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NATA praises FAA efforts to combat illegal charter
The National Air Transportation Association provides information to keep aircraft owners on the right side of the law regarding receipt of payments for flights. It has welcomed proposed fines for those transgressing.
Ryan Waguespack has been appointed as vice president at the National Air Transport Association.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and its Illegal Charter Task Force (ICTF) have welcomed news from the FAA that it is continuing its crackdown on those who conduct illegal for-hire charter operations. An FAA press release recently announced a proposed US$624,000 penalty against a California company for allegedly conducting illegal passenger-carrying flights.

Since launching the ICTF earlier this year, the association has engaged with FAA staff at the agency's headquarters and in the field to educate them on the proliferation of improper aircraft leasing schemes and encourage meaningful action to address the illegal charter problem.

“We have had nothing but positive reaction from air charter operators and the FAA on the efforts of NATA's ICTF,” explains NATA vice president Ryan Waguespack.

“A key mission of our ICTF is to inform aircraft owners about the limits of their ability to receive payment for the use of their aircraft. We believe most aircraft owners and managers intend to operate within the rules, but the regulations can be complex and difficult to understand and apply. Our goal is to provide them educational resources to help keep their operations legal,” he adds.

In this new enforcement action, the business in question was the subject of a civil penalty for unauthorised operations in the past year, making this the second time the FAA has pursued enforcement action for illegal charter flights.

“Unfortunately, there is a segment of owners and aircraft managers within the industry that willfully engage in prohibited activities and we rely on the FAA's enforcement authorities in such cases."

Waguespack was recently appointed as a vice president of the association, having previously served as the chair of the task force, as well as vice chair of the Air Charter Committee as an association member.

“Ryan has been an active participant in NATA and is well-versed in our members' issues and needs; we are thrilled that he is joining the team,” says NATA president Gary Dempsey. “Ryan's range of aviation experience and vision to elevate and continuously help the industry to evolve in these changing times are invaluable to fulfilling NATA's strategic goals and mission.”

Waguespack most recently held the position of vice president of business development of Summit Aviation. Previously, he served in various business development roles for charter and management operations, as well as aircraft sales, working closely with clients to educate them throughout the purchasing process and help them attain the best aviation solution for their needs.

Waguespack is also founder of the Alabama Business Aviation Association and is a frequent guest lecturer for Auburn University in the Harbert College of Business.

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