Special Advocacy Supplement 2009

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NBAA Webinars Help Make the Case for Business Aviation

For NBAA Members who missed the Association's sold-out webinar series on the "Business Case for Business Aviation," all three sessions have been made available through NBAA's On-Demand Education Program. NBAA developed the webinar series to help Members quantify the benefits of business aviation to their companies and confront negative perceptions about business aviation. Each webinar, valued at $300, is offered free to NBAA Members at nbaa.impactlearning.org.

Each of the three webinars tackles a different aspect of the challenge, with practical guidance provided by experts in aviation and corporate law, economics, finance, and management and communications.

The three-part webinar series includes:

Part I – Business Performance Metrics

Moderated by NBAA's Mike Nichols, vice president of operations, education & economics, and featuring Pete Agur, president of the Van Allen Group, and Bill Quinn, chairman of Aviation Management Systems, the first webinar provides flight department managers and company senior finance staff with performance metrics they can implement to document the value of their business aircraft.

"We want to help you all better present the impact of business aviation for your companies," says Agur. "The key issue is value. A blend of features, function and benefits, minus cost, equals the perceived value, and perception really is everything."

Agur and Quinn explain that flight departments can document the features their aircraft provide the company, such as efficient travel, time savings or a productive work environment. Benefits, such as enhancing the company's ability to compete and improving growth, revenues and profits, are the strongest evidence of the efficacy of business aviation.

Part II – Articulating the Business Case for Business Aviation

Moderated by NBAA's Dan Hubbard, senior vice president of communications, and featuring NBAA's Lisa Piccione, senior vice president for government affairs, Rod Bosco, director of Navigant Consulting, and Martha Boudreau, president of the mid-Atlantic region for Fleishman-Hillard International Communications, the second webinar provides flight department managers and company communications staff with strategies, talking points and other practical guidance on how to effectively communicate the value of business aircraft to stakeholders.

"We face an unprecedented challenge, so we – as a community – need an unprecedented response from all of you. You need to reach out to your members of Congress," states Piccione. "Unless we remind them, elected officials often forget that we create 1.2 million jobs in this country, with $150 billion in economic output and a positive contribution to the balance of trade. We are a uniquely American industry. You're the only ones who can tell this story."

Boudreau articulated how to communicate with the media to illustrate the value of business aviation. "You need to focus on the four key message themes that demonstrate the value of this industry – jobs, productivity, lifeline for communities and charitable involvement."

Part III – Best Practices & Policies for the Use of Business Aviation

This webinar provides practical guidance or managers of flight departments and their legal counsel. This panel – the second hosted by NBAA's Mike Nichols – is composed of a number of industry experts, including James E. Lara, a principal at Gray Stone Advisors.

Because "business aviation is an integral part of your firm's transportation and communications system," Lara says it is important that flight department managers work with the company's legal counsel and other senior managers to develop a "defined, agreed-upon utilization strategy" for use of business aircraft.

In Lara's view, the business aircraft creates "more usable time – our only nonrenewable resource," and also serves as a "force enabler," that makes it possible for employees to reach multiple locations in a day and remain productive with thinner ranks, especially in today's tough economic environment.

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