Posted by Courtney E. Howard
The 64th annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) meeting and convention opened today, 10 Oct. 2011, with an inspiring, thought-provoking General Session. NBAA’s president and CEO, Ed Bolen, revealed that 25,000 professionals are in attendance at this year’s event—an increase over last year’s numbers, before cutting the ribbon on the expansive exhibit floor.
Business aviation has experienced what many on the show floor have characterized as a “roller coaster ride”—with extreme highs and lows. In just a few months, however, the market seems to have stabilized; the mood is high and both attendees and exhibitors are optimistic about the short and long term. Yet, as speakers at the NBAA General Session indicated, it’s not all smooth sailing.
“We are in a fight for our industry,” Bolen described, referring to business aviation coming under fire. “The industry is being bullied.”
Politicians are scrutinizing, and looking to impose a tax on, general aviation. Reportedly, politicians began subjecting the general aviation industry to scrutiny, accompanied by accusations of corporate greed and excess, as a kneejerk reaction to disgust over CEOs of “the big three” automakers flying on private jets to Washington to plea for bailout money back in 2008.
“General aviation is a good industry, and business aviation is a proud part of that,” Bolen continued. He called for the industry to push back against negative characterizations, as well as to come together, unite, and make its voice heard.
Avionics Intelligence wants to hear your voice. How do you feel about the proposed tax on, and the recent personification, general aviation?