Pharmaceutical firm sells off fleet

 - August 29, 2008, 6:16 AM

After more than 40 years operating business aircraft, Bristol-Myers Squibb is shutting down its Trenton, N.J.-based flight department. The company will sell its two Gulfstream Vs and Sikorsky S76Cs and terminate employment of 32 pilots, mechanics and department personnel. “Bristol-Myers is one of the founders of the NBAA,” said Christopher Griffin, v-p for aviation. Bristol-Myers vice president Palmer “Bud” Lathrop helped launch NBAA by inviting other business aircraft operators to a meeting at the Wings Club in New York City on May 17, 1946. After agreeing to form an organization to represent business aviation interests, Lathrop wrote to presidents of companies that might be interested and invited them to a meeting held on Nov. 21, 1946. The sixteen companies represented at the meeting provisionally launched the Corporation Aircraft Owners Association, which eventually became NBAA. Bristol-Myers was one of the original 19 companies that attended the first annual meeting on Sept. 24, 1947.