As 2020 approaches, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is entering its 80th year of service, and remains committed to addressing the needs of the Part 135 community, including bringing an end to illegal charter operations and fraudulent dry leases.
The association is planning to bring back its Air Charter Summit in June of 2020. This event, intended for Part 135 operators and those that support the industry, will provide a forum for discussions about how to maximise safety and success in air charter business, while also addressing major threats to the industry. The summit will be held in conjunction with NATA's Aviation Business Conference in Washington, DC from 16-18 June.
“At our core, we pay attention to the needs of our members and the industry climate,” states COO Tim Obitts. “After talking with our membership, we believe that 2020 is a great time to bring back the Air Charter Summit, particularly now as the world focuses in on the issue of combatting illegal charter operations and sham dry leases whereby the lessee does not have operational control of the aircraft.”
In the past few months, since the release of its Illegal Charter Survey, NATA has recorded a dramatic uptick in the number of filings on its illegal charter hotline and online portal. The survey itself has helped the association gain a lot of ground towards understanding the nuances of the issues surrounding illegal operations that its members are facing. Around 90 per cent of the survey respondents stated that they had knowledge of illegal operations, however, only fifty per cent said they reported their suspicions, citing concerns that their reports were not being acted upon. This feedback has dedicated NATA and its illegal charter task force to continuing to work with the agencies and FSDOs on outreach and improving the reporting process for those who suspect illegal operations.
“Illegal charter operations take on many forms,” states Ryan Waguespack, senior vice president for NATA. “Our top priority is to promote safety in our industry, and just one loss affects the entire community. We have been making great strides in shedding light on the issue and garnering worldwide support for our efforts. Our resolve remains steadfast.”