NATA Chief Blasts FAA Brass at Aircraft Charter Meeting

 - November 8, 2007, 10:34 AM

At a closed-to-the-press meeting between FAA officials and attendees of the NATA Aviation Business Roundtable on Monday, NATA president James Coyne accused the FAA of sowing confusion about operational control issues and carrying out a vendetta against AMI Jet Charter. “It was almost blood-boiling,” Coyne recalled. “It’s the most heated discussion I can recall.” Although the 1.5-hour gathering was intended to address other FAA issues, the entire meeting with acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell, Flight Standards boss Jim Ballough, associate administrator for aviation safety Nick Sabatini and FAA lawyers was consumed by operational control complaints and questions about why the agency revoked AMI’s Part 135 certificate on October 12. At the end of the meeting, the FAA leaders finally agreed to meet with NATA to publish a set of frequently asked questions about operational control to help the charter industry understand exactly what is and isn’t allowed. “No one wins when the industry is totally confused,” Coyne said.