House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) met with NATA members today to detail his vision for an independent ATC corporation funded by user fees. Shuster rolled out his plan earlier this week during an Aero Club of Washington luncheon, drawing skepticism from the general aviation community. Shuster, who visited with members during a closed-door session, closed out NATA’s newly formatted four-day 2015 Aviation Business Conference in Washington, D.C.
The conference, which drew more than 100 senior industry executives, featured key government officials such as Eduardo Angeles, associate administrator of airports, who emphasized that many airport board members are not aviation experts and require education; and Les Smith, manager of the FAA’s Air Transport division, who provided a top-level overview on the division’s activities such as efforts to improve consistency in regulation. Airports and FBO chiefs discussed the need to build communications to improve relations, while senior executives from NetJets and Flight Options discussed expanding internationally, focusing on technology in the airplane and reworking vendor relations. FBO expert John Enticknap, along with senior executives from Jet Aviation and Atlantic Aviation, agreed that industry consolidation will continue for the foreseeable future and that private equity has re-emerged in the FBO market.
The event honored a number of industry executives and officials, including NATA’s Amy Koranda and former TSA Administrator John Pistole. The association raised $83,000 for the Veteran’s Airlift Command during the event.