Business Aviation Groups Form Alliance to Push Back on Illegal Charters

Coordinated global effort will battle illegal charter operations.

A new coalition called the Air Charter Safety Alliance (ACSA) says that while the overwhelming majority of on-demand charter flights comply with national and international safety standards, there have been instances of unauthorized aircraft operators actively avoiding aviation authority oversight by operating illegal flights, placing at risk the safety of passengers and hurting the economic health of approved charter operators.

ACSA said that in the past, several global associations have actively worked independently to reduce illegal charter activity by setting up dedicated websites to educate and engage aircraft owners and national authorities on proper compliance with charter regulations. Over the next three months, ACSA hopes to collect best practices from the various associations, create an online platform, and initiate an online educational campaign to make main stakeholders aware of the dangers of illegal charter.

The global coalition of international aviation groups includes the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral (ABAG), the Air Charter Association (ACA), African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA), Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), Business Aircraft Operators Association (BAOA), British Business & General Aviation Association (BBGA), European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), French Business Aviation Association (EBAA France), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), and the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA).

“Illegal/Grey charters know no boundaries,” said Ryan Waguespack, NATA’s senior vice president. “NATA is proud to bring our proven expertise, tools, and resources found at avoidillegalcharter.com to a global movement to end this pervasive problem. The industry has made great progress in joining together to advance crucial initiatives such as sustainability. We look forward to experiencing that same level of success as a unified force in eliminating illegal charter operations.”

NBAA’s vice president for international and regulatory affairs, Doug Carr, said, “For over 70 years, NBAA has aided members and the business aviation community by identifying and sharing best practices along with advocating for reasonable and effective safety regulation. We believe this multi-pronged approach to consumer education, along with regulator and supply-chain awareness, will reinforce the safety value of approved charter operators.” Carr noted the association’s members have a wealth of NBAA resources available, including the Aircraft Charter Consumer Guide—updated in 2020—which helps individuals and businesses become informed consumers.

Part of the coalition’s mission will be to develop and promote several safety programs that assist on-demand charter operators while continuing to improve their safety performance. “Creating more discerning customers, in addition to efforts that will help to identify illegal charters, will hopefully dissuade those seeking to compromise safety for profit,” the coalition said.

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