National Air Transportation Association

This nonprofit group represents about 2,300 FBOs, air charter providers, and related companies in the business and general aviation industry.

What It Is: A 501(c) nonprofit trade group, the National Air Transportation Association, with some 2,300 members, represents FBOs, air charter providers, and related companies serving the business and general aviation industry.

How It Grew: With the U.S. Army pushing to ground all private flying in 1940, general aviation advocates formed the National Aviation Training Association, successfully fighting the ban. Rebranded as the National Aviation Trades Association in 1944, the group established an office in Washington, D.C., in 1946 and hired its first executive director in 1949. A decline in influence and membership followed a split with the association’s air charter contingent in the 1950s and 1960s. But NATA merged with the splinter charter group in 1974 as the National Air Transportation Associations, an umbrella organization for associations representing FBOs, air charter companies, and air cargo, mail, and commuter air carriers.

With competing agendas stymying progress, the group dissolved in 1976 and NATA was renamed the National Air Transportation Association, to represent FBOs and the air charter industry, its current focus. That same year, NATA resolved a long industry conflict with the FAA over fuel taxes. In the 1990s, with airport access and real estate development becoming issues, NATA identified 100 endangered GA airports and launched a successful initiative to address the threat.

NATA established its Safety1st training programs in 2000, and in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, led the fight to reopen the skies to GA operations. With illegal charter a growing concern, the organization worked with the FAA from 2005 to 2007 to develop rules to curtail the activity while protecting legitimate providers. In this decade, the organization has led FAA reauthorization efforts; promoted an industry code of ethics; and opposed government initiatives to impose user fees, levy Federal Excise Tax on owners of managed aircraft, and ban the sale of leaded avgas.

What It Offers:

Lobbying and advocacy. Provides input to Congress and others on policy issues affecting its members and the business aviation community.

Certification, training, and assistance programs. Safety 1st training center offers training for members on Part 135 and Part 91 operations. NATA also provides FAA medical certification programs and loss of license insurance.

Publications. Quarterly Business Aviation Journal.

Scholarships and awards. More than $3.3 million to more than 1,600 students by NATA Foundation. Member awards for superior achievement.

Recent News:

In August, NATA launched an updated Fly Smarter program to combat illegal charter.


Founded: 1940

HQ: Washington, D.C.

Staff: About 20

Members: About 2,300 companies

President: Gary Dempsey