Jan. 6, 2014

From government shutdowns to threatened control tower closures to mandated sleep apnea screenings, business aviation faced a slate of obstacles throughout the past year.

In those examples and others, NBAA and its Member Companies presented a passionate and united voice in sharing their concerns with lawmakers and others – and that voice will be vital in meeting additional challenges in 2014.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen noted that it already appears likely that 2014 will bring with it a significant need for advocacy and vigilance on behalf of the industry’s interests.

“We must remain as vocal with lawmakers as we have ever been, celebrating positive developments while also remaining vigilant for potential setbacks,” said Bolen. “The only way we can continue to shape our industry’s destiny is to make sure that lawmakers in Washington hear our strong, collective voice.”

Several resources are available for Members to make their feelings known to lawmakers on the issues affecting business aviation. For example, Contact Congress provides a means for business aviation professionals to engage directly with their elected officials about the policies most important to them. View the Contact Congress Advocacy tool.

“The most important thing for us is to make sure we’re communicating with our elected officials,” said Jay Mesinger, president of Mesinger Jet Sales, speaking of last year’s efforts to reopen the FAA Aircraft Registry office in the midst of the government shutdown. “One of the best vehicles for [advocacy] is the NBAA website. Go there and hit the Contact Congress button.”

Of course, direct communication with local officials and other members of the community remains one of the most beneficial means of advocating for the industry. As the shutdown continued, aircraft broker and NBAA Member Robin Eissler of Jet Quest Inc. in Georgetown, TX, contacted a local television station to alert the news outlet to the plight of her aircraft sales company and more than a dozen others in the same town. That resulted in a feature story on KXAN-TV the following evening. Read more about the feature story.

On a more personal level, NBAA Member Company Universal Weather and Aviation recently unveiled a simple effort to engage in discussions about the industry: distribution of 3,000 No Plane No Gain lapel pins for their employees to wear and share with the aviation representatives and government officials around the world.

“We’re encouraging our global community of employees, partners and clients to proudly wear their No Plane No Gain pins and to share the message and true story of business aviation as they work with officials and businesses in their home regions,” said Greg Evans, chairman of the board of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. and vice chairman of NBAA’s Associate Member Advisory Council.

“We hope the pins will serve as conversation starters that will enable our employees to help educate the many officials that they regularly interact with about the value of business aviation,” Evans added.

Learn more about NBAA’s Advocacy tools.