Charting a Course for Business Aviation Growth

A Capitol View 

Now is the time for us to consider the best parameters to foster innovative growth, modernize infrastructure, increase sustainability, prioritize safety, strengthen our workforce, and increase efficiency—while continually building upon the success of business aviation.

The leadership and staff of NATA are committed to safeguarding our member businesses’ present success while charting the course for the entire industry’s future growth—and a key aspect of that work involves collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration. As such, much of our work here on Capitol Hill involves advocacy for sufficient resources and strategic policies to equip the Agency to maintain a safe and secure NAS that supports a thriving business aviation industry. NATA was pleased that the omnibus appropriations bill recently passed by Congress safeguards FAA from threats of a government shutdown while allocating increased resources to critical programs that support general aviation airports and the businesses associated with them.

The coming months offer another valuable opportunity to shape the future of the Agency as leaders in both chambers of Congress and on both sides of the aisle prepare for the next FAA Reauthorization—critical legislation that will determine the Agency’s programming, policies, and direction from 2023 to 2028. During that period, our industry is poised to make significant progress on innovations affecting everything from the fuels that power our industry to the aircraft we manufacture, operate, and service. Now is the time for us to consider the best parameters to foster innovative growth, modernize infrastructure, increase sustainability, prioritize safety, strengthen our workforce, and increase efficiency—while continually building upon the success of business aviation.

Working with our policy committees, NATA has already identified broad topics that we believe should be included in the next round of FAA Reauthorization—legislative fixes to address current issues confronting our members as well as new initiatives to enable innovation and growth. Some of those initiatives include:

  • protecting our general aviation airports and aviation businesses from litigation related to PFAS and lead
  • working to advance industry-wide sustainability with investments in Sustainable Aviation Fuel and a fleet-wide unleaded replacement for 100 LL
  • addressing backlogs in certifications and check functions by streamlining processes, embracing technology, and increasing the use of designees—and by providing FAA sufficient staff and resources to oversee them
  • ensuring industry input into the final rule on SMS regulations, as well as requiring sufficient training for FAA workforce before the Agency enforces the rule
  • strengthening FAA efforts to stop illegal charter operations by following up on previous directives, gathering useable data on illegal operations, and increasing FAA and NTSB resources for proactive identification and investigation of suspect activity
  • repealing fuel fraud diversion from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund
  • ensuring FBOs remain free of onerous regulations
  • anticipating and addressing infrastructure needs to adopt and support AAM/UAS

Crafting the next FAA reauthorization will be a lengthy process—one that is just now in the earliest phase—NATA will continually work with FAA and Congress on these and other issues over the next year. As you consider the numerous ways that your business currently interacts with or is affected by FAA programs, policies, and procedures, please share with us areas that you believe would benefit from increased resources or modified policies. And as you anticipate the innovation, growth, changes, and challenges that your business will encounter in the coming years, please share with us how we can best partner with you to ensure the continued safety and success of our industry. No one has a better perspective on the industry’s current challenges and future needs than aviation professionals like you, who have helped shape the thriving industry we enjoy today. You can reach me at khuggard@nata.aero or (571) 384-0970 to discuss FAA Reauthorization or any other legislative issues affecting your business at the federal, state, or local level. I look forward to connecting with you!

Karen Mineau Huggard, Managing Director of Legislative Affairs and Industry Relations, NATA

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Welcome to the Aviation Business Journal, the official publication of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).

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