Founded in 1962, the National Air Carrier Association (NACA), is comprised of air carriers certificated under Title 14, Part 121 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Our members are a diverse group of air carriers, providing passenger and cargo, scheduled and charter services. NACA carriers fill a unique niche in the air carrier industry, offering services in response to ever-changing demands from the U.S. military, the traveling public, and businesses.
Our members include Air Transport International, Amerijet, Allegiant Air, Atlas Air, Avelo Air, Everts Air Cargo, Frontier Airlines, Kalitta Air, Lynden Air Cargo, Miami Air International, Northern Air Cargo, Omni Air International, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Swift Air, USA Jet Airlines, Western Global Airlines, and World Atlantic Airlines.
Our associate members include AerSale MRO Services (Arizona), Avenger Flight Group (Florida), Bristol Associates, Inc (Washington DC), Leipzig-Halle Airport (Germany), LJS Aviation (UK), Marsh USA (New York), MIS Choice (Illinois), Morten Beyer & Agnew (Virginia), ProSafeT (California), and Shannon Airport (Ireland).
The Mission of the National Air Carrier Association
- To foster among our members the highest degree of operational safety and efficiency;
- To advance and maintain with Congress, government agencies, and the traveling public an enlightened understanding of our member’s goals and problems;
- To influence in a proper manner the laws and regulations promulgated on our industry;
- To promote the national and international aviation interests of our members; and
- To bring members’ representatives into closer personal and professional relations with each other, with government, and with other industry leaders.
There were two principal reasons for the formation of the trade association. The initial stimulus was the enactment of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. By that Act, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) began, for the first time, to regulate the economic affairs of the non-scheduled airline industry (previously known as the Supplemental Airlines).
The scheduled airlines had been under economic regulation since the signing of the Civil Aeronautics Act in 1938. Just as the threat of that act caused the scheduled airlines to form the Air Transport Association of America in 1935, the FAA Act caused the soon to be regulated nonscheduled air carriers to found a trade association (NACA) to represent their best interests in the new regulatory environment.
The second reason for forming NACA was to maintain a strong relationship with the Department of Defense (DOD). Because the FAA Act required Supplemental Airlines to be certificated, the DOD decided to only contract its passenger and cargo air transportation services to certificated air carriers. Many of the Supplemental Airlines depended upon DOD charter business for their livelihood, thus the issue of continuing DOD business was an equally important stimulus in the formation of NACA. Many of NACA’s initial Articles of Incorporation include the connection with DOD business. Indeed, approval for DOD business was an initial requirement for membership in NACA, and all members were members of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF).
Many of the changes to CRAF throughout the 1960s and 1970s were debated and agreed upon between NACA, its members, and DOD. NACA’s members constituted the backbone of commercial air carrier support during the Vietnam conflict. One of NACA’s members, World Airways, was the last commercial air carrier to fly from Saigon during its fall in 1975.
In 1972, NACA was one of the initial members appointed to the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA) Military Airlift Committee. This Committee was established as an official government advisory group to assist the Commander-in-Chief, Military Airlift Command, and, later, the Commander-in-Chief United States Transportation Command, to better understand the commercial aviation community and how civilian air carriers could better supply air transportation needs to the Department of Defense.
Prior to the establishment of NACA, the initial statement of the relationship between civilian and military airlift activities were embodied in a document called The Role of Military Air Transport Service in Peace and War. With the many changes that took place in the 1960s and 1970s and throughout the Vietnam conflict, NACA’s members felt that the nation needed a restatement of the civilian and military airlift relationship.
At NACA’s suggestion, an effort was undertaken by the NDTA Military Airlift Committee to restate the relationship between civilian and military airlift. The product of that effort was a new National Airlift Policy, signed by President Ronald Reagan in July 1987 and issued as National Security Defense Directive 280. That document was further implemented in the Department of Defense with the publication of the Department of Defense Transportation Policy signed by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney on May 22, 1990. It recognized DOD’s “unique relationship with the transportation industry, depending on the civil sector for transport of more than 85 percent of its needs in wartime and well over 90 percent in peacetime.”
NACA’s member carriers were essential to the early and sustained success of the United States military in the Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm) in 1990 and 1991. NACA’s members were the first to volunteer to assist DOD as soon as the Iraqi invasion was discovered and more than a week before CRAF was activated. On August 8, 1990, World Airways, a NACA founding member, landed the first commercial airlift of U.S. troops to Dhahran Air Base, Saudi Arabia. American Trans Air, Evergreen, Southern Air Transport, and Tower offered similar early and frequent volunteer airlift. Early in the Operation, American Trans Air offered all of its long-range fleet DOD if DOD would promise to keep them gainfully occupied. NACA member carriers offered continuing strong support throughout the following year of operations, with members American Trans Air, Evergreen, Southern Air Transport, Tower Air, and World Airways flying more than 1500 of the approximately 5000 commercial missions to and from the Arabian Peninsula.
NACA has always championed the role of commercial aviation in national defense, but its role has always been much broader. On the civil side, NACA was a leader in getting expanded passenger and cargo charter authority through congressional, regulatory, and legal pressures. For example, NACA was directly responsible for getting U.S. Government approval for Affinity Charters in the era between 1962 and 1974. It also lead the fight in the courts and through Congress to get approval for Inclusive Tour Charters in 1967 and 1968. In 1970, NACA was also successful in getting additional authority for its members through the concept of Advanced Booking Charters.
In 1972, NACA was installed as a permanent member of the U.S. delegation for negotiating all bilateral aviation agreements with foreign countries. Since that time, NACA has been successful in gaining expanded international economic authority for its members, including liberal passenger and cargo charter authority and designation of member carriers on several important international scheduled service routes.
In 1977, NACA was instrumental in the deregulation of the U.S. cargo airline industry. Later, in 1978, NACA was the leadoff witness in the Senate Judiciary Committee and subsequently in the Senate Commerce Committee in support of total domestic airline deregulation.
In 1978, the CAB terminated all airline ticket ratemaking activities, including ratemaking for military operations. NACA’s Board of Directors predicted that a lowest bidder process would develop for military charter rates that would ultimately lead to fewer aircraft available to the DOD in the CRAF. Thus, NACA led its member airlines in a protest to the CAB of deregulating military fares. This initiative was unsuccessful. The fight was then carried to the Secretary of the Air Force, stressing the importance of continuing the previous CAB practice of setting minimum rates. This effort was successful, and, to this day, DOD continues to pay for its whole airplane passenger and cargo charters through a Uniform Rate that is based upon the old CAB ratemaking process.
Since its formation, NACA has always been a strong team member with the U.S. Government and a positive influence in the promulgation of public laws and regulations that govern the safety and efficiency of the airline industry. Today, NACA is a trade association serving U.S. air carriers that provide scheduled and nonscheduled passenger and cargo operations domestically and internationally. NACA and its member air carriers are well known in national and international aviation circles.
President and CEO
George D. Novak became president of National Air Carrier Association (NACA) on June 15, 2018. George has served the aerospace industry for over thirty years, most recently as Assistant Vice President and Regulatory Counsel for Civil Aviation at the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), which he joined in 2012. Prior to joining AIA, George managed aviation regulatory and infrastructure projects in more than 70 countries around the world. He also served as senior research scientist and administrator of an international aviation safety and security program at the George Washington University, and has served as in-house counsel to emerging technology companies and strategic consulting firms. He began his career in the Chief Counsel’s Office of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Washington & Jefferson College and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Vice President, Government Affairs and Ultra Low-Cost Carrier Policy
Chris Brown joined NACA in March 2020 as Vice President of Government Affairs and Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC) Policy. In this capacity, Mr. Brown represents NACA’s ULCC and other member carriers before Congress and executive branch agencies.
Prior to joining NACA, Mr. Brown served as Assistant Administrator for Government and Industry Affairs at the Federal Aviation Administration from 2007-2009 and from 2017-2019. In that role, he served as the principal adviser to the FAA Administrator and other key FAA executives on federal and international legislative and regulatory policy developments, including the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 2018, and as the agency’s primary liaison to Congress, other executive branch agencies, and aviation industry stakeholders.
In addition to Mr. Brown’s two tenures at the FAA, he held senior positions on the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives, including staff director and counsel on the Subcommittee on Aviation, and oversight counsel to the full committee, under the chairmanships of former Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska).
In the private sector, Mr. Brown was Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy at Airlines for America (A4A), where he helped develop policy priorities of A4A member airlines, and advocate for those policies before Congress and executive branch agencies, including the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration. Most recently, he served as a government affairs and policy consultant to a major aviation trade association, and transportation software and drone services companies.
Mr. Brown began his legal and policy career as an associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C., where he represented airlines, airports and aviation manufacturers before Congress and the executive branch. During his tenure at Akin Gump, Mr. Brown staffed a member of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission (NCARC), a bipartisan federal commission established by Congress to issue legislative recommendations on FAA finance reform and safety issues. He also staffed a member of the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee (FAAC), a federal advisory committee consisting of representatives of all segments of the U.S. aviation industry tasked by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to develop policy recommendations to ensure the economic viability and global competitiveness of the aviation industry, when he was senior counsel at the Washington, D.C. office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.
A native of Massachusetts, Mr. Brown received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College and his Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School. He is a member of the District of Columbia and Massachusetts bars.
Vice President, Government Affairs and Security Policy
Paul Doell joined NACA in 2001 as Director of Government Affairs. In November 2017 he was promoted to Vice President of Government Affairs and Security Policy.
Mr. Doell represents NACA carriers before Congress, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Transportation. He has helped guide various aviation-related bills through Congress to achieve positive results for the association’s members, including changes to public law relating to Fly America, minimum purchase requirements for commercial airlift chartered by the military, and foreign air carrier seventh freedom applications.
Over the last 12 years, Mr. Doell has led NACA’s advocacy efforts with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as it relates to aviation security policy and as well as overseeing the various airline security programs: Full AllCargo Operator Standard Security Program, Private Charter Standard Security Program and the Aircraft Operator Standard Security Program. He is currently a member of the Aviation Domain Intelligence Integration & Analysis Cell (ADIAC). Mr. Doell was most recently appointed by the TSA Administrator as one of four airline representatives on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) with his two year term starting in June 2018.
Mr. Doell also serves as an official member the United States government’s delegation for bilateral and multi-lateral aviation negotiations, which has held talks with over 40 nations, including the historical U.S./EU Open Skies agreement. He advocated the advancement of U.S. international charter rights and Open Skies agreements.
In 2016 Mr. Doell was selected to represent the U.S. charter carrier industry on the Department of Transportation’s negotiated rulemaking committee for improving disability access for air travel which came to agreement on lavatory access for single aisle aircraft and additional access to in-flight entertainment systems.
Before joining NACA, Mr. Doell served as a legislative assistant for Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and, then, with Representative Steven Kuykendall (R-CA). He was the members’ main advisor/representative on a wide range of issues including foreign policy, crime, and aviation. During his time as a congressional staffer, he advanced legislation combating abuses of victim’s rights, gun trafficking, and pension benefits.
Mr. Doell staffs the Security Council and serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the association.
George R. Paul
Vice President, Technical Services
George Paul is responsible for all government interactions that affect operations, maintenance, and safety issues. He acts as the primary liaison with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, is a member of the commercial aviation safety team (CAST), and OpsSpecs working group (OPWG). He interacts with the Chair and Vice Chair of NACA’s Maintenance, Safety and Security, and Operations Councils in preparing the meeting agendas and arranges for guest speakers to address current issues that affect NACA members.
Prior to re-joining NACA in 2010, Mr. Paul served NACA in this role from 2002 until 2007 when he departed to become Chief Operations Officer for MAXjet Airways, which was an all business class B767 operator headquartered in Dulles, Virginia. Before joining NACA in 2002, he served as Senior Vice President of Maintenance and Engineering, Material/Purchasing and Ground Handling for Gemini Air Cargo, which was also headquartered in Dulles. He was instrumental in certifying Gemini Air Cargo as a part 121 flag, domestic and supplemental operator in 1996. Before joining Gemini, he served as the Director of Maintenance for Burlington Air Express based in Toledo, Ohio. In 1981, he worked for People Express Airlines based in Newark, New Jersey as Director of Maintenance Control. Continental Airlines acquired People Express in 1987; he remained with Continental until 1989. Mr. Paul served in the United States Marine Corps from 1975 to 1979.
About Our Association
NACA, founded in 1962, is a trade association comprised of seventeen air carriers, certificated under Title 14, Part 121 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Our members are a diverse group of air carriers, providing passenger and cargo, scheduled and charter services. NACA carriers fill a unique niche in the air carrier industry, offering services in response to ever changing demands by the U.S. military, the traveling public, and businesses.