Letters to Media

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Business Aviation Isn’t a ‘Taker’

April 4, 2014

Read the letter on The New York Times website.

A Nation of Takers?,” by Nicholas Kristof (column, March 27), paints a negative caricature of business aviation. Communities across the country and millions of workers depend for their livelihoods on business aviation, the purchase and use of small airplanes for business.

First, business aircraft have depreciated in accordance with a longstanding system that was approved by a bipartisan Congress decades ago. That system recognizes that a whole litany of assets – combines, cranes, delivery trucks, forklifts and, yes, aircraft – are necessary to companies’ ability to do business.

As many economists agree, the depreciation system grows the economy by incentivizing companies to upgrade assets, helping them continually improve on their ability to deliver products, provide services to customers, reach far-off markets and generally remain nimble and competitive in an unforgiving global marketplace.

These realities may not resonate with people living in urban areas, but they are a fact of life in business, particularly for companies based in remote, rural areas of the country. And when a company can compete from a small town, it means that company – and the jobs it creates – can stay in that community.

Second, users of such aircraft pay taxes into the air traffic control system that are roughly equivalent to the costs they impose on the system, so it’s simply not fair to say that these operators don’t pay their fair share of the costs.

Mr. Kristof’s column flew right past these facts, instead vilifying a critical asset for business success, job creation and community connectivity.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association