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Fly Right with FPI’s Compliance and Regulatory Team

A “hidden treasure” within FPI’s seasoned crew is a duo comprised of two of the most experienced and qualified Compliance and Regulatory experts in the business: Rick Snider, Director of Contracts and Compliance, and Jeffrey Basham, Sr. Manager of Compliance. 

By now most FPI Connections readers are aware of the rich history that existed among FPI’s team long before the company was born in 2020, thanks to their time in the seat together at Air Routing (a concierge trip management company co-founded by FPI’s founder, Tom Balousek).

(In case you missed it, refer here to the July 2022 issue of Connections to discover how FPI celebrated their 2-year anniversary with a 3-decade reunion.)

Both Rick and Jeffrey bring an entire career within aviation to the table: Rick starting as a pre-GPS, C130 navigator in the Marine Corps, and Jeffrey beginning his career by choosing aviation over criminal justice/law enforcement simply because “aviation was always in my blood” (a phrase we hear often from the FPI team). Both gentlemen acquired dispatch licenses in their early careers.

Syncing up under Balousek’s Air Routing Team in 1997 and 1998 (respectively), Rick and Jeffrey have been at the compliance helm simultaneously longer than most aviation compliance teams have been at the specialty combined.

At FPI’s inception in 2020, their vast knowledge of ever-changing global compliance nuances allowed them to immediately deploy high-end regulatory services to serve FPI clients, whether an individual private traveler or a large-scale corporate flight department.

“Initially, my two main areas of focus were to design and then guide a corporate compliance program to meet the needs of large, corporate clients thanks to our own corporate background,” Rick notes regarding FPI’s launch.

“We sought to develop services worthy of large-scaled compliance and operations expectations, whether with Treasury Sanctions controlled by OFAC, commerce export restrictions, data privacy protections, or anti-bribery compliance, among other topics. Having these services built to accommodate large flight departments will benefit our clients of all sizes.”

Not that anything compliance-related is simple, Rick and Jeffrey still manage to elevate basic “Compliance Services” to encompass “Global Regulatory Services” by tracking the regulatory reporting requirements that can become quite complex for the traveling operations of any size, especially when compliance obligation reporting may occur as infrequently as once a year.

“It can be very cumbersome for operators to keep up with this colossal task when it’s only needed on an annual basis, in addition to keeping up with the nuanced changes in each region along the way,” states Jeffrey. “Our job is to help our clients understand and track the reporting necessities that are required for their specific operations, and to take that burden from their shoulders.”

A perfect example of this complexity is their management of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) in Europe. Originally only a single European program, the UK now utilizes a separate program thanks to Brexit, and Switzerland added a linked program as well. Operators must not only understand which flights fall under the different scheme scopes, but they must also comply with the technical reporting variations of the flights that do fall within a particular program scope. 

“Europe has always been one of the more complex areas to manage due to the quantity of individual countries involved, each with their own set of variations to the greater compliance landscape. There is no such rule that can be assumed to be a blanket rule across the EU… There’s a local version of that rule in every single EU member,” states Rick. “And then there are always the outlier countries with rogue rules that can become a true headache for our clients if unprepared.”

EU compliance and regulatory management would be challenging enough for an in-house trip management department, yet Rick and Jeffrey apply this same high-level scrutiny globally and domestically. They are constantly in pursuit of program nuances that can be addressed and/or perfected in order to run alongside the Operations Team, allowing them to run unencumbered with what they do best in operations.

Whether maintaining relationships with US Customs and Border Protection, the Caribbean Community Authorities, or the various Air Navigation Support groups in Latin America, or responding to the never-ending roll of new regulatory requirements being added, Rick and Jeffrey cover it all and have vast experience with every corner of the globe with services such as:

  • USA TSA Waiver  
  • USA Border Overflight Exemption (BOE)  
  • USA Part 375 Annual Authorization  
  • USA Customs Decal  
  • UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) Support  
  • EU, Swiss, & UK ETS Support  
  • EU Economic Operator Registration & Information (EORI) Application 
  • Mexico SENEAM Air Navigation Support & Central America COCESNA Air Navigation Support

(A complete list of FPI’s services can be found HERE.)

No matter the size of your flight operation, FPI has the seasoned and sophisticated team in place for any scope of your travel requirement. Even though Rick and Jeffrey’s roles tend to serve behind the trip management scenes, you can rest assured that your aviation activities are in “expert hands” with regards to Operations, Compliance, and Regulatory services by using the team at FPI.

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