Your recent piece, “Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley soars across the globe, and so do collateral costs” (8/17/14), fundamentally disconnected why so many individuals and organizations rely on a general aviation airplane for business. The reason tens of thousands of companies of all sizes, government agencies at the federal, state and local levels, even schools and nonprofit groups, rely on business aviation is to take advantage of the enormous efficiencies and productivity boosts this mode of transportation provides.
Business aviation is a tool that successful organizations and individuals use to make possible productive travel, including the ability to access three or four locations in a single day. So it is no surprise that global business leaders, small-business entrepreneurs, public officials whose time is in demand, and many others, use airplanes to meet their business needs.
In fact, it is often the case that business aviation is not only the most prudent and efficient option, but also the only option. Consider the logistical impossibility of making travel stops in multiple locations in a single day – especially in the thousands of communities that have little or no scheduled airline service – and the reasons for using a business airplane become clear. The story’s own accounts of several flights, including to seven communities in a single day hard hit by tornadoes, highlighted this reality. Unfortunately, the article didn’t connect these dots to the larger picture of business aviation’s value.
Ed Bolen is President and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association.