When business aviation is featured in the media, it’s usually about celebrities or excess. The truth couldn’t be further, explains the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association

 

Business aviation drives the economy in all 50 states generating over $200 billion in economic benefits, but one area that rarely gets recognition is the industry’s contributions to those in need. 

 

“If you look at 2017 and look back at the natural disasters we had out there and the challenges that we had for the industry, our companies really had a banner year in being able to go out and do projects and bring the community together,” noted GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce during a recent state of the industry conference as outlined on the website NoPlaneNoGain.com.

 

Among the ways private jets helped out, Bunce outlined the following:

 

  • America’s top companies, including half of the top 100 in the Fortune 500, contributed to Corporate Angel Network (CAN), the only charitable organization whose sole mission is to fly cancer patients, both children and adults, for treatment at no cost to them on empty seats in business airplanes. The volunteer efforts of CAN not only improve patients’ chances of survival but reduce their emotional stress, physical discomfort and financial burden. CAN has coordinated 55,000 patient flights since its founding in 1981.
  • GE Aviation employees donated more than 158,000 hours in more than 50 communities around the globe, contributing to 1,267 projects through “GE Volunteers.”
  • The Veterans Airlift Command, which provides free air transportation primarily to post 9/11 combat wounded veterans and their families through a network of 2,600 volunteer pilots and aircraft, flew approximately 1,600 passengers in 2017.
  • Williams International raised donations in employee and company matching gifts for hurricane victims, including $12,050 for Hurricane Harvey victims and $6,590 for the victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
  • Two Williams International employees volunteered their time, fuel and airplanes to help deliver 19,000 gifts in December through Michigan in support of Operation Good Cheer, an annual, all-volunteer gift-giving program of Michigan Child and Family Services.
  • Click Bond supported the Angel Tree Program in Carson City, NV. The program, run through the local school district, provides cold weather clothing and food baskets for families in need.
  • Mooney International hosted a blood drive for employees at its South Texas factory to help hurricane victims. A total of 24 pints of blood – equal to 72 lives saved – were donated by employees.
  • True Blue Power hosted a food drive for the Kansas Food Bank and Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, donating over 9,000 pounds of food.
  • Gulfstream and its employees donated more than $2 million to the United Way of the Coastal Empire and employees logged more than 25,000 hours of community service.

About the Author Doug Gollan

I am Founder and Editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, the only independent buyer's guide to jet card membership programs, and DG Amazing Experiences, a weekly luxury travel e-newsletter for private jet owners. I am also a contributor to Forbes.com