July 30, 2010

For nearly a year, American icon and esteemed businessman Arnold Palmer has served as a voice for the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, educating Washington policymakers and opinion leaders about the value of business aviation to his Latrobe, PA company.

Palmer’s unmatched credibility and persuasive message have been attracting notice, as demonstrated at a “Meet the Administrator” held this week as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA’s) 2010 AirVenture Oshkosh event. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt told session participants: “You can’t get better as a spokesperson than Arnold Palmer…that’s powerful.”

Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who also participated in the meeting, agreed that “general aviation is critical for America.”

Highlighting the need for initiatives to communicate the value of all general aviation, including business aviation, Babbitt recognized the host of efforts undertaken by NBAA and other Associations to promote a positive image of the industry, and explain its value to the nation’s citizens, companies and communities.

As an example, Babbitt referenced a video recently produced by NBAA, featuring a doctor who explains how his business airplane takes him to multiple destinations in a single day for meetings at his company’s rural clinics. In the video, the doctor explains that his car rentals at each location once prompted his credit card company to contact him with concerns about unauthorized use of the card. “Nope, that was me!” the doctor explains, describing his multi-city mission to the credit card representative. Commenting on the doctor’s testimonial in the NBAA video, Babbitt observed: “The guy said, ‘Yes, I could do that because I have a business jet.'”

The No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign has drawn attention throughout the week, thanks in part to an Arnold Palmer ad prominently displayed on an outside wall of NBAA’s AirVenture tent, #465 on the flight line. The campaign, which educates policymakers and opinion leaders about the many benefits business aviation provides, is jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.