President Trump and the Republican-led Congress have developed an extremely ambitious agenda in the early stages of the 115th Congressional Session, announcing their intention to repeal and replace Obamacare, to secure immigration and tax reform, to approve a trillion-dollar infrastructure investment package, to overhaul ATC, and to reapportion the budget, making significant increases in some sectors and drastic cuts in others. And this is just a few of their priorities. Navigating these highly controversial and complex issues will undoubtedly be a full-time job in and of itself. For NJASAP, being familiar with and staying informed on the status of these initiatives is central to the success of our own legislative priorities. As slow as Washington seems to move, it would not be unheard of for Congress to shelve one top priority and pivot to another such as the FAA bill, national right-to-work legislation or any number of issues of concern to NJASAP. A recap of NJASAP’s legislative priorities is featured below:

#DenyNAI // The Norwegian Air International issue, #DenyNAI, should move concurrently with other big-ticket items. It is a largely non-controversial matter – at least on Capitol Hill – having secured bi-partisan, bicameral support. The late-January #MakeItRally White House Rally and subsequent meeting with Trump administration officials elicited an overwhelmingly positive response from members of Congress as well as aviation industry and labor stakeholders and the media. Without question, we were successful in raising awareness of the #DenyNAI issue to the highest levels of the U.S. government and to generating more media coverage than all previous efforts combined. Our work, however, is far from over. Currently …

The White House has asked that we pursue and more narrowly define the legal arguments to be made against NAI. To that end, we have rejoined efforts with APA, ALPA, AFA, APFA and, of course, SWAPA to begin the process of securing a resolution through legislation.
NJASAP is helping draft language similar to previous legislation, like HR 5090, but more focused on narrowly defining a flags of convenience scheme and its harmful repercussions on the public interest. The legislation would not only revoke the U.S. Department of Transportation’s late-December 2016, decision to approve NAI’s foreign air carrier permit, but also prevent any subsequent flags of convenience scheme.
A lawsuit filed by ALPA in response to the decision is on-going, providing another avenue to deny NAI. However, labor advocates are not optimistic this very time-consuming strategy will be upheld in federal court.

FAR Part 135/91K Duty & Rest Rules // Changes to duty time and rest rules for FAR Part 135/91K operators continues to be a top priority for NJASAP. Many of you may recall we were successful in eliminating objections – including those voiced by NetJets – to an NJASAP proposal calling for the creation of an FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee to address duty and rest rules for our sector of the industry. We do not anticipate any opposition in 2017 as we pursue the same process as before.

Encouragingly, we have just received a commitment to sponsor our legislation from a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and we anticipate several co-sponsors to sign on in support of the measure. This legislative component must be a part of the overall FAA Reauthorization Bill that is expected to be brought forward later this year. Because of the aforementioned big ticket items, it is all but impossible to predict when and if the FAA bill will make its way to the floor of either chamber of Congress for a vote this year. Then again, Washington is anything but predictable, making it vital that NJASAP remain well prepared to take its legislation forward at any time.

Right-to-Work Legislation // National right-to-work legislation has been introduced in the House, and a Senate version expected to follow in the short term. It is impossible to underestimate the catastrophic effect this type of legislation, if passed, would have on organized labor. Specific to NJASAP, the Union’s ability to bargain for wages and benefits, to provide job protection, to process grievances and to protect the Membership from indiscriminate attacks on our livelihoods from a rogue EMT would be severely compromised. NJASAP Industry Affairs is keeping a very close eye on the legislation and are confident we can keep it at bay for the time being. We view the relationships the NJASAP PAC has positioned us to cultivate throughout the years as pivotal in situations such as these.

Business Aviation // Most certainly, our business will have skin in the game as we move through this session of congress. The aircraft management service tax, ATC privatization, fractional fuel tax, user fees, and tax reform, among other issues, will have a profound effect on our business. In late January, NJASAP President Pedro Leroux and I had the opportunity to sit down with NetJets CEO Adam Johnson and members of his team to discuss all things DC related.

The meeting was my first opportunity to talk with Johnson, and I was very impressed by his in-depth understanding of the many issues that challenge our industry in Washington. Leroux and I reiterated our desire to utilize the many contacts NJASAP has made in highly influential positions on Capitol Hill to promote business aviation. We remain firmly committed to assisting NetJets leaders as they endeavor to promote, to protect, and to grow the fractional. Unfortunately, we have not heard back from Johnson’s team since the meeting, but we are standing by ready to assist. NJASAP can be a great asset to NetJets in our nation’s capital.

Each time I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the NJASAP PAC members as well as the Industry Affairs all-stars team of Bob Ferguson and Paul Flynn, the Executive Board and the members of our Stewards Council. Without the overwhelming support each of these groups provide, NJASAP’s work in Washington would be without substance. The almost-700 members of the NJASAP PAC allow the Union to bring forward issues and concerns to lawmakers, the industry and its labor peers. The PAC is an invaluable insurance policy that protects our livelihoods from those who would do us harm. It allows NJASAP to advocate on behalf of a great career that positions each of us to provide for our families. Thank you to everyone involved.

As always, if you are not a member of the NJASAP PAC, please consider joining for just $5 or $10 per paycheck. To join, click the PAC Membership Form link at the top of the NJASAP PAC Web site home page.

On a final note, I would also like to extend my deepest appreciation to the pilots who attended or made it possible for others to attend the #MakeItRight Rally. Additionally, P2P Captains Josh Randolph and Jerome Saint-Orens stepped forward and took great strides to reach as many pilots as possible, encouraging them to attend the rally. Undeniably, the rally and subsequent meeting with administration officials sent shockwaves through the pilot labor community, and each of us can take great pride in that accomplishment.

NJASAP IA Committee Chair

PAC DISCLAIMER // The purpose for which the NJASAP PAC has been formed is to advance the interests of the NetJets pilots and the aviation industry. All contributions to the NJASAP PAC are voluntary. Contributions to the NJASAP PAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. NJASAP will not favor or disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount of their contribution or their decision not to contribute as all NJASAP members have the right to refuse to donate to the NJASAP PAC. Donations to the NJASAP PAC may not be secured by the use or threat of physical force, job discrimination, or financial reprisal.


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