Here's how Business Aviation works for America

By Doug Gollan, December 15, 2019

Private jet advocacy group No Plane No Gain has released a media presentation designed to help business aviation users explain the benefits the industry brings to the entire economy

No Plane No Gain, an advocacy group backed by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) have released a media presentation designed to correct misperceptions and explain how private aviation benefits the broad economy.

In addition the information in the deck, I’ve added some extra details. Needless to say, private aviation via fractional ownership, leases, on-demand charter, and now jet-sharing, invented the sharing economy before there was anything even called the sharing economy.


What Is Business Aviation?

Business aviation is the manufacture and use of mostly small airplanes for business transportation.

Companies of all sizes have been using business airplanes for decades. NBAA was founded in 1947 to foster an environment that allows these companies to thrive.

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Not Just Gulfstream G650s

Most business aircraft are about the size of a large SUV inside, carrying about six passengers.

They are often turboprop or piston-driven airplanes. ·

While the industry takes in aircraft of all sizes, more than 50% of all business aircraft in America are turboprops or smaller jets.

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More than the Kardashians

Companies and organizations of all kinds and sizes use these aircraft. So do schools, universities and nonprofit organizations.

Many federal, state and local government agencies, too. · oIn many states, the departments of public safety, fish and wildlife and transportation operate small Cessna 182s or Pilatus PC-12s.

And then, of course, there’s law enforcement and fire-fighting.

Many of the companies with an aircraft are small businesses. In fact, 45% of the companies using business aviation in the U.S. have fewer than 500 employees.


Your neighbors are part of the Business Aviation economy

The other side of this industry that’s very diverse is the people working in it. In thousands of towns across America, business aviation supports more than one million jobs.

Maintenance technicians, engineers, dispatchers who plan trips and flight schedules, pilots, flight attendants…line technicians who fuel, clean and marshal aircraft. And of course aircraft brokers, financial advisers, lawyers, and insurers who help make sure the aircraft is operated safely.

BizAv Works

Business Aviation adds over $200 billion to the U.S. economy

With all these high-skilled jobs, all across the country, business aviation is one of America’s most dynamic industries.

It adds $200 billion to our economy every year.

And many business aircraft are made in the U.S. In fact, the U.S. is the worldwide leader in aircraft manufacturing, making a big positive impact on America’s balance of trade.

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Connecting Communities

Business aviation is all about is connecting communities. There are over 5,000 public airports in this country.

Commercial airlines serve fewer than 500 of them. And many of even those are small, rural airports with limited service. Maybe two flights a day.

For thousands of other towns and rural communities across America, their link to the world is a general aviation airport.

They depend on that airport – and business aircraft – for mail and cargo shipping, first responder missions and business connections.

In fact, over 41% of business aircraft are flown into these towns with little or no airline service.

It’s what enables an S&P 500 software company like Jack Henry & Associates, to be based out of Monett, Missouri, where it was founded 40 years ago, one hour from the nearest commercial airport in Joplin.

Or look at a steel manufacturer serving the New York building market from Lynchburg, Virginia.

It wouldn’t be very economical to put a steel factory right across the river from New York City. And Lynchburg would lose hard-to-replace jobs if the plant moved.

A single private jet can bring $2.5 million in economic benefit to the airport and community where it’s based.

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Private jets are a time machine

Companies use business aviation to be as efficient and nimble as possible. Business aircraft are productivity multipliers – for people all across an organization, in many different roles.

On average, top management is onboard the aircraft less than half the time. The people traveling are often engineers, salespeople or IT specialists.

One of the most common reasons people travel on business aircraft is to go between company facilities in two or three different small towns.

For example, a food company flies from its Denver headquarters, down to farms in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico, then up to offices in Boise, Idaho in a single day.

It’s very common for mid-level managers to travel on business aircraft to train employees at different facilities. These people often say a private jet is a time machine, giving them more flexibility and saving days off most trips.

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Flying privately is like an office in the sky!

Two-thirds of business aircraft users say they get more work done on the airplane than at the office.

That definitely doesn’t happen when flying commercially, waiting in ticketing and security lines, standing around during boarding, delays, waiting for checked bags, and of course, seats where you can’t even open your laptop.

While on the airplane, employees can conduct meetings and discuss confidential information without fear of corporate espionage.

No Plane No Gain

Private Jet users outperform non-users

Business aircraft make an entire company more competitive.

Yup, you heard that right.

For the thousands of American companies in small towns and rural communities, it would often take three times longer to make the same journey if workers had to drive or go through commercial airline hubs.

A business aircraft enables these companies to respond to opportunities at the speed of the global economy, or solve customer problems on the same day.

An analysis of S&P 500 companies shows those that use business aviation outperform those that don’t by 70%.

A Nexa Advisors study of the Small Cap 600 showed similar results. It also showed private aviation users outperformed non-users in revenue growth by 23%.

Some 95 of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work” companies use business aircraft. They perform higher on a host of other measures, too.

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Business Aviation is first responders

One often overlooked benefit of business aviation is its role in supporting humanitarian missions.

By one recent estimate, business aircraft make 15,000 flights a year for humanitarian reasons.

This includes responding to disasters that have made national headlines.

Remember the flooding in 2019 that cut off towns in Nebraska; Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma in 2017, when hundreds of pilots flew tons of emergency supplies to affected communities; and the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

Most recently it was the Bahamas.

In each case, private aircraft from PC-12s to Global Expresses provided a critical lifeline or an air bridge for relief efforts.

Humanitarian flying is an everyday fact of life in America.

Business airplanes transport donated organs, provide medevac services and reunite veterans with their families

Hundreds of companies make empty seats available on their business aircraft, to fly patients to treatment centers and medical specialists.

Groups like Corporate Angel Network help coordinate efforts.

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Business Aviation is essential

Business aviation is essential in America, making possible all kinds of economic activity, community connections and lifesaving missions.

The industry has also been on the leading edge of developing sustainable fuels and investing in a Green future.

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If you want two local market examples of how business aviation brings money into communities, look at two major airports entirely dedicated to general aviation.

Teterboro Airport in northern New Jersey supports more than 14,900 jobs paying $868 million in annual wages and inputs more than $2.3 billion into the local economy.

Van Nuys Airport, in Los Angeles, generates $295 million in local, state and federal tax revenue annually. In other words, business aviation works for the economy, and not just for the folks flying on them.

You can download the full presentation here.

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