A perk or a valuable business tool?
Business aircraft are an expensive but valuable tool in moving your business forward. Utilizing a business aircraft saves money by allowing you to maximize your time in visiting customers and generating new business. Security of these valuable business assets should be a priority. Conducting regular risk and vulnerability assessments of your aircraft and flight operation makes good business sense. It helps protect you, your employees and most importantly your Brand.
In addition, conducting an independent third party security review of your overall executive protection program to include your flight operations could qualify you and your company for Tax Benefits under IRS Rule 1.132-5 "Exclusion of certain working condition fringes".
The Welsh-Sullivan Group consultants are experts at conducting business aviation assessments.
Our IRS Rule 1.132-5 assessments have been conducted for Fortune 200 and 500 companies as well as high net worth individuals operating business aircraft. Our assessments have been accepted by the IRS during audits resulting in our clients being granted the tax benefit under rule 1.132-5.
The TSA Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) will be a final rule sometime in 2014/15. There are many aspects of this new rule that will affect business aviation. The Welsh-Sullivan Group has been helping corporate flight departments understand the new rule as proposed by TSA and will be assisting many of these flight departments write their security programs to comply with the new LASP rule when it is in final form.
We would be happy to assist you in evaluating your current flight departments security program and making it compliant to the new LASP final rule. Call to see how having the Welsh-Sullivan Group team advising you on security and safety issues can help drive your bottom line by making your flight operation more effective and showing direct value to the company business goals and objectives.
Congress Passes HR 2112 - Restores BARR Program
The US Congress passed HR 2112 effectively reinstating the NBAA BARR program. If signed by the President, the FAA "Certified Security Concern" program will be rescinded and tail blocking would revert back to the original BARR program.
WASHINGTON, DC, November 17, 2011 – Congress passed a comprehensive appropriations bill that includes language reinstating the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program. The language in H.R. 2112, included funding for several government agencies, including the Department of Transportation.
Specifically, HR 2112 states:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of the funds made available under this Act or any prior Act may be used to implement or to continue to implement any limitation on the ability of any owner or operator of a private aircraft to obtain, upon a request to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, a blocking of that owner’s or operator’s aircraft registration number from any display of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Situational Display to Industry data that is made available to the public, except data made available to a Government agency, for the noncommercial flights of that owner or operator.”
The legislation now heads to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law, and the president is expected to sign the bill. Because the BARR-reinstatement language is part of an annual appropriations bill, the language will remain in effect at least until the conclusion of the current fiscal year.
The specific steps FAA officials will now take to comply with the language in the appropriations bill have not yet been announced. Also yet to be determined is the impact of the appropriations bill’s congressional approval on the court challenge NBAA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) have made to the government’s plan in court. A full hearing on the matter is currently scheduled for December 2.
May 15, 2010
John L. Sullivan, Welsh-Sullivan Group LLC
The mission of most if not all general aviation (GA) airports is to provide aerial access to the community they serve for private, business and corporate aircraft. In addition, the airport’s mission is to enhance the desirability of the airport and surrounding community as a location for businesses, outlets, offices and manufacturing facilities by working closely with their respective Economic Development Corporations to attract new businesses.
I am fully aware of the financial and political hurtles that GA airports must face every day having served as the global security director with executive oversight for the corporate flight department of a Fortune 200 multi-national company and as an Airport Development Corporation Board member of a reliever airport north of Dallas. I know that to be a successful and sustainable GA airport operation, airport management must remain competitive with other airports that have the same relative proximity to city centers, businesses and cultural attractions. To do this, management must differentiate their airport from the competition. One way to rise to the top of the pack is to leverage a well thought out and documented security plan to help attract business. In a recent survey of corporate operators -- proximity, cost of fuel/handing and security were the three top reasons for choosing a destination airport. Most airports can do little about proximity but being competitive in cost of fuel/handling and security can mean the difference between increasing traffic at your airport or losing traffic to a competitor airport.
Communities see their GA airport as an “economic engine” that will bring business opportunities not only to the airport but to the city and county in which the airport is located. A good example of this “economic engine” in action are two large business aircraft based at a North Texas airport that generate enough tax revenue to fund and operate a city elementary school for a year. Multiply those two aircraft by a factor of four and you can see the potential financial benefits to the community. Having a good business plan along with a flexible, scalable and sustainable security plan can serve as a marketing tool to help attract corporate operators to relocate to the airport-- bringing with them jobs, payroll and property tax revenue to the city. In addition, the airport should recognize increased revenue in the form of land lease and fuel flow.
Many ask how you make the business case for security.
First and foremost, we must recognize that in the present threat environment, it is the private sector that remains the first line of defense for its own facilities and assets. In the case of GA airports, the incentive to invest in security would include reputation, competitiveness, industry standards, TSA/FAA regulation or rules to name a few.
Rule one to remember, a “cookie cutter” security program is merely eyewash and imposing such a security program just for the sake of having one is counterproductive and a waste of money. Every security risk and vulnerability assessment as well as any subsequent purchase and installation of a security system must fit into the short and long term airport business and master plans and show return on investment. In short, every airport is unique and requires a custom security solution that fits the airport business model and shows return on investment.
Security must be business friendly and not inhibit the flow of commerce any more than necessary. Security should be a team effort and include all stakeholders with particular emphasis on those in the GA community that feel security at GA airports is unnecessary. This outreach should include all stakeholders on and off the airport and should be inclusive of everyone’s suggestions and concerns. A strong and active airport security committee is a must for any airport that wants to have a sustainable security program. Getting acceptance and agreement on security plans from airport tenants, and private and corporate operators is essential for success. Airports should develop a Risk Management Strategy which through training and security awareness, all stakeholders become knowledgeable owners of the security program and strive for continuous improvement.
Limited resources necessitate maximizing the full benefits of a well thought out and executed security program while minimizing cost. Some GA airports have had the luxury of having a risk and vulnerability assessment conducted free of charge by civic minded security consultants, their state national guard or other state entity. If a free assessment is offered by a qualified security consultant, state or local entity take advantage of the offer. Unfortunately, the vast majority of GA airports must contract out and pay for risk and vulnerability assessments. The risk and vulnerability assessment should be looked on as a business tool that will help guide future strategic business decisions.
Having a risk and vulnerability assessment conducted every two to three years by a professional security consultant will enable airport management to make the necessary business decisions in directing scarce funding to the most vulnerable areas of the airport. A professional security consultant will work closely with airport management and stakeholders to identify and recommend cost effective security solutions that will help airport management achieve both short and long term business objectives. The assessment should be viewed as a “personal score card” to be used only by airport management. The airport is free to act or not act on any or all of the assessment recommendations. The airport is also free to use the results of the assessment as part of a marketing campaign in differentiating its self from other competing airports.
Finally, GA airport managers must remember they are not only in the airport business but also in the economic development business. Viewing security as a valuable business tool to be used in conjunction with the airport business and master plan will serve the airport and the communities they represent well in releasing the full potential of the “economic engine” that is their airport.
Are you prepared for a crisis within your flight department? August 2009
The July 15, 2009 crash of an eight passenger Cessna aircraft into the Gulf of Mexico brings home the need to have an aviation crisis management plan in place. The Cessna, owned by a Dallas area corporation crashed just 20 miles from Port Ritchie Florida while flying in a thunderstorm. The President of the company and a senior manager were on board the aircraft and killed.
Planning for the unthinkable is a hard but necessary part of managing a corporate flight department. It takes skill and practice to effectively interface with the company crisis management and business continuity plan. How quickly and effectively you respond in the first thirty-six hours of an aviation crisis may well determine the fate of the entire company and flight department.
Once you have developed your aviation crisis plan, our consultants will help you exercise the plan to insure it links seamlessly with the corporate crisis management and business continuity plans.
In addition to handling the aviation crisis, are you ready to deal with an NTSB investigation. Do you have a plan in place to secure evidence, maintenance records, pilot training and flight logs? Our consultants, (former senior NTSB investigators) can show you how and help you develop an effective plan.
In the event of an aviation incident that triggers an NTSB investigation, the Welsh-Sullivan Group team of former NTSB investigators can provide invaluable assistance to your flight department in walking you through the investigative steps and interfacing with the NTSB. Having a well defined plan and professional assistance during a time of crisis will prove to be a value added addition to your safety and security programs.
All aviation crisis management plans should be updated every two to three years and exercised at least every 18 months. If you would like to receive more information on aviation crisis management and discuss how the Welsh-Sullivan Group team can help, please call us at 214-315-7070 or e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.