Letters to Membership

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A New Year, With Continuing Challenges

At the start of 2018, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen shares his perspective on challenges NBAA is facing in the coming year, from continuing the fight against ATC privatization to addressing member concerns about attracting and retaining talent.

Jan. 9, 2018

As the New Year starts, we know that business aviation offers opportunities, but challenges remain.

At the top of the list will be the airlines’ continuing effort to replace congressional oversight of the nation’s ATC system with a private group unaccountable to Congress. Although a diverse coalition of opponents, including NBAA members, has made forceful arguments against ATC privatization legislation authored by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-9-PA), it would be na├»ve to believe the airlines have given up on trying to gain control of the ATC system. When the time comes again to mobilize against this existential threat to business aviation, I know we can count on your support.

Some of the other challenges we face are local, but have national implications. As you know, a primary function of NBAA is to help ensure that business aviation retains equitable access to airports and airspace. At the time of this writing, NBAA was waiting to hear the result of its final legal challenge to the unprecedented agreement between the FAA and Santa Monica, which allows the closure of the California airport by 2028.

On a brighter note, NBAA welcomed a court decision last year that halted efforts to restrict operations at New York’s East Hampton Airport. But, as is the case in numerous communities, airport opponents continue to seek operating restrictions, which means we need to remain vigilant.

“A growing challenge that members face is attracting and retaining talent, and NBAA is working to address this concern.”

Another continuing imperative, as always, is the need for NBAA members to be able to tie business aviation to their companies’ overall objectives. The “Business Aviation Makes Financial Sense” article on page 14 of this magazine provides the latest data to support the case, as does a passenger checklist bundled with this edition.

A growing challenge that NBAA members face is attracting and retaining talent. NBAA has long offered career guidance and scholarships to help. That said, the personnel shortage has become more pronounced recently, as the airlines offer attractive pay and benefits in order to recruit some of our best people.

NBAA and its volunteer committee members are working to address this concern, and this edition of Business Aviation Insider offers ways those relying on business aviation can meet their personnel challenges. In the coming year, NBAA will expand its efforts in this area.

So, while 2018 will bring challenges, NBAA remains dedicated to partnering with members to address them head on. As the New Year gets underway, NBAA extends its thanks once again for your membership and support.


This article originally appeared in the January/Feburary 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider. Download the magazine app for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones.