A Message from the FABA President

I would like to thank Chris Rosensteel for the tremendous leadership she has shown as the President of FABA over the last year.  It is my great pleasure to take over the reins as the next President.   

I am encouraged by what is transpiring in the aviation industry throughout Florida in spite of the ongoing pandemic.  Florida truly is the leader in aviation within the United States. 

As the President of FABA, I look forward to working with other aviation associations in Florida, as well as national associations to influence positive changes in aviation.  FABA is working to create new ways for our current members to engage with each other while attracting new members to all of the benefits of FABA.    

Thank you for your support.

Brad Nojaim
FABA President

NATA and FABA Defend Aviation Businesses Against Burdensome Taxes

May 20, 2021

Orlando, Florida, May 20, 2021 – The National Air Transportation Association (NATA), along with the Florida Aviation Business Association (FABA), filed a friend of the court brief in Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal asking for reversal of a lower court ruling allowing the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser to impose ad valorem property taxes on Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) and other entities, which provide critical general aviation support services in Florida and around the country under direct contracts with local municipalities.

The brief explains that the Florida legislature specifically exempted these essential service providers from taxation due to the fact that “they are statutorily deemed to provide a ‘governmental, municipal, or public purpose or function.’ [Therefore,] the Circuit Court’s ruling is contrary to the plain language of the statute.”

The amicus brief also outlines the potential near and far-reaching effects of allowing the ruling to stand, including the imposition of unintended and unreasonable financial burdens upon general aviation economic development and activity, as well as the creation of downstream negative economic consequences in all markets served by general aviation.

“The unintended tax burden on Hillsborough County FBOs would render them less competitive with FBOs in neighboring counties, and aviation consumers would feel the effect as service prices would be impacted. These inadvertent consequences would create a ripple effect throughout the entire general aviation sector, as well as other industries throughout all 50 states,” stated NATA President and CEO Timothy Obitts.

As a result of the ruling, the tax would impair the Aviation Authority’s ability to provide essential government services in the most efficient and economic manner possible. The brief notes, “To the extent that existing FBOs are economically burdened by the tax and therefore less likely to enter into leases with the County to provide FBO services, the County itself is still responsible for providing these services.”

Brad Nojaim FABA President stated “The ruling is contrary to the plain language of the statute and allowing the ruling to stand would impose an unintended and unreasonable financial burden upon FBOs who are the primary service providers to general aviation aircraft operators.”  Richard L. Richards, Esq. FABA Board Member and General Counsel added “The Florida legislature has expressly exempted these service providers from taxation because they are statutorily deemed to provide a governmental, municipal, or public purpose or function.”

“NATA’s mission includes supporting our members in instances where public policy decisions in one locality risk significant and overarching adverse impacts to general activities across the country,” added Obitts. “Inconsistent application of tax rules discourages economic development in our industry, imposes competition hurdles, and deters marketplace innovation and efficiency. In this case, the interpretation of the statute establishing the tax exemption should be discussed and the clear language of the statute should prevail.”

NATA advocates for and promotes economic policy, including tax policy, that enhances and sustains economic growth and competitive conditions in the general aviation industry.  FABA is recognized as the leading information resource, principal promoter, and is the lead advocate of business aviation and general aviation and in the State of Florida.



Remembering Bump Holman: President and CEO of Sun Aviation and 2006 FATA Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame Recipient

February 2021

FABA would like to remember the life of H.R. "Bump" Holman, past recipient of the Florida Aviation Trade Association (now FABA) Entrepreneurial Excellence Hall of Fame award, who passed away January 17, 2021 at VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach, Florida.  

 

At the time of his death, Holman was the President and CEO of Sun Aviation, and a well-respected member of both the aviation and Vero Beach communities. His aviation career spanned crop dusting to piloting for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he was a member of the local Aero Club as well as the Quiet Birdmen. An avid outdoorsman, he and his wife enjoyed many adventures in the air, sea and mountains.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Edward's School and VNA Hospice.


To read his obituary please visit: https://www.strunkfuneralhome.com/obituary/harry-bump-holman

To read about the impact the Holman family left on Vero Beach, please visit:

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/verobeachcentennial/2018/05/11/holma-family-instrumental-bringing-dodgers-vero-beach/602022002/


FABA President Brad Nojaim Featured in January Issue of Business Airport International

Business Airport International | January 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on aviation as a whole, Florida aviation has experienced steady business. Business Airport International interviewed FABA president Brad Nojaim to discuss the reasons behind the exceptional state of Florida Aviation. "Real estate is what is driving the growth or at least continued business during this time," states Nojaim.

He continues, "I think it's driven by real estate in the sense that people who have the means to fly privately, are still doing that. We've seen people that typically go on vacation during the winter months from New York, Connecticut and the northern states coming earlier because they still have second and third homes here in Florida. Activity at Palm Beach, for example, is actually up versus last year. At Reliance Aviation we initially saw a big drop off in flight activity, but it has picked back up faster than we anticipated it would. Once through the uncertainty in March, April and May, we started to see a little bit of business in June, even though it was hot down here and not a typical time for Northerners to come to Florida. A reason for that is that we are seeing people just wanting to get out of their houses."

To continue reading, we encourage you to visit Business Airport International and find the article in the January 2021 Issue

Embry-Riddle Mentorship Program Aimed at Next Generation of Women in Aviation and Technology

Embry-Riddle | November 19, 2020

SMART@ER (Space, Manufacturing, Aviation, Robotics, and Technology at Embry-Riddle) is looking for female mentors within these industries to help guide young women's next generation as they transition from high school to their undergraduate studies to the workforce. We believe SMART@ER Girls can change the world and want to ensure they think so too. The program hopes to empower young women to achieve positive social changes by developing relationships with female mentors and creating new venues to explore careers in space, manufacturing, aviation, robotics, and technology.

Research suggests that a lack of confidence and limited enrichment opportunities negatively affect girls' perceptions of career choice. However, role models and mentors have demonstrated great success in counteracting these factors. Role models help combat stereotyped images and communicate information about the work and steps needed to prepare for a science career.

We have one of the most expansive concurrent/dual enrollment programs in the nation. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of female leaders in science and connect our high school and university girls with enthusiastic role models who can provide crucial mentoring during the 20-21 academic year. We invite you to be a "Big Sister" to our "Little Sisters" and engage in a virtual mentoring opportunity.

The time commitment to be a mentor is approximately 1 hour a month per mentee to meet virtually.

We will be reaching out to all "Big Sisters" to attend a virtual "meet up" on December 16th to discuss the process for connecting to our "Little Sisters," a timeline for participation and expectations. We hope you will join us in positively impacting the next generation of aviation/aerospace leaders. 

Those interested should complete the online survey:           Survey   


An FBO "Making a Difference, One Mask at a Time"

Reliance Aviation | September 22, 2020

Reliance Aviation, an independent Fixed-Base Operator located at Miami Executive Airport (KTMB) for over 20 years has gained attention on social media for its latest fundraising effort that is quite literally “making a difference, one mask at a time.” Miami-Dade County has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, and along with other businesses within the aviation industry, this FBO knows firsthand the challenges faced through times of uncertainty. Despite these obstacles, Reliance Aviation is continuing to make meaningful contributions to their South Florida Community through their latest fundraising event “Masks for Meals Miami.” The purchase of each mask, combined with the effort to keep its community safe, will also help Reliance Aviation with its overall contribution to one of South Florida’s leading hunger relief organizations. Due to the popularity of the fundraiser, the FBO had to place an additional order within just days of starting the event to keep up with the outpour of generosity and support. Brad Nojaim, the General Manager of Reliance Aviation expressed “Having been at Reliance Aviation for almost 12 years now and as a Miami native, I feel truly grateful to see the positive impact our event is going have on our community. I would like to sincerely thank each and every person who has helped and continue to make this event possible and look forward to helping provide as many meals as we can to those in need.”

If you would like to support Reliance Aviation in this fundraising effort they have created a tab on their website (www.reliance-aviation.com) to accept online orders. Each mask is just $6.00 with tax and shipping included. Design options for these black and white masks include the Reliance Aviation logo, as well as a popular design called “Airplane Mode” depicting an aircraft wearing a mask. 

Towards the end of their fundraising event, the FBO will be posting a video on LinkedIn and Facebook through the hashtag #MasksForMealsMiami to share their overall contribution and a special announcement to conclude the event. If you would like to find more information on Reliance Aviation you can also follow them on social media to stay in touch with announcements for future events.

In late November, Reliance Aviation also begins its annual toy drive to help provide donations for the EIG-Watson School of Aviation’s “Holiday Flight to Remember” a fundraising event which also takes place at Miami Executive Airport. A toy drive donation box can be found in their main lobby and the event welcomes unwrapped gifts for children ranging in ages 4-14. More information on this event can also be found on their website. This FBO knows the importance of taking care of its local community, as they say at Reliance Aviation, they are truly “going for greatness, by giving back.”


July Business Update

Signature Flight Support Launches SignatureAssure Program

Chris Rosensteel | July 14, 2020

Today, more than ever, choice of FBO matters. With over 200 locations in 27 countries, Signature has the scope, scale and experience to deliver a consistently excellent customer experience. Customers have come to trust and expect our industry-leading approach and we are investing in the latest technology to ensure the health and safety of our team members, our flight crew guests, and the traveling public.  We've launched the SignatureAssure program to ensure that we provide the cleanest, safest facilities in the private aviation industry. Comprised of standardized protocols that combat the spread of COVID-19, you can trust Signature is taking extra steps at every locations across our worldwide network to ensure your health and safety.

Learn more at: https://www.signatureflight.com/events/open-for-business

Wolcott & Associates, P.A. Adapts to New COVID-19 Working Environment

Sue Folkringa, CPA | July 17, 2020


Our clients are aircraft owners and operators, some of whom we prepare sales tax returns for. As you might expect, the flying really declined during march and April, be we could see an increase in May and June. Calls from potential purchasers of aircraft continued, but we saw a big increase in calls from those who wanted to purchase smaller aircraft - anything to get away from traveling on the airlines! 


For the month of June, we saw a big increase in flights provided by our charter customers. This was very encouraging news to see.


If there's positive news to report from the pandemic, I'd say it's forced us to work in new ways that will benefit our customers in the future. Like everyone, our group at our office had to adjust to a new work-world. Some of our employees chose to continue to work at our office location since we have adequate space to stay safe distances from each other, while others chose to work at home. Although we do plenty of consulting work which is typically done over the phone, our primary product is paper-work. Our biggest challenge was to get work processed, reviewed and delivered without having to physically exchange files, since some of our client files are still maintained on paper. After a couple of months, we're pleased at the progress we've made to better maintain our files so we, and our clients, can access them anywhere, anytime. 

Air Law Office, P.A. Reports Uptick in Sales as Market Rebounds

Keri Dowling | July 16, 2020


Four months of COVID-19 has certainly impacted aircraft sales.  Keri and her team at Air Law Office, P.A. have been keeping busy with helping aircraft owners get aircraft in for maintenance and upgrades, shuffling operations and getting crew recurrency scheduled.  Aviation is a strong industry and sales are gearing up again and the market seems to be rebounding a bit.  We’ll be glad to get to some semblance of normalcy in Q3 and Q4.

Aviation Personnel International (API) Offers Your Best Foot Forward Program to Support Flight Departments Through Outplacement Process

Jenny Showalter | July 8, 2020


Aviation Personnel International (API) is a business aviation recruiting supporting Part 91 corporate flight departments. API assists flight department teams with their hiring needs, while shaping the careers of aviation professionals. In addition, API has the ability to support flight departments experiencing a reduction in force or layoffs through its outplacement program, Your Best Foot Forward™, and now has the ability to present this content virtually. Currently, API is assisting a couple flight department partners through the outplacement process while projects on the placement side are slowly beginning to increase. The majority of API’s Part 91 client base reports that retaining assets and employees are high priorities during this time of uncertainty. Our clients anticipate an increase in aircraft utilization once it is deemed safe to resume travel. With personal health and safety dictating decision making now more than ever, API feels that the business aviation will see a much faster rebound than other segments of the industry.

Florida Aviation Business Association is a 501(c) non-profit organization.

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