The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is establishing a general aviation airports committee to assist its policy priorities and advocacy efforts impacting general aviation airport stakeholders. Lara Kaufmann, associate director at the Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU), has been named co-chair along with Ben Harrison, general manager at the Cullman Regional airport (KCMD).
The general aviation airports committee will provide NATA's airport membership with a voice for the safety, quality, and security issues impacting airports and aviation businesses. Committee members will address emerging concerns associated with COVID-19 and other issues pertaining to landlord/tenant relations, airport revenues, fuel quality, fire codes, customs, lease agreements, minimum standards and hangar development.
“On behalf of the NATA leadership and our membership, our association has committed to the formation of the general aviation airports committee to highlight the valuable services and jobs that the business aviation industry provides to their communities,” states board chairman Curt Castagna. “This effort is consistent with our mission to encourage fostering collaborative approaches between airport sponsors, aeronautical tenants and the surrounding community in addressing challenges and opportunities that support maximising the economic potential for such public/private partnerships.”
NATA represents over 300 general aviation airports, including more than 100 airport-sponsored FBOs. A key goal of this committee is to help raise the safety bar for this specific stakeholder group. “NATA is excited to help meet the unique needs of general aviation airports and its tenants. We aim to promote the important value these aviation businesses bring to their local communities, along with the nuances that make their businesses unique,” adds NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts.
“Coming together as representatives of the many different general aviation airports across the country to share our challenges, find solutions and work together to implement them will directly benefit the aviation service providers that call general aviation airports home,” explains committee co-chair Lara Kaufmann, associate director of the Greenville Downtown Airport in South Carolina. “This collaboration is extremely important as our industry, like many others, rises to meet the new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
NATA is also forming an air ambulance sub-committee as an integral part of its air charter committee. Marc Ramthun, vice president, medical flight services for CSI Aviation, has been named chairman and Emma Roberts, senior director of safety, training and compliance for REVA, will serve as the sub-committee's vice chair. The air ambulance sub-committee members will address emerging concerns associated with the movement of COVID-19 patients and ongoing conversations related to medical crew rest and duty rules, broker transparency, international regulations and the shuttering of rural hospitals, as well as other operational issues.
“I am pleased NATA has launched the air ambulance sub-committee. Our segment of the industry operates in two of the most highly regulated spaces: Part 135 air charter and medical. It's good to have this forum for air ambulance operators to collaborate on highlighting critical missions and issues that have been amplified by the current COVID crisis,” states air ambulance sub-committee chairman Marc Ramthun, vice president, medical flight services of CSI Aviation.
“I was very excited to see the NATA air ambulance subcommittee form and honoured to be selected as vice chair. In addition to the regulatory complexities associated with every air ambulance transport, I believe the industry has been uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is more important than ever for us to work together towards a common goal of safely transporting our patients and crews,” added sub-committee vice chair Emma Roberts, senior director of safety, training and compliance for REVA.