NATA Compliance Services Blog

Happy National Aviation Day!

Posted by Bailey Wong on Wed, Aug 19, 2015

National Aviation Day was established in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in honor of the Wright brothers. However, the date specifically represents Orville Wright's birthday, August 19, 1871. The Wright brothers' success was due to many factors, but their innovative thinking and innate passion for aviation really set them above the rest.

Since their first successful flight in 1903, the aviation industry has grown tremendously and continues to excel and advance. 

The Team at NATACS wants to know:

Who do you think are some less recognized, but just as influential people in the aviation industry as the Wright brothers? 

Have a happy and safe National Aviation Day!

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Tags: Aviation News, History, Business Aviation, Air Transportation Industry

Too many emails from us? We can fix that!

Posted by Bailey Wong on Mon, Aug 17, 2015

Keep up on the latest news without being over-informed

In the age of technology, emails are a quick way to get a whole lot of information out to a whole lot of people. Personally, I think we've all received one too many emails from companies we used that one time, possibly five years ago. 

Our team at NATA Compliance Services is here to help you with your email problem! We don't want to blast your inbox with obnoxious emails, especially if it has nothing to do with your interests. Read More

Tags: Important Notices, Aviation News, Advisory circular, NATA

Known Crewmember - Crew Discounts

Posted by Emily Vest-Barrenchea on Thu, Jun 11, 2015

Did you know???

You can use your Known Crewmember badge to receive Crew Discounts at airports, restaurants, and hotels.

Spread the love!

Has anyone had success using their badge to get Crew Discounts?

Where did you receive the best discount?

Here is a sample of some of the discounts:

  • DFW - 10%
  • SMF - 20%
  • RNO - 15%
  • MDW - 10%
Comment locations with discounts below to help your fellow pilots and support your community. Read More

Tags: Known Crewmember Program

Known Crewmember - The Good, The Better and The Best

Posted by Emily Vest-Barrenchea on Thu, Jun 11, 2015

Have you seen this sign?

The Known Crewmember program is available for air charter opertors and their flight crews all around the United States. More than 185 air charter carriers and thousands of their pilots are using the system today.

Your fellow crewmembers would love to hear your feedback.

Please post comments to inform your community below.


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Tags: Known Crewmember Program

Featured Article in ARSA's Hotline Newsletter - “Recreational or Medical” Marijuana vs FAA/DOT Drug Testing

Posted by Shirley Negri on Mon, Jun 08, 2015

“Recreational or Medical” Marijuana vs FAA/DOT Drug Testing

By Shirley Negri, NATA Compliance Services

Nearly 50 percent of the United States currently has laws legalizing marijuana in some form. (See Map.)
How does this impact your repair station? Technically it doesn’t, if your operation performs maintenance on commercial aircraft operations including air tour for hire.

The Department of Transportation and the FAA maintain requirements that all “safety-sensitive or covered” employees (e.g., A&P Technicians, Sheet Metal Mechanics, Avionics Technicians) be subject to drug and alcohol testing. Further, regardless if marijuana was used for recreational or medicinal purposes in a state that has “legalized” the activity, detection of use will result in a positive drug test.


For more information:

NATA Compliance Services (NATACS) is the aviation industry’s only full-service employee background investigation and HR-compliance company and an ARSA preferred provider. To learn more, visit

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Tags: FAA, Drug and Alcohol Testing, Important Notices, DOT, Compliance, Human Resources

It’s 2015, Do You Know Where You’re Drone Is?

Posted by Rocco Cipriano on Mon, Mar 16, 2015

The FAA estimates there will be as many as 7500 drones (aka Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs) crisscrossing U.S. airspace within the next five years. While some see opportunity, others see mayhem.

In recent months, drones have become a hot topic in both aviation and non-aviation circles. News reports of drone sightings and drone misuse have surfaced in local and national media. Recent announcements by Amazon and Google to use drones as delivery systems have sparked imaginative speculation, and fueled the debate on the appropriate use of drones.

Certainly, the FAA, which is mandated to regulate and maintain airspace safety, has been keeping a wary eye on drone usage for some time. In case you’re thinking the FAA is eager to promote expanded drone use, they’re not. To the contrary, the agency has been curtailing it for years, mainly for safety reasons.

The push for more drone-filled skies is coming from the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S. government (with a little prodding from private industry).

Recent Congressional History Concerning Drones.

Three years ago, Congress passed and President Obama signed The Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (“FMRA”). The legislation is not only about improving our national airspace and air traffic control (NextGen). Inside this Act is a mandate for the FAA to step up the use of UAVs in the U.S. airspace. FMRA contains real deadlines for developing regulations for airspace use in order to make way for many more unmanned aircraft in our skies by 2015.

The Lawsuit That Led To Defining What A Drone Really Is.

While the FAA sanctioned 6 test sights last year to study the use of drones in National Airspace (mostly large UAVs remotely flown by Air Transport Rated Pilots), what they were not at all prepared for, was the dramatic increase in small quad-copters being flown in densely populated urban areas and in congested airspace. (Note: More than a million of these small, unmanned aircraft have been sold to date worldwide.)

Last year, the FAA issued fines to a number of small drone operators across the United States. Some of operators challenged the fines in local courts. Some courts upheld the FAA fines, while others did not – stating there was no clear law or FAA regulation specific to UAVs in the U.S.

The most noteworthy of these cases involved a Ritewing Zephyr drone conducting a series of maneuvers in and around the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. The operator was hired to take photographs of the campus, as well as its nearby Medical Center.

The FAA fined the operator for reckless operation, which included flying as low as 10 ft AGL, to as high as 1500 feet AGL. The FAA stated the drone was flown “directly towards an individual standing on a sidewalk causing the individual to take immediate evasive maneuvers.” The FAA also cited that the drone was piloted "through a tunnel containing moving vehicles,” “under a crane,” “below tree-top level over a tree-lined walkway,” “under an elevated pedestrian walkway,” and “within 100 feet of an active heliport.”

The FAA believed it has the jurisdiction to fine the operator. The operator, however, challenged the case in front of a NTSB administrative law judge, who upon reviewing the case, ruled in favor of the operator because he agreed with the operator that the Zephyr was a “model aircraft” to which the FAA regulations (specifically, FAR 91.13(a)) did not apply; and as such, the judged claimed the “FAA has distinguished model aircraft as a class excluded from the definitions of the term ‘aircraft.’”

Not So Fast. Not So Simple.

If the ruling for the Charlottesville drone operator was not challenged, the FAA knew it would be fighting a losing battle in future court cases against small drone operators, leaving it incapable of regulating their use. In the fall of last year, the FAA appealed to the full board of the NTSB. What resulted from their decision paved the way for the current drone operation restrictions issued recently by the FAA.

What The NTSB Decided. How It Reinforced FAA Authority.

The full board of the NTSB reversed and remanded the previous court ruling. In their opinion, the drone used at the University of Virginia was not a model aircraft but an aircraft that met the definition of the FAA’s regulation of FAR 91.13(a). According to the NTSB, the drone was “an aircraft,” which under FAR 91 states: “is any device used for flight in the air.” By defining it as such, the NTSB backed up the FAA’s assertion that the drone was indeed being operated in a careless and reckless manner, and confirmed the FAA’s authority to regulated small drones in U.S. airspace.

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Tags: FAA, Aviation News, Aviation Compliance, Air Traffic Control, Aviation Security, Air Transportation System

The Biggest Threat To Your Business May Be Working For You!

Posted by Rocco Cipriano on Mon, Mar 16, 2015

In September 2013, a TSA screener at Los Angeles International Airport was arrested a few hours after resigning for making threats against the airport on the anniversary of 9/11. In December of that year, the FBI arrested an avionic technician at Wichita Airport for plotting a suicide attack using an improvised explosive device.

These are just a couple of examples of employees who became a significant threat in the workplace. However, workplace threats are not limited to “home-grown” terrorists, radicalized by Islamic militarism. It also includes the careless employee, who unintentionally downloads a virus that infects your company’s computer network, or the disgruntled employee who acts unprofessionally with a customer. You may remember the JetBlue Flight Attendant, who became a YouTube sensation, when he quit his job by yelling a few choice words to passengers, grabbing some beers for the road and using the plane's emergency chute to exit the aircraft.

While the flight attendant's dramatic departure ended comically and without injury – many episodes of an employee suffering a meltdown do not always end as peacefully. As the number of workplace violence episodes continue to rise, they pose a growing safety and legal concern for employers in the aviation and transportation industries.

​The best way to protect against workplace violence is to take proactive measures to ensure a safe workplace environment for your employees. This will also reduce your company’s legal liability should an employee’s actions cause injury to another person and/or result in significant damage.

Employers should consider implementing the following tips to be better prepared and protected:

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Tags: Human Resources, Background Checks, Hiring, Aviation Security, Criminal History Record Checks

4 Things To Do To Prep For Your 2015 Hiring Needs

Posted by Brenda Stoltz on Thu, Jan 22, 2015

As economic conditions improve and gas prices plummet, the airline industry is poised to see more demand for flights and flight services starting in 2015. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) projects passenger demand, for example, will grow 3.4% in 2015 and continue steadily until 2019. With this growth will come increased capacity and the need for more human resources to serve passengers and to safely complete operations at all levels of the aviation industry. With that in mind, let’s look at four things you can do now to prepare you for your 2015 hiring needs.

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Tags: Human Resources, Hiring

Economic Forecasts Call for Bluer Skies

Posted by Rocco Cipriano on Tue, Jan 20, 2015

Without a doubt, business aviation took a big hit during the economic downturn. A great deal of the damage was caused by the perception that the “Haves” were flying around in their plush biz jets while the “Have-Nots” were experiencing an economic free fall.

The sight of automotive and banking industry executives flying to Congressional hearings in multi-million dollar private jets, asking for a handout, did not sit well with the Congressmen and the general public in 2008. Despite valid arguments that corporate jets save businesses time and money, the press skewered executives for this particular company perk, which in turn fueled the public outcry against their perceived conspicuous consumption.

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Tags: Business Aviation

What the Air Transportation Industry Can Learn from the Galactic Crash

Posted by Brenda Stoltz on Thu, Jan 15, 2015

On Halloween, the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two broke apart over the Mojave Desert, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury. Alsbury, along with pilot Peter Siebold, who survived the crash, were performing a test flight when something went wrong. While the exact cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), early findings reveal some sobering lessons that the air translportation indusry can learn from.

Even Experienced Crew Make Mistakes

Humans are fallible, even those who have undergone the best training and have the most experience. Alsbury had 15 years of flight experience, and the Halloween flight was his ninth trip in SpaceShipTwo; Siebold got his pilot’s license when he was 12. Just a week after the crash, NTSB revealed that the 39 year old co-pilot changed the spacecraft’s aerodynamic controls prematurely, causing the tail to rise and create drag, essentially hitting the brakes early. NTSB Chairman, Christopher Hart, cautioned this “feathering” error should not have caused the crash on its own, and is only one of several possibilities the organization was exploring as the cause of the crash.

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Tags: Air Transportation Industry

Four Reasons To Outsource Training

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