Up Front: July 2011

Our fourth annual Buyers' Guide has arrived. We've packed its pages with everything you need to know to be a smart business aviation consumer in this slow-to-recover economy, including the latest information on new aircraft models, financing, insurance, catering, completions, cabin electronics, FBOs and more. If you're looking for the facts about private aviation, you've come to the right place.

Unfortunately, facts about the industry continue to be in short supply among the general public. The mainstream media deserves much of the blame for this, as it often portrays business aviation inaccurately and fails to report on its role in increasing productivity and producing jobs. But some private jet travelers deserve part of the blame, too, because they treat their use of this industry as if it were a dirty little secret. That's a serious mistake.

Whether you're currently benefiting from private jet travel or are just beginning to consider the possibilities, you need to speak up about what you're doing and why. Next time a reporter, stockholder or friend asks you about business aviation, don't say, "no comment" or change the subject. Instead, explain why flying privately makes sense for you, your company, your shareholders, your family and the economy.
With that in mind, here's a list of 10 points you can make about why you fly privately or are about to start. The list was compiled with the help of Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association.

• We absolutely cannot risk flight cancellations, which would cause us to miss meetings and could therefore be extremely costly to the company.

• We're visiting several of our stores/plants/factories across the country. This trip–which will take a few days with a business jet–would have required weeks to do via the airlines.

• The multiple locations we're visiting are not directly accessible via the airlines.

• We've run the numbers on this trip, and we can complete the mission at lower cost with business aviation than we could using the airlines.

• We need to allow for possible changes to our travel itinerary.

• We're flying our CEO and other top executives, who will be discussing proprietary and sensitive information aboard this flight.

• We're carrying parts/equipment/precious/medical materials that cannot be shipped as cargo.

• Today's business trip is being combined with a humanitarian mission.

• We're proud to be supporting the men and women whose livelihoods depend on general aviation and the existence of regional airports.

• Flying privately allows us to be more productive and efficient, thereby adding to our company's bottom line.

Sharing your reasons for using business aviation can make a big difference. Which reminds me: If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to fill out the reader survey enclosed with this issue. Or, if you prefer, complete it online at www.BJTonline.com/survey. The results will be published in our October/November 2011 issue and are certain to impact the business aviation community.

Thank you from all of us for your input and support.

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