Letters to Media

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NBAA, Industry Rebut Wall Street Journal's One-Sided Article on Business Aviation

June 24, 2011

When the Wall Street Journal published its second front-page article in a month disparaging the use of business aircraft, NBAA cleared the air in a letter to the editor published in the paper on June 23. While a May article that NBAA also responded to seemed to condone the Department of Transportation's plans to undo the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, this most recent article ("Corporate Jet Set: Leisure vs. Business," June 16) singled out business executives' personal use of company airplanes, mischaracterizing the vast majority of people and companies that use business aircraft.

"Your front-page story detailing the movements of "general aviation" airplanes by businesses unfortunately neglected to mention that the personal use of a company's airplane typically accounts for only a tiny fraction of the aircraft's flights," wrote NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen in the letter published by the paper.

"A view of business aviation beyond the select list of flights included in your story," wrote Bolen, "would reveal that for the most part, businesspeople use airplanes to reach towns with little or no airline service, work more efficiently and productively while in flight, and be more nimble and competitive in a global marketplace."

NBAA Members and other companies in the business aviation community also sent letters echoing Bolen's comments. For example, Gary Dempsey, president of Teterboro, NJ-based Jet Aviation Holdings USA, wrote in a June 23 letter, "Your June 16 front-page story fails to mention one key point: the disappearance of defined leisure time from the executive suite, driven by the globalization of business in the 21st century."

"The executive's life today requires 'round the clock communications with all 24 time zones," explained Dempsey. "The only time key executives are out of touch is when they fly commercially, from the time they enter the boarding line until they deplane hours later. With the pace of business today, key executives cannot afford to be incommunicado for that length of time. And that dictates the use of business jets."

NBAA encourages all Members that write similar letters to news organizations to share them with the Association.