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.
Orlando, Florida, July 13, 2023 - The Florida Aviation Business Association (FABA) [https://www.faba.aero/] is pleased to announce that on July 7, 2023 a Florida Appeals Court issued rulings in cases involving whether property owned by airport authorities should receive tax exemptions. In the underlying case, the taxing authority argued that 15 properties owned by the Hillsborough County Aviation authority should not receive tax exemptions. The properties were leased to private businesses for such activities as fixed-base operations, aircraft maintenance and repair and fueling. In the ruling from the 2nd District Court of Appeal, Judge Suzanne Labrit, in a ruling joined by Judges Anthony Black and Andrea Teves Smith, wrote that fixed-base operations “fall squarely within the Legislature's definition of ‘governmental purpose’ in (a section of state law). And the remaining properties are used for substantially equivalent activities such as fueling, repairing, and maintaining aircraft. Like FBOs (fixed-base operations), these aviation activities on airport property satisfy the plain language of the statutory definition of ‘governmental purpose.’ Therefore, pursuant to (state law), the lessees' interests in these properties ‘shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation.’"
“This is a victory for FABA members as our members are tenants at Florida airports who would have been adversely affected if not for FABA’s advocacy” stated Brad Nojaim, President of the Florida Aviation Business Association.
“This is what FABA does and we are proud to advocate for FABA members” stated Richard L. Richards, Esq. of Richards Legal Group, General Counsel of the Florida Aviation Business Association, who filed an “Amicus Curiae”/Friend of the Court brief in support of FABA members in the case.
“FABA has been instrumental whether in Tallahassee, in local counties, or in Court to fight for and protect FABA members’ interests” added Eric Prutsman, Esq., FABA’s lobbyist.
The Florida Aviation Business Association (FABA) is dedicated to promoting and advancing the business aviation industry in the State of Florida. FABA’s mission is to build relationships as we educate and advocate for aviation businesses in Florida.
Miami, Florida, May 12, 2022 -The Florida Aviation Business Association (FABA) unanimously approved Brett Fay to the Board of Directors during the May 15, 2022 FABA Board Meeting. Brett is the director of General Aviation at Tampa International Airport and is responsible for directing the operations, maintenance, and business initiatives of the Aviation Authority's three General Aviation airports which include Plant City, Peter O. Knight, and Tampa Executive Airport. Brett has worked in airport management for over 15 years and has previously held positions at Lakeland Linder International Airport and Aspen Pitkin County Airport. He is responsible for Advanced Air Mobility for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority and Chairs their Advanced Aviation Technology Committee. Brett is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives and holds a B.S. in Aerospace Administration for Middle Tennessee State University.
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
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.
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:
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.”