NBAA Takes WSJ To Task over Bizjet Tracker Story

 - June 21, 2011, 5:25 AM

 “Corporate Jet Set: Leisure vs. Business,” a story published in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal that asserts companies frequently use business aircraft for vacation travel by C-level employees, caught the quick attention of NBAA. To add insult to injury, the business newspaper also created the WSJ Jet Tracker, which allows users to search flight records for all U.S.-registered jets–even ones enrolled in the Blocked Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program–from 2007 to 2010. In a letter to the editor, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said the story overlooked the value of business aviation as a competitive asset and instead focused only on non-business use of an airplane. “A view of business aviation beyond the select list of flights included in your story would reveal that for the most part, businesspeople use an airplane to reach towns with little or no airline service, work more efficiently and productively while in flight, and be more nimble and competitive in a global marketplace,” Bolen said. He added that the interactive Jet Tracker is precisely the reason that NBAA is fighting the DOT from effecting proposed changes to BARR. “We have documented instances in which business flights have been tracked by competitors interested in who or where their customers were or where an acquisition target might be…that’s why [we] are actively opposing the government’s plan to roll back the long-standing program.”