The ‘No Plane, No Gain’ Campaign Is Back, with New Twists

 - February 27, 2009, 12:30 PM

NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association revived the “No Plane, No Gain” campaign, which they introduced in 1993 to highlight the benefits of business aircraft and to help fuel passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994.

The successful passage of GARA is credited with resuscitating what had become a moribund GA manufacturing industry following years of decline in the 1980s, a recession in the early 1990s and liability lawsuits against airplanes that had been flown safely and successfully for decades.

As the industry rebounded and prospered following adoption of GARA, the program fell dormant. But in light of current attacks against business aviation by the general media and politicians, the aviation groups have resurrected the name. The new “No Plane, No Gain” campaign was announced at GAMA’s Annual Industry Review and Market Outlook Briefing February 17 in Washington, D.C.

The joint advocacy effort is intended to “reinforce the value of business aviation to American workers, policymakers, companies and communities across the U.S.” and will take advantage of new media, including a Web site, You Tube videos, podcasts and Webinars to get out the message. Paid advertising and publishing of studies and surveys that illustrate the value of business aviation will also be used.

“The contributions of business aviation to our nation’s employment, commerce, competitiveness and health are profound, but not always well understood,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are launching this new multimedia educational campaign to get the word out that business aviation is working for America.”

According to NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen, “No Plane, No Gain” will underscore why business aviation is critical to tens of thousands of cost-conscious companies fighting to succeed in a difficult market. It will also remind people of the humanitarian efforts that are possible only through this mode of transportation.
The new initiative will take full advantage of the changing ways people receive and process information today while building on proven advocacy techniques. Backed by dedicated resources from NBAA and GAMA, its approach includes:
• A dedicated Web site,, which underscores the importance of bizav and provides resources.
• Studies and surveys that will illustrate the value of business aviation, based on current, quantifiable data compiled by respected sources.
• Webinars to educate audiences about the need for business aviation and to give practical tools for justifying the use of a business airplane.
• You Tube placement and podcasts on the value of bizav.

But Bolen insisted this is not your father’s “No Plane, No Gain.” “This is not a relaunch, this is not a refresh, this is not an update,” he insisted. “What this is is an all-new media campaign, launched under a trusted banner, but specifically calibrated to meet the challenges of today and the technologies of today.” Bolen said the goal of the campaign is a perception of business aviation as being essential to the United States. “The target for our campaign is the policymakers–Capitol Hill and the Administration, and opinion leaders, and that includes the media, specifically the news media,” he explained.

There are four key messages in the initiative: business aviation means more than 1.2 million jobs; it is a lifeline into communities where there is little or no airline service; productivity–there are some missions that can be fulfilled only with business aviation; and humanitarian assistance.

“Again, we have a perception that business aviation is essential to America,” Bolen said.