September 11: Bizav one year later
One year ago, civil airplanes were the weapon used to end the lives of more than 3,000 people on American soil. The images of three jetliners being hurled into massive, landmark buildings remain ineradicable, and aviation is still licking the wounds inflicted by the atrocities of September 11 and the downturn they accelerated. In the immediate aftermath of that dazzlingly bright but dark day late last summer, observers predicted that aviation would never be the same. While business aviation has had to adapt to new realities and further tighten its already highly secure modus operandi, it is not unrecognizable. In fact, compared with the airlines it is positively thriving. The continued exclusion of business aircraft from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, despite its powerful symbolism of government’s doubts about our operations, is the most prominent vestige of the original clampdown and is in reality no more than a regional inconvenience. Except while attending events deemed vulnerable to attack, business aviation by and large has been unshackled, thanks in no small part to NBAA’s efforts, and the most nagging fear for operators now is uncertainty over how business aviation will be treated when government redirects its glare from the airlines. Beginning on page 36, AIN looks back at an eventful 12 months for business aviation, airline and general aviation operations and what can be expected in the months ahead–operationally and, with the focus on insurance, financially.