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Bolen Refutes The Washington Post's Misrepresentation of Business Aviation

March 25, 2015

On March 16, The Washington Post ran a blog item titled, "The perks of private flying," which offered a distortion of those who use business aviation and why. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen presented a realistic view of business aviation in a letter to the editor published on the newspaper's website on March 25.

Read the letter on The Washington Post's website.

The benefits of flying private
March 25, 2015

The March 16 blog item “The perks of private flying” offered a caricature of who typically flies aboard a business airplane and why. Despite the suggestion that only few have access to aircraft for business purposes, studies have shown that most companies using an airplane for business are small and mid-size enterprises, and most often, the people aboard are not C-suite employees, but instead are managers and other mid-level employees.

Here are a couple of other facts that were missed: For companies of all sizes all across the United States, business aviation multiplies employees’ efficiency, productivity and flexibility of travel. People can reach multiple locations in a day, work productively while en route and reach newly discovered opportunities on a moment’s notice. Available data highlight the value of these benefits: Studies have repeatedly shown that companies using business aviation routinely outperform, by a host of measurements, companies that choose not to use business aviation.  

Of course, business aviation benefits communities as well as companies. In towns without airline service, a company’s use of a business airplane means that its facility, and the jobs it creates, can remain in those locations. Separately, but equally important, companies often provide the use of their aircraft to reunite military veterans with their families, transport patients to facilities for treatment and provide assistance to victims of natural disasters.

While it may be tempting to use broad generalizations about the way business aircraft are most often used in America today, let’s not neglect the importance of business aviation as a crucial competitive asset to companies, an economic driver and lifeline to communities large and small. 

Ed Bolen, Bethesda

The writer is president and chief executive of the National Business Aviation Association.