From The President...

The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association is dedicated to representing and serving the interests our member Part 135 and Part 121 cargo carriers. The typical mission for these aircraft is to retrieve packages and other cargo from smaller communities and fly them in late afternoon to a major airport where they are consolidated with freight from other cities and loaded aboard a larger aircraft for a longer flight to a sort center. Afterward, that process is reversed as cargo is then offloaded from a large freighter arriving before dawn from the sort center, to another of our members' airplanes for delivery early in the morning to its ultimate destination, often a smaller community.

Stan Bernstein: President

Many of these flights occur at night, helping ensure organizations of all sizes meet our nation's high demand for "next-day" transportation of important documents and "just-in-time" delivery of important raw materials, critical parts and other items. Of course, as Internet-based marketing and sales of products as diverse as books, next-day delivery of consumer electronics and collectibles -- to name just a few -- has become expected instead of the exception, demand for "feeder" cargo aircraft to serve smaller communities has skyrocketed.

Recognizing that this dynamic, growing industry lacked an effective and dedicated voice representing it before the federal government, the aviation community, and the media, RACCA was formed in 2002. Since then, the association has been extremely fortunate to count as its members more than 95 percent of all aircraft operators eligible for membership. This means about 1,000 aircraft serving smaller communities each day in the United States and internationally are operated by RACCA members.

One of RACCA's primary goals has been, and will continue to be, enhancing the safety of all-cargo flight operations. Toward this end, the association maintains a formal committee dedicated to aviation safety, joining other RACCA panels focused on regulatory reform and security. The association's members and leadership have been actively involved with the FAA's ongoing rulemaking and informal discussions with industry on ways in which the safety of specific flight operations may be enhanced, all without unduly impacting efficiency or creating other, unanticipated hazards.

Meanwhile, RACCA's Associate Membership Council -- composed of companies and organizations not directly involved in operating cargo aircraft -- work closely with the association's leadership to provide early warning of industry-based trends of all sizes and types and, when necessary, help develop appropriate responses.

Another major goal is to ensure that the FAA's ongoing efforts to re-write and modernize its existing regulations and policies regulating on-demand operation of commercial aircraft recognize the many unique characteristics of our industry. Seven RACCA members served on the FAA's Part 125/135 Aviation Rulemaking Committee. Recommendations supported by RACCA representatives continue to move through the rulemaking process and will bear substantial fruit when the agency formally publishes proposed regulations implementing those policies.

Although RACCA's first years have been both exciting and productive, the association is not standing still. For example, we work with other industry organizations, the FAA, and TSA to develop and support policies that recognize our industry's unique role in the U.S. economy. Meetings between top regulatory agency officials and RACCA officers keep our association at the forefront of developments in Washington D.C.

These are important activities for us, and we welcome both your participation and assistance. But RACCA's greatest value has always been the unique opportunities it affords members to communicate with each other and learn from our mistakes and successes. Perhaps the best example of how RACCA meets its members' needs in this area is our annual Spring Conference, which provides attendees with several days of informative presentations coupled with formal and informal events designed to facilitate professional networking and interaction with their peers. Through our regular meetings and communications, as well as this Website, we will continue to meet this challenge.

Again, thank you for visiting RACCA's Web site. Please call on us if we may be of service to you.

Stan Bernstein