The General Aviation Manufacturers’ Association (GAMA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) published a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on October 15 which shows that some portrayals of business aviation are inconsistent with the realities experienced in the US.
The survey found that the typical company using private aviation is a small or mid-sized business flying a single aircraft that is used by a broad mix of employees to make business trips utilising community airports, often with little or no airline service. “These findings stand in stark contrast to recent mischaracterisations of business aviation operators,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “The reality is, companies of all sizes rely on many different types of aircraft to be more competitive, productive, efficient and successful.”
The survey was conducted online and by mail within the US between June 1 and October 6 among 350 pilots, flight department managers, and directors of aviation of business aircraft operators and 289 passengers of business aircraft.
The survey found that 59 per cent of companies operating business aircraft had fewer than 500 employees, and in most cases, it was managers and other mid-level employees who used the aircraft, primarily into airports with no or few airline services.
GAMA and the NBAA have been fighting perceptions in the US that business aircraft are an expensive toy used primarily by high-level executives to excess, particularly since the start of the global financial crisis.