NATA Highlights Challenges Posed by Illegal Charter at FAA-General Aviation Safety Summit

Washington, DC, October 24, 2017 – Today, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Executive Vice President Bill Deere joined executives from other leading general aviation associations and FAA leadership, including FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta, at the FAA General Aviation Safety Summit held in Washington, D.C. Deere discussed the growing challenge posed by illegal charter operations and provided an update on steps NATA is taking to enhance ground handling safety.   

“In 2017, NATA visited with Part 135 and aircraft management companies all over the nation and their number one concern is illegal charter,” stated Deere. “Our members see it as a growing problem, one that has been exacerbated by the Internet.” NATA requested the agency review the resources it dedicates to identifying and stopping these operations, and to ensure field staff are both available and properly trained to immediately investigate a hotline call. Deere added, “We hope the agency will work with NATA and legitimate operators to combat this growing problem before an accident or incident involving illegal charter mars the entire general aviation community’s safety record.”

Deere also recognized the efforts of FAA in the expansion of the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s (ACSF) Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), “Thanks to the encouragement of [FAA] Headquarters, since our last briefing in March 2016, the Air Charter Safety Foundation and all FAA regions in the lower 48 states have signed FAA Master Memorandum of Understandings.”

According to a 2016 study by the Van Allen Group, business aircraft operators are 800 times more likely to incur damage to their aircraft during ground handling than in an actual operational incident. Deere highlighted NATA’s ongoing efforts in improving ground handling safety, including the association’s industry-standard Safety 1stprogram.

Deere then discussed the association’s efforts to undertake a more quantifiable approach to reducing incidents, “I am particularly proud of our inaugural Ground Handling Safety Symposium held last month at the NTSB Training Center. A key takeaway from the event is the necessity of industry-wide coordination on safety data collection and analysis from a ground handling perspective – an objective adopted by NATA’s Safety Committee for 2018.”

“We believe that FAA participation in these various initiatives and events can help emphasize their importance and is vital to ensuring their long-term success,” Deere concluded.

#       #       #

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for over 75 years. Representing nearly 2,300 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies. For more information about NATA, please visit or