As the media continue to report on the CEO’s use of their private plane, Alliance members continue to make their voices heard to their local newspapers. Below is a response submitted to the Southtown Star by another Illinois-based Alliance member.
Your article “For many CEO’s private jets the only way to fly,” unfortunately revealed how little most people understand the economic impact of the GA sector in our economy, or the contributions small aircraft make to business efficiency and the business bottom line.
First, the vast majority of businesses which use small planes are not big corporations. Over 85% are small to medium sized companies, some of which are non-profits. Most of these have one airplane, which seats only two to six people and is used to fly to smaller cities and rural communities which lack airline service, and use small community airports. They visit both customers and vendors for enhanced face to face meetings.
Second, small planes are an economic lifeline to small towns. Companies using airplanes for business are often located in small towns and rural areas that have no airline service. Their planes open the door to national and global commerce.
Finally, the General Aviation sector of our economy represents 5.4 percent of our Gross Domestic Product and contributes over $600 billion to the annual economy. Aviation also provides some nine million jobs in the United States today. What we call GA is a national network of businesses, farmers, agricultural groups, local cities and towns, charitable organizations and over 5,000 small and mid-sized airports.
In today’s distressed economy, we should be supporting and encouraging General Aviation as a vital engine of economic growth for a broad spectrum of businesses, all across America.
W. G. Frick