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PRESIDENT'S PERSPECTIVE

Supporting Business Aviation Professionals

By Ed Bolen

As NBAA Members know, the business aviation community has a history of supporting people and communities in times of crisis.

That tradition continued in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Haiti. People from across the industry contacted NBAA with one basic question: “How can I help?”

The answer was to bring NBAA Members together to coordinate the delivery of relief workers and thousands of pounds of supplies to those affected by the earthquake.

Within two days after the earthquake, NBAA had logged hundreds of offers for donated aircraft, flight support and other assistance, and the volunteer industry group CARE (Corporate Aircraft Responding in Emergencies) put the assets to work.

Estimates are that nearly 100 general aviation aircraft flew humanitarian missions to Haiti in the first days after a local airport re-opened. During the two-day weekend after the airport resumed operations, the U.S. military and the Federal Aviation Administration reported 330 requests to land, with nearly half coming from civilian aircraft.

At the time this publication went to press, CARE estimated that at least 400 flight hours had gone into relief efforts, and more than 1,000 people had been involved. This outpouring of support – chronicled in detail in the article "Mission to Haiti: Business Aviation Lends a Helping Hand" of this edition of Business Aviation Insider – is cause for inspiration.

Our industry’s response to the Haiti crisis highlights the international nature of business aviation, and the Haiti story is just one of several articles in this internationally-themed edition of Insider that explores the issues and trends facing business aviation around the world. But as important as the industry’s global presence is, we know that there are unsung heroes lending a hand to those in need right here at home.

For example, I recently had the privilege of spending time with a group in Ohio, where we heard from a retired Air Force captain whose organization, Honor Flight, coordinates general aviation flights so military veterans can travel to Washington, DC to visit memorials to the wars they served in.


“Within two days after the earthquake, NBAA had logged hundreds of offers for donated aircraft, flight support and other assistance.”

Stories like this one are the kind everyone in the industry needs to continue telling. Policymakers and media organizations need to hear how business aviation helps those in crisis, and also supports more than a million U.S. jobs, helps companies of all sizes be more competitive and productive, and provides a transportation lifeline for towns without airline service.

NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) are telling these stories through the No Plane No Gain web site (www.noplanenogain.org/profiles). I encourage you to consider adding your own story by visiting the web site and filling out the form on the “Contact Us” web page. NBAA and GAMA will continue to stand up for business aviation – and we thank you for continuing to stand with us.