NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen commended Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) for taking to the floor of the Senate late last month to remind his colleagues of the value of business aviation for citizens, communities and companies across the U.S. “The people of the business aviation community applaud Senator Brownback for explaining what business aviation is all about, and correcting some of the misstatements and mischaracterizations about business aviation that have recently been made,” Bolen said. In his remarks, Brownback told his colleagues: “Some federal officials have recently been making use of business aviation a matter of derision. Well, there is a lot of good that this business–a U.S.-dominated business–does, and we ought to support it, not hurt it.” To illustrate his point, Brownback noted the following, among other facts:
- Business aviation employs more than one million people in manufacturing and support services.
- Many companies rely on an airplane to conduct business across a number of different locations, which are often located in areas without robust airline airline service.
- Of the nation’s 5,000 public-use airports, only 500 are served by the commercial airlines, making business aviation the only option for accessing most airports.
- Eighty-six percent of people aboard business aircraft are not a company’s senior officials, but are mid-level employees, including salespeople, engineers, or other technical specialists.
“Whether its a piston or a jet, it [a business jet] is often what ends up connecting a lot of people on a rapid basis throughout the country,” Brownback said. “Without the use of business aircraft, you’re going to have a lot more inefficiencies in companies; you’re going to have a lot more difficulty getting people from point A to point B.” Bolen agreed, adding: “Business aviation is an essential tool for many companies to be productive and efficient, which is especially critical in this economic climate. But as the senator also pointed out, business aviation means jobs for more than a million people. It provides a critical lifeline for communities across the country, many of which have lost some or all of their airline service in the past year. And, it supports humanitarian initiatives, including medical transport for people in need and delivery of relief and supplies for victims of natural disasters. We thank Senator Brownback for recognizing these facts in highlighting the essential role of business aviation in America today.”