July 6, 2017
Ag Aircraft Showcased at New York Air Show Along with Blue Angels and Other Vintage and Military Aircraft
Thousands of people gathered to take in the grandeur of vintage aircraft, modern military aircraft and agricultural aircraft during this past weekend’s annual New York Air Show at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, N.Y. Attending the event displaying the ag aircraft was ag pilot Mike Rutledge. Rutledge is the commanding officer of the West Point Aviation Department and Executive Flight Detachment at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., just off the Hudson River and near New Windsor. He also helps Curless Flying Service in Astoria, Ill., conducting ag flying work in the summer when he’s not teaching character development and military leadership at West Point. Rutledge is a former Navy SEAL.
Rutledge took Curless Flying Service’s Air Tractor 602 to the New York Airshow and got an impromptu request to perform an ag flying demonstration in a region where folks don't likely if ever see ag planes. Rutledge was in good company. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the oldest performing U.S. aviation demonstration team, were one of the air show’s main attractions as was the C-130, known as “Fat Albert,” and six F/A-18 Hornets. Over 50,000 attendees were at the show and Rutledge gave seven inspectors from the FAA’s New York Flight Standards District Office a presentation on the AT-602 aircraft, systems, and capabilities of modern ag planes. His help earned permission to be in the Air Show’s performance box and earned the AT-602 a parking spot next to the Blue Angels, F-16 and F-35 on the show line.
Another major attraction at the New York Air Show was Heritage to Horizons, the flight of three different Air Force planes to commemorate the branch’s 70th anniversary. The North American P-51 Mustang, an airplane introduced in 1942, represented the Air Force’s past; the General Dynamics F-16 Viper, which has been in flight since the 1970s, was there to represent the present; and the future aircraft was the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which was introduced two years ago. Other aircraft at the show included the Boeing C-17 Globe Master III, the Lucas Oil Pitts S-1-11B and the Cold War-ear Aero L-39 Albatros.
House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee Approves Fiscal 2018 Bill with Aerial Research Support Language but Fewer Dollars for USDA
Last week the House of Representatives’ Appropriations agriculture subcommittee passed a fiscal year 2018 funding bill for USDA with $1 billion fewer dollars compared with this current 2017 fiscal year. The federal budget calendar runs from October 1st to September 30th.
NAAA again successfully pushed for language in the report to the bill indicating Congress’ continued support of the USDA-ARS Aerial Application Technology Program. The mention of aerial application within the report supporting the legislation is no small feat, as it is one of only a few ag programs specifically mentioned. NAAA will continue to work for adequate USDA-ARS funding for the continued design of aerial application technologies, tools and techniques that mitigate drift, result in fuel savings and make aerial applications more efficacious. Favorable committee report language sends a strong message to the USDA to continue to sustain appropriate funding for aerial application research, and this message couldn’t be more important as USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), where the aerial application research unit is housed, has had its budget cut over the past few years resulting in the shutdown of 10 research units. Since 2002 NAAA has been successful in lobbying the government for an additional $8,912,500 in federal funding for aerial application technology research.
The bill advanced by the House subcommittee provides $20 billion dollars or $1.1 billion less than it did in fiscal 2017 for three agencies — the Agriculture Department, FDA and CFTC. The bill provides $2.8 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In this fiscal year 2017 final funding for agricultural research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture was $2.54 billion.
Moving forward the bill still needs to pass the entire House and be reconciled with a Senate bill, then signed by President Trump. Overall, the president's discretionary funding request for USDA in fiscal 2018 is about $18 billion, a decline of about 21 percent from the 2017 annualized continuing resolution level. The Agricultural Research Service, which house’s the Aerial Application Technology Research Unit (AATRU), would lose $360 million (or 26 percent) under the Trump plan. This would mean closing the doors at 17 research centers. NAAA will keep the membership informed of federal agricultural spending, particularly as it pertains to research for aerial application technology conducted at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.
FAA 2016 GA Survey Closing Soon
The FAA’s contractor, Tetra Tech, has notified NAAA they recently sent out the final mailing to those aircraft owners selected to complete the General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (referred to as the GA Survey). If you have already completed the survey, they express their appreciation or encourage you to complete the survey if you have not done so before the approaching closing date.
The information gathered by this survey is important to general aviation and the agricultural community because it is the only source of information on the size and activity of our aircraft fleet. Data gathered helps to prepare safety statistics and develop an industry accident rate which is extremely important due to the fluctuation in ag aviation activity from year to year. Please do not fail to report this vital information!
Tetra Tech reminds aircraft owners to complete the survey even if they did not fly the aircraft or sold it during 2016. If you received an invitation to complete the survey, it can be accomplished online at www.aviationsurvey.org
NAAA to Exhibit at AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh, Wis.
After a successful appearance last year at EAA’s AirVenture, NAAA will once again exhibit at AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh, Wis., July 24-30. NAAA has partnered with Air Tractor and Thrush Aircraft. The items on display in the NAAA exhibit area are an Air Tractor and Thrush aircraft. NAAA has placed an advertisement on pg. 43 in the AirVenture Visitor’s Guide which can be viewed here
AirVenture Oshkosh, which is organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) each summer at Wittnam Regional Airport is a weeklong celebration of aviation. Nearly 10,000 aircraft will be on display while more than 800 exhibitors, 1,000 forums and workshops, 4,800 volunteers and approximately 550,000 visitors are expected this year.
NAAA exhibits at AirVenture bring more awareness to careers in the aerial application industry because the weeklong show is flooded with aviation enthusiasts, military personnel and young aviators looking for new opportunities. AirVenture is one of the largest airshows in the United States and NAAA’s presence will help to recruit potential new ag pilots.
Moreover, it’s a wonderful way to educate adults and children about the importance of our industry in producing a safe, affordable and abundant supply of food, fiber and bio-fuel, in addition to protecting forestry and controlling health-threatening pests. The representation by our industry at AirVenture is a move in the right direction to bring positive awareness about aerial application to the general public.
July is a very busy time of year for ag pilots; however, we know some operators and pilots visit AirVenture and some even exhibit their own aircraft. If you’ll be at AirVenture, visit us in Booths 439-441 in the main aircraft display area near the traffic control tower. If you’ll be exhibiting your aircraft, let us know where you’ll be
! There are also many NAAA Allied members who exhibit each year and we encourage you to visit with them if you are onsite.
Are you looking for a way to spread the good word of aerial application and share our industry with your community? Check out NAAA’s brochure that talks about the positives of aerial application, “Flying for Your Food.”
And don’t forget to use NAAA’s Media Relations Kit
when speaking on behalf of the industry.
Attention, Exhibitors! Booth Sales Begin July 11 for 2017 Ag Aviation Expo
NAAA Ag Aviation Expo booth sales begin Tuesday, July 11. We look forward to seeing you at 2017 Ag Aviation Expo in Savannah, Ga., Dec. 4–7 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Booth sales for 10x10 and 10x20 space will begin on July 11; large booth space is already on sale. Attendee registration is open here.
There are many exhibitor details, including booth rates, terms and conditions and the exhibitor service kit online here. If you are a Diamond or Platinum sponsor or need a large booth space (20x20 or 10x30+) you can purchase your space in advance of the July 11 booth sales. Contact Lindsay Barber.
You can view the NAAA Trade Show floor map here.
Five Reasons to Exhibit at the 2017 Ag Aviation Expo!
- The world’s largest targeted audience of purchasers of ag aviation equipment, parts and services will be attending the Ag Aviation Expo and will have the opportunity to obtain more information about your company and products.
- You can educate the attendees about your products and/or services. Show a demonstration or give away a sample or a takeaway (if applicable).
- Exhibiting enhances your company’s credibility and commitment to what you are offering.
- Networking with attendees on the trade show floor will generate new sales and/or leads and potential business partnerships for your company. You can visit with current customers to ensure a strong relationship and you will walk away with new contacts and very likely sales.
- Raise awareness about your company.
Book Your Hotel Room
All 2017 NAAA Ag Aviation Expo housing is coordinated through the Savannah Area Convention & Visitors Bureau housing office. Please do not call the hotels directly; use the link and/or phone number below to book your room.
Rooms are available at the Westin Savannah Harbor (directly next to the convention center), Hyatt Regency Savannah and Savannah Marriott Riverfront hotels (across the river from the convention center and Westin—transportation provided).
Book your room today by clicking here or calling the housing bureau at (912) 644-6465. Please note that reservations are taken Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. If you cannot call during those hours, please book your room online here.
PLEASE NOTE THE CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THE WESTIN FOR 2017. For each reservation canceled after Nov. 1, a non-refundable one night room and tax will be charged to the credit card on file. Guests who check out early (prior to the reserved checkout date) will be assessed one full night’s room charge, plus applicable taxes. This was put in place in 2015 due to many people cancelling rooms at the Westin a few days before the convention, leaving dozens of rooms unfilled at that hotel.
Complimentary Transportation & River Taxis
Complimentary river taxis and bus transportation will be provided between the hotels, convention center and the downtown Savannah entertainment district for all exhibitors and attendees.