Businessman Extols Virtues of GA

 - March 30, 2011, 10:15 AM

British businessman and entrepreneur Lord Sugar, a 25-year veteran of business aircraft ownership, touted the benefits of aircraft at the BBGA gathering. Sugar told members that owning an aircraft had enabled him to spend one day a week in Denmark, leaving London at 6 a.m. to work an eight-hour day in his Danish office. “It’s a matter of convenience; you can get up, go and come back.” He added, “Executive time is what it is about.” He encourages business people always to travel from local airports, which for him is “an airport I can reach in ten minutes.”

His Embraer Legacy 650, the first in the UK, is registered in that country as well. “Aircraft get registered in funny places; I like my aircraft to be under the CAA, not some Caribbean island. The CAA is the authority to safeguard my aircraft: safety comes first.”

Lord Sugar changes aircraft “about every five years” but has concluded that warranties are worthless: “Almost everything is regarded as a non-essential item. A manufacturer like Embraer fully understands what a warranty means. [Owners] have to understand what is covered [and] cut through all the [small print]. After five years the hourly rate is getting expensive, so change the aircraft.” –Ian Goold