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Sun, Aug 02, 2009

NATA Offers Industry Tools To Combat Illegal Charters

Hotline Is Available To Contact FAA

In response to Tuesday's NTSB hearing on an accident involving an aircraft that was being operated for-hire without proper certification, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) reminds the public and industry of several resources available to help combat illegal charter activity.

During the investigation of the 2008 accident, it was discovered that the flight was sold to the passengers as a commercial operation, but the aircraft and crew were not legally authorized to conduct commercial flights.

NATA has created two free consumer publications, "Chartering and Aircraft, A Consumer Guide" and "Risk of Illegal Charter," to aid consumers in both choosing a legitimate on-demand air charter operator and avoiding illegal operators.
Both publications are suitable for printing and are available for download online.
NATA also reminds air charter operators of the Illegal Charter Hotline. Certificated operators may call and make reports regarding illegal activity that will be forwarded to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Headquarters staff for review and investigation. 
Any employee or agent of a Part 135 on-demand certificate holder can call a toll-free number, 888-759-3581 or 888-SKY-FLT1, to file a report of suspected illegal commercial flights, where an aircraft operator without an FAA Part 135 certificate is accepting compensation for transportation, in violation of both FAA and Department of Transportation regulations.

The number is available 24 hours a day and operators may leave a message to receive a call back if the Hotline agent is unavailable. Operators are encouraged to compile as much factual data as possible regarding the suspected illegal activity. The more detail and facts or evidence that are supplied, the better the chances are that the FAA can conduct a meaningful review and investigation.

Since beginning operation just one year ago, the hotline has been quite successful. Those filing reports have in some cases noticed a quick response from the FAA. Follow-up contact with several operators who have filed reports indicates formal investigations have occurred or are occurring as a result of hotline reports.



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