• Illegal Charter Can
    Create Significant Liability

    Allowing your aircraft to be used in an illegal charter operation
    could result in termination of your aircraft insurance;
    risk of your good reputation; and, in some cases,
    possible aircraft seizure.

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  • Illegal Charter Poses
    Risks to Safety

    An illegal charter operator may not meet the higher standards
    for pilot training, maintenance requirements and defined operational
    control of a certificated Part 135 air charter operator.

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  • Illegal Charter Undermines
    Competition and Industry Reputation

    Illegal charter operations distort the market for legitimate air charter
    operators by evading the high costs of legal air charter operations,
    including proper training and insurance. Further, accidents, incidents,
    and major enforcement scenarios often lead to negative media coverage,
    impacting the entire air charter industry.

    Learn More


Welcome to Fly Smarter: Avoid Illegal Charter

The National Air Transportation Association’s (NATA) Air Charter Committee manages an initiative to combat illegal charter, a growing concern among members and industry. Illegal air charter is a serious threat to legitimate charter certificate holders that is often difficult to identify due to the use of deceptive and convoluted agreements that ultimately put unwitting customers in danger. NATA's initiative to combat illegal charter is overseen by a sub-committee of its Air Charter Committee called the NATA Illegal Charter Task Force.

NATA's Illegal Charter Task Force seeks to:

  • Partner with the FAA to provide guidance on identifying, and steps to avoiding, illegal operations
  • Work with the IRS to understand and educate industry on the tax consequences of illegal charter operations
  • Educate Congress on the dangers of illegal charter, and seek to better equip the FAA in combating this real safety issue
  • Educate the public through campaigns and resources, including publications like "Chartering an Aircraft, A Consumer Guide" and "Risks of Illegal Charter"
  • Assist the FAA in enforcement through data collection and reporting
  • Leverage existing FAA data sources to help the FAA focus enforcement efforts
  • Help the legitimate charter industry provide the FAA with illegal charter reports that provide more actionable data

Industry Groups Release Guidance on Aircraft Leasing Best Practices

As part of a comprehensive industry response to federal concerns over illegal charter flights – including those conducted under so-called “sham dry lease” arrangements – the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and other leading industry groups today announced the publication of the “General Aviation Dry Leasing Guide,” which breaks down key regulatory information related to the proper use of leases and how improper use, whether intentional or inadvertent, can lead to illegal operations.

The free “General Aviation Dry Leasing Guide” was assembled by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, NATA, and the National Business Aviation Association.

Nearly all general aviation flights - including those conducted under dry leasing arrangements - take place in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and other applicable laws. Aircraft dry leases are commonly used in the industry, and when properly implemented, they are compliant with the regulations. In simplest terms, a dry lease is one in which the lessor simply provides an aircraft, leaving it to the lessee to obtain crewmembers, and also to assume operational control of a flight.

That said, the FAA’s increased scrutiny over illegal charter flights using “sham dry leases” to disguise the true commercial nature of a flight – which has taken shape largely under the agency’s Safe Air Charter initiative – has led aircraft owners and lessors to seek greater clarity on the arrangements, in order to fully ensure proper compliance.

Written by veteran industry experts, the “General Aviation Dry Leasing Guide” offers a detailed breakdown of the best practices for proper use of dry leases, clarifying how aircraft owners can derive benefits from the arrangement, while enhancing the industry’s vigilance against practitioners of illegal charter.

Information covered in the publication includes an overview of the different types of dry leases, the difference between dry and wet leases (which involve the provision of crewmembers), as well as how “operational control” is determined, and how to maintain compliance when considering maintenance, authorization and insurance requirements. It also includes 22 frequently asked questions that clearly and specifically address common causes of confusion for both operators and consumers.

Download your copy of A Guide to General Aviation Dry Leasing today.