By Jack Olcott
During his successful bid for a second term, President Obama often bashed corporate jets as he called for greater revenues from the wealthy. So what will he do now as he attempts to negotiate a solution to the impending spending cuts and tax increases that will take place automatically, unless Congress and the administration agree on legislative changes? Is the Business Aviation community about to see higher costs of utilization and reduced access to airspace?
I trust that President Obama’s heated campaign rhetoric will fade as he seeks to facilitate business and stimulate economic growth. Surely he appreciates the unique value of Business Aviation. He and his cabinet members could not accomplish their critical work for our nation without business aircraft such as Air Force 1. Nor could Candidate Obama have reached so many voters without using the nation’s “corporate jet.”
It’s The Economy…
While voters in the November 6th election were nearly equally divided in their support of the Democratic and Republican candidates, they were in agreement about the economy. Researchers conducting exit surveys documented that economic recovery and job creation are top priorities among all voters, regardless of political affiliation. Since Business Aviation facilitates economic expansion and job creation, bashing corporate jets should be a waste of time for politicians. Members of Congress as well as administration officials know how vital Business Aviation is to the successful conduct of a corporation’s activities, domestically as well as internationally. Politicians also know that transportation in all forms — airlines and Business Aviation — is a necessity.
The Obama administration recognizes that scheduled airlines focus on about 35 hub cities throughout the USA. Servicing rural America is not an airline priority. But opportunities for job growth exist in the hinterlands, and only Business Aviation is able to support the needs of industry to develop commerce and jobs in rural America. U.S. industry requires access to places that the airlines do not serve and do not want to serve, since their business model is aimed at capturing the high-load factors that exist for travel between hub cities.
Once entrepreneurs and expanding companies establish new plants and markets in remote locations, scheduled airline service is bound to follow. Thus Business Aviation eventually results in more public transportation. Until such development occurs, however, businessmen and women need the advantages that only business aircraft provide.
Business leaders have powerful ammunition with which to counter negative, populous corporate jet bashing should the Obama administration elect to spend its precious political capital on such diversions. Clearly our community will be heard and respected as programs such as the No Plane No Gain efforts of GAMA and NBAA continue to communicate the benefits of Business Aviation.
Transportation enables economic growth and improved quality of life — two outcomes that all the American public wants from the second term of President Obama’s administration. The Obama administration also wants to facilitate economic expansion, encourage job growth and improve the living standard of all Americans. Business Aviation is an essential component of our nation’s transportation system that will help the new administration achieve its goals. I expect our politicians to respect that fact.