NATA Offers Advice for Charter Operators

 - December 11, 2006, 6:03 AM

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has published two new documents dealing with international transportation of minors and with illegal charters. The association recommends that on-demand charter operators provide both publications to new and existing clients.

“NATA’s Guide for International Transportation of Minors” provides guidelines to operators who transport minors outside the U.S. The guidance reflects policies in place at major airlines and some on-demand charter operators and is recommended for on-demand charter, Part 91 aircraft management and fractional ownership operators.

The publication addresses several scenarios, including transporting minors with only one parent or legal guardian, minors alone or with neither parent nor legal guardian, minors with a different last name and minors with one deceased parent.

Although some nations do not require documentary evidence of the accompanying adults’ relationship to the minor and/or notarized letters of permission from the parents or legal guardian for entry, and they are not necessarily required for departures from the U.S., NATA is recommending the guidelines for all international travel with minors to guard against legal action resulting from the transportation of minors.

“The airline industry has long been following similar guidelines, and on-demand charter operators have indicated a strong desire for industry guidance,” said NATA president James Coyne. “Many operators are afraid to ask prominent clients for sensitive information, such as birth certificates or notarized letters. This publication gives companies guidance for establishing their own policy and can serve as an educational tool when provided to customers.”

The second publication, “Risks of Illegal Charters,” outlines the dangers of illegal commercial operations and is designed for potential clients. “Unfortunately, companies illegally offering air charter are not uncommon in much of the U.S., and this document will help legitimate charter operators educate their clients,” Coyne explained.

The publication describes the training, oversight, drug and alcohol testing and other significant differences between legal charter operators certified by the FAA and illegal operators. It also advises consumers how to determine if a charter operator is properly certified by the FAA.