NBAA Challenges Wall Street Journal

Friday, June 24, 2011 - 6:00am

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has taken the Wall Street Journal to task over "Corporate Jet Set: Leisure vs. Business." The story, published in the June 16 edition of the business daily, asserts that companies frequently use business aircraft for vacation travel by C-level employees. The 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 the NBAA opposes the DOT's proposed changes to BARR, citing 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.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy