NATA To File Petition On Reopening DCA To Part 135


Sep 3, 2002
NATA intends to file a petition with the FAA this week to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to non-scheduled commercial air carriers. The airport has been closed to Part 135 operators and other non-scheduled flights since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The petition states that The closure of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to all but scheduled flight operations conducted under Part 121 is creating serious harm for the traveling public and for NATA''s members certificated to operate non-scheduled commercial service under Part 135 air carrier regulations. The closure unfairly, unreasonably and unlawfully discriminates against an important sector of the aviation transportation industry - non-scheduled commercial air carriers. It is time for the federal government to take action to eliminate this harmful discriminatory treatment.
The FAA needs to recognize the intrinsic right of access to publicly funded airports guaranteed by the Federal Aviation Act and help to ensure a continued, relatively equitable level of operations at DCA by these operators, stated NATA president James K. Coyne. This is the only airport with direct and immediate access to the nation''s capital. There is no viable reason to continue to deny non-scheduled commercial air carriers access to this airport
The petition also states that the Twelve-Five Rule, which goes into effect on April 1, will offer a well-defined and state-of-the-art regime addressing the security of these aircraft operations. As a result, no additional barrier preventing this class of operator from accessing DCA will exist except for the imposition of the security rules and procedures specific to the airport itself.
NATA intends to file the DCA petition on Thursday, March 13. The filing is part of a large, coalition-based effort sponsored by NATA. The coalition, dubbed WECAN (Working for Equitable Commercial Access to National) is comprised of local businessman and elected officials in the Washington, DC, area who support fully reopening DCA to non-scheduled commercial air carriers.


May 8, 2003
Legislation Would Allow Air Taxis Back into DCA
The House aviation subcommittee last week signed off on the Aviation Security Technical Corrections and Improvement Act, legislation that would restore “nonscheduled commercial flightsâ€￾ to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The act would require the Department of Homeland Security to issue regulation to allow air-taxi operators to return to DCA “under a security programâ€￾ approved by the agency. In support of the bill, the National Air Transportation Association pointed out that since April 1 charter and air taxi operators using aircraft with mtows of 12,500 pounds or more have been required to meet the TSA’s federal security program. “We believe that this class of operators is on a par with and may very well exceed the security of scheduled airlines at Washington National,â€￾ said NATA president James Coyne. Only scheduled carrier flights and aircraft receiving waivers have been permitted to use DCA since shortly after 9/11. Other provisions included in the House bill would provide pilots the ability to appeal the revocation of their airman certificates for security matters and create a small-business ombudsman within the TSA.

(from Aviation International News)


May 17, 2003
Small Planes Could Return To Reagan National
Committee Considers Resuming General Aviation

POSTED: 2:48 p.m. EDT May 21, 2003
UPDATED: 2:50 p.m. EDT May 21, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Congress is pressuring the Bush administration to reopen Reagan National Airport to small private planes, known as general aviation.
The House Transportation Committee Wednesday passed a Sense of the Congress amendment saying the airport should be fully reopened "as soon as possible."

National was the last of the major U.S. airports to reopen after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but only commercial flights are allowed now.

Committee Chairman Don Young said it is "ridiculous" that general aviation is barred from the airport. Young said it should be allowed because it''s "totally safe."

He did acknowledge that the National Security Council still has some concerns about fully reopening the airport.

The amendment is part of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which still needs to be approved by the full Congress.

More Commercial Flights Could Come To Reagan

Congress has also taken another step toward adding flights to Reagan National Airport.

The House Transportation Committee passed a compromise plan that would add 20 take-off or landing slots. That''s down from 30 the committee was considering last week.


D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton worked to reduce the number. She warned that too much traffic would increase delays and hurt some struggling carriers. Norton also expressed concern about security.

While Norton would prefer no increase in air traffic, she said the fight is far from over.

Members of the Senate have passed a measure that does not increase traffic. Norton is hoping a compromise measure could cut the number.

Northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, whose district includes the airport, has also argued against expanding traffic. He said noise from additional flights would disturb area residents.