part of the NTAP migrates to sources where it can be more effectively used by pilots and aircraft operators.”