NATA Establishes General Aviation Airports Committee

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has announced the establishment of a General Aviation Airports Committee to assist the Association’s policy priorities and advocacy efforts impacting general aviation airport stakeholders. Lara Kaufmann, Associate Director at the Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU), has been named Co-Chair along with Ben Harrison, General Manager at the Cullman Regional Airport (KCMD). The General Aviation Airports Committee will provide NATA’s airport membership a voice for the safety, quality, and security issues impacting airports and aviation businesses. Committee members will address emerging concerns associated with COVID-19, and other issues pertaining to landlord/tenant relations, airport revenues, fuel quality, fire codes, customs, lease agreements, minimum standards, and hangar development.

“On behalf of the NATA leadership and our membership, our association committed to the formation of the General Aviation Airports Committee to highlight the valuable services and jobs that the business aviation industry provides to their communities,” stated NATA Board Chairman Curt Castagna. “This effort is consistent with NATA’s mission to encourage fostering collaborative approaches between airport sponsors, aeronautical tenants and the surrounding community in addressing challenges and opportunities that support maximizing the economic potential for such public/private partnerships.”

NATA represents over 300 general aviation airports, including more than 100 airport-sponsored FBOs. A key goal of this committee is to help raise the safety bar for this specific stakeholder group. “NATA is excited to help meet the unique needs of general aviation airports and its tenants. We aim to promote the important value these aviation businesses bring to their local communities, along with the nuances that make their businesses unique,” stated NATA President and CEO Timothy Obitts.

“Coming together as representatives of the many different general aviation airports across the country to share our challenges, find solutions and work together to implement them will directly benefit the aviation service providers that call general aviation airports home,” stated Committee Co-Chair Lara Kaufmann, Associate Director of the Greenville Downtown Airport in South Carolina. “This collaboration is extremely important as our industry, like many others, rises to meet the new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“As a current member of NATA’s Airport Business Committee, I am honored and pleased to serve as a Co-Chair on this newly formed General Aviation Airports Committee. General aviation airports are crucial economic development drivers of communities and play a vital role in their success. As the General Manager of Cullman Regional Airport in Cullman, Alabama, I see firsthand how airports help to enhance the success of a community,” noted Committee Co-Chair Ben Harrison.

If you are interested in joining NATA’s General Aviation Airports Committee, please contact Megan Eisenstein at