Home-NAAANAAA Holds Spring Board Meeting in Fort Worth, TX

NAAA Holds Spring Board Meeting in Fort Worth, TX

NAAA Board Meeting

Friday, February 18, 2022

Kimpton Harper Hotel – Fort Worth, TX

 

The Spring Board Meeting for the National Agricultural Aviation Association was held in Fort Worth, TX in February. Director of the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Ed Messina, and branch chief of OPP’s Environmental Risk Branch of the Environmental Fate and Effects Division, Amy Blankinship, spoke to EPA’s board virtually to start the meeting.  OPP regulates the manufacture and use of all pesticides in the U.S. for safety, including determining if pesticides may be used via aerial application.  Messina discussed the EPA’s charge of reviewing the safety of all pesticides every 15 years to ensure their safety to people and the environment.  He also brought up a new EPA policy stemming from the Biden administration to prevent litigation by ensuring that new pesticide products meet Endangered Species Act requirements before they may be registered for use.  There are presently 13 pending lawsuits regarding 40 active ingredients that the EPA is facing pertaining to endangered species concerns.  Messina mentioned that they have completed over 5,000 registration reviews during this 15-year cycle and that the OPP’s 600 total staffers have also been busy this past year approving 14 new pesticide applications, reviewing over 11,000 comments pertaining to registrations, and addressing 100 congressional inquiries.

 

Blankinship discussed several different entities looking into the safety and efficacy of drone applications—an issue NAAA has brought up to the agency for a few years due to drones not yet being tested compared to manned aircraft.  Blankinship stated that the American Chemical Society, North America Remotely Piloted Aerial Application Systems, CropLife America’s Pesticide Registrant Task Force, and the EPA’s PPDC Emerging Technology Task Force, of which NAAA board member from Wisconsin, Damon Reabe, sits on, have all been looking into testing drones’ application systems, yet no comprehensive testing data has yet emerged.  Blankinship also mentioned the multi-year discussions NAAA and the EPA-OPP have had focused on shifting from Tier 1 to Tier 3 of the AgDRIFT model that calculates off-target aerial drift.  Tier 3 considers more realistic atmospheric and drift reduction technology equipped on-board the ag aircraft today, compared to the Tier 1 model that grossly overestimates movement of the applied materials.  EPA stated they continue to have internal discussions within the agency on NAAA’s request and data backing up the recommendations.

Andrew Moore, NAAA CEO, presented an overview of industry and association issues beginning with sharing positive forecasts for the 2022 U.S. agricultural economy.  The USDA forecasts a record $175.5 billion in 2022 U.S. ag exports—resulting in a $10.5 billion surplus when considering ag imports coming into the U.S.  The 2021 U.S. ag export surplus was $8 billion.  Two variables Moore brought forward that could result in an even larger ag trade surplus in 2022 is China and its 2020 Phase 1 trade agreement with the China committing to purchase $73.9 billion of U.S. ag products over two years.  To date it has only purchased $61.1 billion—only 83% of the target level.  The second variable is tensions in the Black Sea region between Ukraine and Russia—a global source of wheat. Bellicose actions in that region may disrupt their ag markets, result in rising grain prices and reliance in other grain producing nations such as the U.S.

Moore then discussed policy issues repeating EPA’s charge of reregistering pesticides every 15-years and the NAAA’s involvement to retain label language allowing aerial use without unnecessarily burdensome restrictions.  Through 2025 it will be reviewing 297 pesticides including 2,4-D, imidacloprid, malathion, pyrethrin, etc.  Moore also discussed Biden administration environmental initiatives including a USDA Commodity Credit Corporation program calling for $1 billion for farmers sequestering carbon (includes funds for applying cover crops).  EPA has stated that agriculture contributes 10% of the U.S.’s overall carbon emissions.  NAAA has submitted calculated data that ag aviation protects 27.4 million acres of land from being converted into farmland every year and that cover crops seeded by air sequester 1.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of 412,000 carbon combustion car engines, and that increasing cover crop acreage by 15% would sequester another 11.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually

Also discussed was the Biden administration’s rewrite of how waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) are defined under the Clean Water Act.  This is the third attempted redefinition of a WOTUS in six years.  The Biden administration attempt nearly mirrors the attempt by the Obama administration’s 2015 attempt that didn’t survive court scrutiny.  It defines WOTUS to include ephemeral, or temporary waters, with no nexus to navigable waters. NAAA has commented to EPA opposing the rule due to it expanding the number of waters that trigger obtaining a pesticide general permit under the Clean Water Act—an already unnecessary, duplicative requirement since pesticides are already reviewed for safety under FIFRA; and due to the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case involving the definition of WOTUS in 2023.  Moore also stated that polls indicate a possible Republican takeover of both the House of Representatives and Senate after midterm elections are held in November.  This could result in Senator John Boozman (R-AR) taking over the chair of the Senate Ag Committee in the year—2023—the Farm Bill must be reauthorized.  NAAA will urge that regulatory relief provisions, including NPDES-PGP requirements be eliminated.

Moore also mentioned how election results could move U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) into the chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.  Graves championed enacted legislation in 2018 requiring the marking and logging of towers in rural areas between 50-200 feet in height, and ten feet or less in diameter for towers with communication towers only having to abide by one of the requirements.  In 2023, FAA Reauthorization expires.  This provides another opportunity for NAAA to bring communications towers under both logging and marking requirements.  FAA is currently working on developing rules to enforce the law.  NAAA is working with Graves to hasten the process.  An additional aviation safety concern raised by Moore relates to proposed regulatory requirements from an FAA aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) that would allow commercial drones to operate under 400 feet, beyond visual line of site (BVLOS), weigh up to 1,320 lbs. (LSA weight) and be exempted from: granting right-of-way to manned aircraft when operating within 100 feet of towers and wires and manned aircraft not equipped with ADS-B In; and having the unmanned aircraft certified for airworthiness.  NAAA has been in contact with members of the ARC opposing these proposals due to these provisions raising serious manned aircraft pilot safety concerns.

Communications initiatives were discussed next by Moore including the continued 100th anniversary of agricultural aviation which runs until August.  NAAA will be participating in Ag Day on the Mall, March 21-22, 2022, where dozens of national ag groups will put their wares on the Washington, DC, National Mall to promote precision agriculture.  NAAA will have a booth and an OH-58 Bell helicopter on display with spray boom and bucket along with its 100th anniversary history panels.  Glenn Martin of Helicopters Association Inc., of Gettysburg, PA is loaning the helicopter for display.  The event will be seen by tens-of-thousands of people, including key federal legislators and regulators.  NAAA will conclude its 100th anniversary celebration at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, again participating in its airshow demonstrating an aerial application ballet to its tens of thousands of spectators as the air boss narrates the importance of the industry.  Moore charged the board with continuing to use the 100th to promote the industry as there are still four and a half months remaining.  More on celebrating and promoting can be found at www.agaviation100.com.  He also urged purchase of the 100th anniversary history book which has sold 665 copies to date.  Books can be purchased at www.agaviation.org/book.

Moore also stated that the 100th anniversary campaign, according to Agility PR Solutions, a media monitoring service, reached 400 million people in total circulation of the news outlets reached—an ad value equivalency of $10 million. Due to the success and need to reach the public and educate them about modern agricultural production, NAAA will conduct a communications audit next month polling its members and audience about what their desired focus of association communications should be—internal communications or positive public relations; the mediums of communication preferred—print, on-line, social media, podcasts, etc.—and what content is most preferred—aviation safety, application stewardship and efficacy, human interest stories, etc.

NAAA will also continue to run its “Above All Forms of Crop Care” ads in ag publications this spring that promote the benefits of aerial application and lead those interested in using the service to NAAA’s website where they can search for NAAA operator members that aerially apply near them.  The campaign will be advertised for five weeks in AgWeb’s eNewsletter with a national circulation of 201,000 farmers nationwide; CropLIfe’s eNewsletter with a national of 40,000 retailers, cooperatives, crop consultants, universities, and extension agents.  The NAAA campaign won a National Agricultural Marketing Association Award in 2019 and markedly has increased click-throughs to NAAA’s aerial applicator operator search function when the ad campaigns are run.

Education and safety issues were then discussed, primarily about work that has been conducted on developing a professional certification program for the aerial application industry.  At present, the plan is to make the program available to ag pilots starting in 2023 that would initially require annual attendance in PAASS, biennial attendance in Operation S.A.F.E., and membership in both the national and a state/regional agricultural aviation association.  Additional requirements will be forthcoming in 2024 including a comprehensive ag airman certification standard (AACS) that NAAA-NAAREF have developed over several years and are being fine-tuned presently by an aviation attorney.  Curriculum will then be developed from the AACS and presented via on-line learning through learning management software that the NAAA is looking into.  Once installed the curriculum will be offered and test questions developed to ensure the ag pilot understands the material.  Moore then discussed ag aviation accidents stating that there were 55 accidents in 2021 and 12 fatalities.  He also stated that 2020 data from the FAA General Aviation Activity Survey had just been released showing that there were 6.11 accidents per 100,000 hours flown in 2020 which dropped the number of accidents per 100,000 flown to 7.15, or by 25.81% since PAASS was introduced after the 1998 application season.  He also mentioned that only 47% of ag pilots attend PAASS and that statistics show that PAASS attendees are less likely to have accidents, particularly the more one consistently attends PAASS, hence the importance of a professional certification for the industry which augments continuing education opportunities to solidify professional aerial application habits.

The success of the 2021 NAAA Ag Aviation Expo was discussed.  There was a total of 1,540 in attendance compared with the COVID-19 truncated convention in 2020 that had 790 in attendance.  Plans are underway for the 2022 Ag Aviation Expo, December 5-8 in Knoxville, Tennessee with Astronaut Scott Kelly locked in for the Kickoff Breakfast.  Kelly has spent a total of 520 days in space—more than any other American.  One of those vertical jaunts includes leading the Hubble telescope repair in 1999.  The general session will be titled Healthy Public Relations with agvocate, Michelle Miller, also known as the Farm Babe, providing valuable PR lessons for us to agvocate for aerial application.  Returning to the general session will be Dr. Stan Musick, Flight Surgeon, AME, aerobatics pilot and aerial applicator that will discuss pilot medical issues, medical certificate procedures and good health.  Starting in 2023 the Ag Aviation Expo will be held at the following locations: Palm Springs, CA (2023); Fort Worth, Texas (2024); Reno, NV (2025); and Savannah, GA (2026).

 

 

Allied Industry Committee

Anthonie York, Allied Industry Chairman, presented the Allied Industry committee report.

There were 1,540 attendees and exhibitors attended the 2022 Savannah Ag Aviation Expo with 142 paying exhibitors. Exhibitors said that they like going to Savannah every 2-3 years.

 

Awards Committee

Erin Morse, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee feels that last year’s online awards application, which is faster and easier to submit than the traditional PDF nomination form, helped bring in more nominations. NAAA will continue to remind members about the 2022 awards deadline in publications, on social media and will also send a few mobile/text message alerts to members with links to the forms.  Currently those forms may be found on line at: https://www.agaviation.org/awards  then you can click the award in which you wish to make a nomination.

The committee had one motion for the board:

Motion 1: The Awards Committee submits a motion to rename the Related Industry Awards the Richard “Dick” Reade Memorial Award.

 

Budget & Finance Committee and Treasurer’s Report

Dwayne O’Brien, Immediate Past Treasurer, presented the Budget and Finance Committee and Treasurer’s Report. This was the first time the new procedures for Treasurers were followed where the previous year’s Treasurer presented the spring financials to the board and reviewed the audit.

 

Current assets total $4,400,182, which is up from $4,070,353 a year ago. Building and land remains roughly the same. Accumulated depreciation continues to increase over time as equipment, land and the building, are written off, resulting in total fixed assets of $988,307, compared to $1,030,470 last year. Total current assets and fixed assets equal $5,419,184 and rose compared to $5,100,823 last year. Regarding liabilities, accrued expenses and net assets have not changed much. As of January 31, 2022, net income was $582,752 and total liabilities and equity equals $5,419,184. NAAA is trending right in line with the prior year which was a surplus fiscal year.

 

The committee had two motions for the board.

Motion 1: The NAAA Budget & Finance Committee recommends that the FY 2022-23 Budget be approved with changes presented.

Motion 2: The Budget & Finance Committee is asking the Board to approve the current Treasurer, CEO and President to have signing authority for financial matters for NAAA.

 

Communications & Public Relations Committee

Matt Regier, Committee Vice Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee discussed the events NAAA will be exhibiting at in 2022, including Ag Day on the Mall on March 21-22, where the association will have a helicopter and the 100th anniversary timeline; AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., July 25-31, and the Aviation Education & Career Expo in Leesburg, Va., Nov. 4.

 

The 100th anniversary book has been a success with more than 650 copies sold. Several members have purchased copies and donated them to schools, libraries, and their state Departments of Agriculture. The committee recommends that members purchase copies of Agriculture’s Air Force and share them locally.

 

The committee discussed Agricultural Aviation magazine and other NAAA communication mediums and how different generations obtain their information and news. The committee had a long discussion regarding the potential for an NAAA podcast; questions will be asked about this in the upcoming communications services survey.

 

The committee discussed the communications services survey, which will be sent in mid-March. NAAA is conducting this survey to determine who members think the association’s main audience should be (public or the industry), what communications mediums are preferred (print, digital, video, podcast, etc.) and how to best deliver and reach them with the association’s messaging.

 

 

Convention Committee

Lynn Justesen, Committee Co-Chair presented the committee report.

 

Regarding the 2021 Ag Aviation Expo, both attendees and exhibitors were happy with Savannah and continue to enjoy traveling to the city. Financially, the expo was positive for NAAA due to the three large auction donations from Pratt & Whitney Canada, Darrel & Deb Mertens and Boyd Morgan. There were 1,540 attendees and exhibitors and 142 paying exhibitors.

 

The 2022 Ag Aviation Expo will take place in Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 5-8. We will have five different hotels in different price points around different areas of downtown Knoxville, all within four blocks of the convention center. The room block links will be released to members in the next couple of weeks.

 

The Kickoff Breakfast speaker will be Captain Scott Kelly, the astronaut who spent one year in space and was also a fighter pilot. For the General Session, we will hire Dr. Stan Musick to speak about medicals in the industry and Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, who will speak about effective advocating for agriculture and the industry.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Governing Documents Committee

Ray Newcomb, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee reviewed board member term limits and it was decided to keep the current Bylaws for term limits as is. The Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation were reviewed by the committee.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Government Relations Committee

Damon Reabe, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee discussed FIFRA re-registration. He stated that it was encouraging to hear from EPA during the morning General Session and their review of tier three inputs that NAAA has been requesting of EPA during risk assessments. He said NAAA staff have worked tirelessly on this subject matter and they have gotten to where there is standardized language they’re using for re-registration of pesticides and it is very workable language. Occasionally we deal with challenges, such as paraquat last year, with re-registrations, and the association still worked out a better result on that active ingredient’s reregistration.

 

The committee discussed registrants and facilitating labeling. Sarah Hovinga with Bayer CropScience attended the meeting, and she was very helpful with her comments. Jim Perrin, Damon Reabe and staff will have meetings with registrants about more communications with the industry and EPA because oftentimes the registrants don’t know what to ask for with labeling, which is an area where NAAA can continue to assist. Since the EPA risk assessments will happen, the registrant community is interested in putting time and effort in with NAAA on this subject matter.

 

The committee was reminded and urged the board to provide MSU’s RASPET Center with GPS flight data in their efforts working with MIT to determine safe distances and procedures between drones and low-altitude manned aircraft, such as drones.

 

The committee received a briefing on the FMSCA to transport 1,000 gallons of Jet A without a hazmat endorsement and we’re waiting for a response on this topic. HAI membership has the ability for members to carry certain hazmat materials if you’re an association member and have received training on the transport. Should FMSCA fail, we may look at an NAAA program like what HAI does for their membership.

 

The committee discussed the new aviation G-100 fuel and the current STC. Does it apply to our current fuel tax exemption and will the STC need to be specific to airframe and engine are two requirements that will need to be answered.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Insurance Committee

Craig Craft, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

 

The committee was very happy with “Ask the Expert” Speed Mentoring in Savannah because 77 new pilots attended the session, which was a success. Thank you to NAAREF and Brian Rau (Appointed) for the great work on this session.

 

The committee discussed the certification program and how it may be tailored to current pilots’ level of experience, but also training for new pilots.

 

The Insurance Committee will host a session at the expo in Knoxville this December and asks that their session be placed after “Ask the Expert” Speed Mentoring so that new pilots can attend Insurance after that session. It’s important to mentor new pilots and ensure they’re able to be insured when they begin spraying.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Long Range Planning Committee 

Matt Hovdenes, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee discussed the upcoming communications survey and what it means to Long Range Planning for NAAA, such as encourage the current and future board members to have appropriate funds allocated towards communications. A subcommittee was formed to help review the questions for a communication survey from a Long Range Planning perspective.

 

The committee discussed the Syngenta Leadership Training Program and changes over the year. Some members have an interest in NAAA developing their own program. A subcommittee has been developed to further research a professional development program.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Membership Committee

Dwayne O’Brien, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee discussed membership numbers, which are slightly up from this same time last year, the membership marketing campaign, outreach and ideas to market to non-members. Auto-renewal within our membership database, Naylor, should be available later this year. We currently have less than 50 members using this service.

 

Lindsay Barber (NAAA staff) asked that members send her quotes of why they joined NAAA and/or what NAAA does for them to use in marketing materials. It is beneficial for peers to read why others joined.

 

Lindsay provided an overview of Scott Yackel and asked that the committee recommend an honorary membership. Scott has been instrumental in getting our aircraft into Savannah each year, he helps onsite, he has provided helicopters for our trades show floor, etc. He has not asked NAAA for any assistance and has done thousands of dollars of work for NAAA.

 

The committee had two motions for the board.

Motion 1: The NAAA Membership Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve the list of new members as presented.

Motion 2: The NAAA Membership Committee recommends that the Board of Directors approve Scott Yackel as an Honorary Member of NAAA.

 

Museum Committee

Matt Woolard, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee discussed the Greg Koontz Aerobatics Course scholarship that is provided to the winner of the drawing at the Ag Aviation Expo. Last year’s winner will be taking the course this year.

 

The committee received an update on the S-2A project. The plane was expected to fly to Savannah in December but encountered an engine problem shortly after departing from Air Tractor’s factory and ended up being trucked to the Ag Aviation Expo instead. Air Repair in Mississippi is rebuilding the motor and will fly it back to Air Tractor once it is fixed. Jim Hirsch would like to take the S-2A to AirVenture and Sun ’n Fun before delivering the aircraft to its permanent home at the National Agricultural Aviation Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, in the fall.

 

 

The committee had one motion for the board.

Motion 1: The NAAA Museum Committee requests that NAAA donate $5,000 annually to the National Agricultural Aviation Museum in Jackson, MS.

 

Nominating Committee

Mark Kimmel, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Precision Agriculture Committee

Glenn Holloway, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

AGDISP- looking to improve accuracy of model and move it to a more modern programming language. This will foster improvement to model. There will be two APIs – one for manufactures to use in equipment and one for a desktop model that could be used by researchers, regulators, etc. AG-NAV has a system for mosquito control that uses AIMMS and AGDISP to provide guidance for where the aircraft should spray in order to make an accurate application to the treatment block.

 

Manufacturers provided an update Insero/AgPilotX, SATLOC, AG-NAV are all working at integrating with Capstan’s pulse width modulation system. Tommy Ellett spoke about his experiences with Capstan’s system. Capstan is working through some parts wear problem. The system saves him time and fuel.

 

Insero is working on ground based airblast autonomous sprayer technology. They have partnered with a manufacturer of an autonomous tractor. Insero’s product handles the flow control.  The committee discussed an Israel company that is developing ground based see and spray technology. They will be placing 4 units in the field in Nebraska for testing. It’s called Greeneye technology. The system can spray weeds on bare ground – this is called green on brown. They are also working on green on green – identifying and spraying weeds amongst a crop. A think tank called Grand Farm is working on see and spray technology that are smaller units – like worker bees. The units would stay in field and just keep working.

 

Brad Fritz (Appointed) reported that Dan Martin will be continuing a project with Bradley Reed and LSU to compare the efficacy of different GPAs. Also going to continue remote sensing work. Wind tunnel work will include new nozzle designs from Sam Marx and Mark Ledebuhr. TeeJet straight stream nozzles, and improving accuracy of modeling for PWM. Sam Mark will continue research with CFD modeling that he presented at 2021 Expo. Mark Ledebuhr is also continuing to develop new products. There is the possibility to improve the use of AGDISP modeling to help with initial aircraft setups – make it more user friendly for operators after it’s been updated to new programming language. Also working on some UAV stuff; Brad Fritz is trying to get the UAV industry to understand and utilize Operation S.A.F.E.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Safety & Federal Aviation Regulations Committee

Ray Newcomb, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

The committee reviewed the 2021 accidents, which totaled 55 accidents, with 12 being fatal last year. There has been one fatal in 2022. There were two questionable accidents that were discussed and will be voted on when final reports are received.

 

The federal tower law is exceptionally slow in  being promulgated. The FAA has yet to comply with the law. Towers are not being marked or added to database.  NAAA is working on political pressure from congressional aviation leaders to move the FAA on this most important safety issue.

 

NAAA partnering with Balmoral Engineering to promote wire marking with power companies. Developing a presentation to rural electric cooperatives. Brian Rau is looking for a volunteer to help with the presentation.

 

The committee discussed the HAI wire course and bringing it to the 2022 Ag Aviation Expo since wires are a top reason for accidents in our industry. Scott Bretthauer (NAAA staff) and Matt Hovdenes (NAAREF President) will be attending this in March to see if it’s a good fit for our expo. The course would be $7,000 + expenses with unlimited attendees; the course is taught by Utilities Aviation Specialists. Andy Gjerswold (Appointed) stated that he would promote this on his podcast.

 

The committee discussed business decisions and their impact on safety and whether we should we be teaching the industry to avoid decisions that increase risky behavior. The committee discussed creation of a spreadsheet that shows the overall expenses of operating an ag aircraft so that business decisions do not compromise safety. This could be developed for the Ag Aviation Expo and/or PAASS.

 

Brian Rau reported on an FAA aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) regarding BVLOS for UAVs. The ARC proposal does not have requirements for UAV certification for ag work for UAV below 1,320 pounds. It also does not require UAV to give way to manned aircraft that are not equipped with ADS-B, nor give way to manned aircraft when shadowing structures such as wires and towers.

George Parker indicated many pilots in industry do not have log book entries showing they’ve passed knowledge and skills. He suggested a magazine article and PAASS segment to address this is.

 

No motions for the board.

 

Support Committee

Jane Barber Pitlick, Committee Chair, presented the committee report.

 

Athena: The topic for the Athena Program for 22-23 are the challenges of balancing work and home. This will be presented to state/regional association, as well as the Ag Aviation Expo in Knoxville. Chuck Holzwarth will once again sponsor this session. North Carolina and Colorado have worked to get a CEU credit offered to pilots who attend Athena at their states.

 

Convention: The committee will be looking at hosting a lunch and tour of the Sunsphere, which was built for the 1982 World’s Fair. The committee may also look at hiring a speaker. John Garr will once again sponsor this event. Jane and the committee thank John for his years of continuous support and sponsorship for their event.

 

Fundraising: The Fundraising booth in Knoxville will have similar clothing to years past, but final orders will depend on what is available since we may still be dealing with supply chain issues this summer and fall. The committee also discussed going back to paper bidding for the Silent Auction since several people have stated that they want to see who they bid against, and some people cannot access the online bidding system.

 

Scholarship Program: The topic for 2022 is “What role does ag aviation play in producing a local commodity?” and that information is on the NAAA website.

 

No motions for the board.

 

NAAREF Report 

NAAREF President Matt Hovdenes provided the report.

 

Program Development Committee: The committee is ahead of schedule in already planning for next year’s program. CFIT will be the main focus for the 2022-2023 program. The committee discussed taking past PAASS modules and updating them for use on the LMS as part the certification program. Subcommittees will review old PAASS modules and rank for priority for updating and adding to LMS. Discussed PAASS content for 2023-2024 and beyond.

 

Operation S.A.F.E.: There is new updated version of the software used for pattern and droplet size analysis at clinics and it will be available for download to everyone. Matt Gill (Appointed) is going to make a test kit that could be purchased by operators who want to host their own clinics to rate the success of whether that would work for individual operators. S.A.F.E. participation will be part of the requirements for the certification program which will increase participation and demand for new analysts.

 

NAAREF Board: The NAAREF Board approved their budget, and the board received an update on the current PAASS program. A make-up PAASS program will be available online and more information will be forthcoming, but the Board strongly suggest that pilots attend the program in person, if they’re able to do so.

 

The board discussed the certification program and Deana Burke (NAAA Staff) gave an update on the learning management system (LMS) that would be used for the certification. Staff would be responsible for managing and updating the LMS. Options for certification were heavily discussed. No decision was made except that NAAREF board members are to send their ideas for how the certification levels should work to Matt Hovdenes who will compile them and then discuss with NAAA staff. These ideas will then be brought to the next meeting for the certification program.

 

The board discussed a wire aviation safety course that is offered at HAI that the chairman and staff will be attending and which may be offered at the Ag Aviation Expo on Sunday for $100 per person. The session is a full day and the reason we would bring it to our expo is because wires are the main reason for accidents.

 

No motions for the board.

 

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