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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.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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Television personality Robin Roberts swung the champagne and took a ceremonial maiden voyage Aug. 23, christening the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. airship Wingfoot One.
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