NAAA Seeks Operator and Pilot Participation for 2018 Industry Survey

NAAA is getting ready to conduct its 2018 Survey of Part 137 Operators and Pilots. It has been six years since the association conducted its last comprehensive industry survey, and now more than ever NAAA needs current and accurate data about what is happening in the aerial application industry.

A separate set of questions will be presented to operators and pilots. The information gathered in this survey is used to highlight the scope, importance and professionalism of the agricultural aviation industry. It is also used to counter theoretical overestimates of risk that federal agencies, such as the EPA, might make about aerial applications because of the actual data collected from survey responses. Results are also used to highlight potential threats to the future of the industry, such as towers and drones.

The 2018 survey contains questions about acres and crops treated, number of aircraft, drift mitigation techniques, wind turbines and met towers, drone encounters, health and additional important topics. Many of the questions in the 2018 survey are the same as those in the 2012 survey. This allows NAAA to track changes in the industry, which is beneficial for showing the adoption of technologies and techniques that improve accuracy and safety. As an example, recently the EPA has accepted that GPS is the dominant means of swath guidance in agricultural aviation and that human flaggers are no longer used.

In late January, NAAA sent Part 137 operators a letter, an email or both inviting them to participate in the survey. Email invitations also went out to member and non-member ag pilots in NAAA’s database. The invitations included a web address or a link directly to the survey. The survey is web-based on a secure website. The response to the first question asking if you are an owner/operator of a business that holds a Part 137 certificate will either direct you to the operator or pilot set of questions. Operators should answer questions taking into account their entire operation. Pilots should answer based on the aircraft they usually fly. Completing the survey should take no longer than about 20 minutes.

Completing this survey will help the industry communicate with farmers, constituents and policy makers and further inform decision makers. As in the 2012 aerial application industry survey, NAAA will be summarizing the results and sharing them with the industry.

Please dedicate a few minutes to respond to the survey when you receive an invitation. Operator and pilot participation is vital. The higher the response rate, the more valid the results, and the stronger our voice. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of documenting the importance of agricultural aviation and provide the information needed to protect the future of our great industry.

If you are an ag pilot or operator in the U.S. and did not receive an invitation or have any problems completing the survey, please email NAAA’s contractor, Tim Struttmann, at tim.struttmann09@gmail.com.

BASF continues support of Operation S.A.F.E. in 2018

Collaboration with NAAA incentivizes aerial applicators to participate in S.A.F.E. Fly-Ins

NAAA is pleased to announce that BASF has renewed its commitment to offer financial incentives to NAAA members who participate in Operation S.A.F.E. Fly-In clinics in 2018. This is a continuation of a program BASF initiated in 2010 in collaboration with NAAA to provide financial support for participating aerial applicators that can be used toward membership in NAAA or for new spray equipment.

Complete details are specified in the official program rules, but in essence, aerial application operators can earn a $225 incentive to be used to help subsidize either 2018 NAAA operator membership dues or up to $225 of the cost of purchasing new nozzles and/or tips for each eligible aircraft that they pattern test at an Operation S.A.F.E. Fly-In. Pilots participating in an Operation S.A.F.E. Fly-In may be eligible to receive a $170 rebate that would reimburse them for nearly the full cost of their NAAA membership dues. The eligibility period for BASF’s incentive program encompasses Operation S.A.F.E. Fly-Ins offered between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018.

The goals of the Aerial Application Equipment and NAAA Membership Program are to encourage operators and pilots to:

•Pattern test their aircraft at an Operation S.A.F.E. Fly-In

•Provide an incentive to equip eligible aircraft with new nozzles and/or tips

•Encourage membership in NAAA

•Promote aerial application optimization and stewardship

Terms and Conditions

To qualify for BASF’s Aerial Application Equipment and NAAA Membership Program, an operator or pilot must be an NAAA member and be the pilot flying the pattern evaluation. Although it is not necessary to be an NAAA member at the time of the Operation S.A.F.E. calibration clinic, the participant must become an NAAA member before applying for and being granted approval for the rebate. The operator or pilot must also be sure that the Operation S.A.F.E. analyst has his complete and correct information so that the analyst can provide that information to NAAA for submission to BASF. The operator or pilot must complete the application and send it to BASF to be reimbursed for a portion of his 2018 membership dues or submit receipts to receive a rebate for nozzles and/or tips purchased for the aircraft. Submissions must be received by the rebate program’s auditor no later than Oct. 15. Payments will be made on or about Dec. 15, 2018.

Please visit AgAviation.org/basfincentive for complete details about the program and to download the application for reimbursement. The Aerial Application Equipment and NAAA Membership Program is part of BASF’s ongoing stewardship efforts for aerial applicators and the safe and proper application of its products. Visit plant-health-pilots.com for a variety of resources BASF provides aerial applicators.

NAAA and NAAREF encourage operators and pilots to measure and calibrate each spray system every 24 months or after any modification is made to the aircraft, the distribution system or flight procedures that could significantly affect the swath profile. Operation S.A.F.E. calibration clinics are held regularly throughout the year and can be sponsored by a state association or company. Operation S.A.F.E. clinics NAAA is aware of are listed on the event calendar at AgAviation.org.

Become an NAAA Member Today

If you aren’t a member yet, the single-most effective way you can address the range of critical issues facing your business is by joining NAAA. The payoff far exceeds what you will spend in dues in the form of effective advocacy, national representation, education and safety programs and the personal connections you will make as you participate in association activities. To join, call 202-546-5722 or visit AgAviation.org/membership.

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