National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen Dec. 6 reported on the progress of the “No Plane, No Gain” campaign—an effort jointly sponsored with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). “No Plane, No Gain” was started in February 2009 with the goal of asserting business aviation’s vital role in creating more than 1.2 million U.S. jobs, providing services to small and mid-sized communities (many of which lost airline service in the recession), boosting productivity, and carrying out humanitarian missions.
Bolen recalled how the Nov. 19, 2008, trips by auto executives to Washington, D.C., damaged business aviation’s image, and how NBAA responded by taking out cable television and print ads to advocate general aviation’s usefulness to the American economy. This, after previous efforts—with AOPA having a central role—fighting an airline-led effort to shift taxes and impose user fees on GA during the FAA reauthorization debates from 2006 to 2008. However, Bolen said, print and media ads aren’t enough these days, so the “No Plane, No Gain” website was created to serve as a tool for the entire business flying community to use in advancing the cause.
The website has a number of useful features in its “toolkit” drop-down menu. These inform owners and operators about the advantages of maintaining accurate flight records, and creating plans for both internal and external communications strategies designed to emphasize the economics and benefits of operating business aircraft.
The association also has released the “2010 NBAA Business Aviation Fact Book”, which presents the value of business aviation.
“There is a lot of bad information out there, and so we conducted surveys that turned up some surprisingly effective results,” Bolen said. “For example, contrary to the image of business aviation as predominantly involving the use of large-cabin business jets to ferry CEOs of large corporations, we learned that small and medium-sized companies fly business aircraft the most. And a study of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies revealed that those who use business aviation far outperform those who don’t.”
As a result of the “No Plane, No Gain” ad campaigns, Bolen said that lawmakers and opinion-shapers have turned a corner. Those who once were opposed to the idea of business aviation, or were neutral to the idea, are now supportive. “And if lawmakers see business aviation as essential, then they’ll be willing to help in our effort,” he said.