Embattled Business Aviation Industry Fights On
“I wish I could tell you the war [of battling business aviation foes in Washington] is over, but all I can tell you is there’s a slight ceasefire,” Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said this morning at the opening session at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. “Some people just don’t get it that business aviation is one of the great economic engines of our economy and of a free-enterprise system.”
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen used the session to highlight what the organization is doing to win the war and he cataloged recent victories won despite the gridlock in Congress. In addition to FAA Reauthorization, the industry achieved reinstatement of the Block Aircraft Registration Request program, the Ex-Im Bank program for financing foreign purchases of U.S.-made aircraft and passage of the Pilots Bill of Rights.
Bill Crutchfield, chairman of Crutchfield Corp., told attendees about how he has employed business aviation to fuel his company’s growth. Crutchfield said that while people understand the “plane” part of “No Plane, No Gain,” many interpret “gain” as simply increased profits or efficiencies for those that use private aircraft. Crutchfield talked about viewing “gain” as what business aviation can do for communities at large. As an example he was able to establish a call center in an economically depressed corner of the state, decreasing poverty levels and raising the quality of life in the region.