As part of a proposed federal plan to help business with purchases and approach recovery from the Great Recession, the Senate passed a bill Friday that would allow a lump tax deduction on depreciation on items including aircraft in the first year instead of spreading the write-offs across a five-year span.
Business aviation groups such as the NBAA and NATA support the measure, dubbed the Bonus Depreciation to Create Jobs Act. It still needs House approval to become law. NATA listed the bill among its 2010 priorities.
Bill went through both houses to the president's desk and was signed into law in a week. Updates after the jump. [more]
NBAA CEO Ed Bolen applauded its passage on the organization's web site.
"Accelerated depreciation is a proven investment incentive, and could significantly benefit the business aviation community," he said. "The industry continues to grapple with a slow recovery from the drop-off in flight activity and aircraft sales, as well as job losses in this challenging economic climate."
UPDATE: (Sept. 23) The depreciation bill now has House approval, as members of Congress approved it Thursday, Sept. 23. The bill now goes to conference between both congressional bodies before heading to the White House for approval.
Earlier this year, NBAA joined with more than 80 American businesses and organizations to send an open letter to House and Senate leaders calling for a renewal of bonus depreciation that expired at the end of 2009. It would extend the tax benefits to preserve manufacturing jobs, and at the same time give companies immediate access to the benefits of asset investments, including the purchase of business aircraft. NBAA President Bolen applauded the most recent step toward the extension in a statement on the NBAA web site.
"NBAA is pleased that Congress has affirmed its support for accelerated depreciation through the passage of this legislation," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "Once the President signs the bill including bonus depreciation into law, companies will be able to take advantage of the provision right away, giving them access the benefits of business aviation."
UPDATE 2: (Sept. 27) A week after passing the Senate and fours days after passing the House, the depreciation bill has been signed into law by President Obama. Read more from the NBAA here.
The National Air Transportation Association recently spoke out against language in a proposed FAA rule to widen fatigue requirements for commercial pilots, saying the federal agency should not lump together Part 135 and Part 121 operations. The FAA has said changes in rest rules for Part 121 airlines would also apply to Part 135 operations.
NATA President James K. Coyne issued a statement criticizing the move on the organization’s web site yesterday.
“I wish I could only say that I was shocked at the FAA’s statement that Part 121 and 135 operations are ‘very similar,’” he said. “But anyone who has any inkling of the vast array of operations that take place, and geographic settings common within the Part 135 community, would know better than to make this ridiculous comparison. The fact that the statement came from our aviation regulatory authority, makes me wonder just how familiar the FAA is with the makeup of the Part 135 community and question the agency’s commitment to honoring the letter and spirit of rulemaking guidance that requires the FAA to consider the specific costs, benefits and regulatory alternatives that may be appropriate for different types of operators.”
In a story by Aviation Iinternational News’s Matt Thurber, he quotes an unnamed FAA representative saying the agency sees Part 135 and Part 121 operations “very similar.”
After the jump: Find links to additional coverage of the rules proposal. [more]
Read more about NATA's take on the proposal and the inclusion of possible Part 135 rule changes here.
Also, see what the Wall Street Journal has to say about pilot fatigue and the FAA proposal here and here. We link the AP recap here.
Photo courtesy of Jaunted.com, widely distributed on the Web
One of the biggest stories in aviation today is the third nomination of a potential TSA chief from the Obama administration. We run down links to various outlets’ coverage here.
In what has to be one of the coolest technological feats in aviation recently, tornado chasers from the University of Colorado flew an unmanned aircraft into a super-cell thunderstorm. The byproduct of this will hopefully be better research of how life-threatening storms are formed without putting researchers into harm’s way.
Part of the reason folks chase such storms has to be the thrill of it. Yet controlling a UAV through massive downbursts has its own enticements, too.
In a sad piece of aviation news, two dogs owned by actor and pilot John Travolta were killed last week by a service vehicle at Bangor International Airport (BGR). Travolta owns a home off the Maine coast.
In the world of business aviation, Benet Wilson of Aviation Week runs through an intriguing list of news tidbits, noting that NATA and others are not happy with GA having only one representative on the DOT aviation panel. Read that, along with news from Hawker Beechcraft, Korean Aerospace and GE Aviation here.
Boeing patted itself on the back this week for reducing CO2 emissions at U.S. facilities by 31 percent since 2002. The company seeks to add to this number with the deployment of its 787s and 747-8 series.
Finally, our friends at Duncan Aviation look further into the complicated quandary known as WAAS, expanding on why LPV approaches with the system require two FMSs and two GPS receivers. Check it out at this link.