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Mon, Jun 30, 2003

NATA Seeks Extension On Hazmat Training NPRM

NATA has formally requested a 60-day extension in the comment period for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) regulations. The comment period closes on July 7, 2003.

The NPRM proposes to "add requirements for repair stations that would allow the FAA to increase its oversight of the training they are required to conduct under the DOT's HAZMAT training requirements in 49 CFR Part 172." It also imposes requirements on "will-not" carry operators that are only slightly less burdensome than those who make a living as "will-carry" operators.

"Although the NPRM appears straightforward and relatively uncomplicated, a closer look reveals a significant expansion to the existing regulatory requirements," said NATA vice president Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside. "The proposed rule estimates over $100 million in costs for our members--most of which are small businesses--over a 10-year period. We believe this figure has been grossly underestimated, especially for small businesses that elect not to carry hazardous materials."

Additionally, the proposed regulations fail to accurately envision the operating environment of Part 135 on-demand air charter operators. The regulations fail to provide for the flexibility that is instrumental to the continued operation of the industry.

"The scope of this NPRM demands that more time be provided to analyze its full impact on the industry and the businesses that NATA represents," added Burnside. "We believe that a moderate extension to the comment period will allow development of alternative regulations that will offer an equivalent level of safety while addressing the more burdensome aspects of the current proposal."

FMI: www.nata-online.org

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