October 30, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
Forbes Publisher Rich Karlgaard told an opening meeting of the National Business Aviation Association 2012 convention in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 30 that the business jet market will recover when the nation’s economy grows at 3 percent or better per year. “We need 4 percent to make up for lost time,” he said.
The national economy is currently growing 2 percent yearly. The economic growth rate is important because, at a rate of 3 percent or more, that is when emerging companies fair best. Those companies are the market for business aircraft, he said. The companies typically achieve $1 billion in revenue only 20 years after startup.
“This industry thrives when the needle is over 3 percent,” Karlgaard said. “This is a 3-percent-plus industry.”
Other speakers included Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee, who said, “There is a slight cease-fire in the war on business aviation. They just don’t get it.” He cited the example of past regulation on the yacht industry that nearly destroyed it.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said aviation is vital in Kansas for transporting doctors and linking small manufacturers to customers.
Aircraft Power and Fuel
Environmental groups are asking the EPA to take another look at avgas even as a government-industry program moves closer to finding unleaded alternatives.
A half-ton Dodge truck lines up on the centerline. As the pickup accelerates, the floatplane trailered behind it adds power, lifts off, banks left, and departs: just another floatplane launch by Joe Sprague of Cadillac Aircraft Services in Cadillac, Mich.
The vanishing of five U.S. Navy aircraft in 1945 remains one of the legendary mysteries of aviation, one that may soon be solved.
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