July 3, 2011

“Now more than ever, in light of President Obama’s jabs at business aviation in his press conference, it’s important for us in the industry to raise our voices,” said Rene Banglesdorf, co-founder and CEO of Charlie Bravo Aviation, a Georgetown, TX-based broker/dealer and aircraft consulting company.

Banglesdorf is doing just that. At the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) 2011 National Conference & Business Fair in Las Vegas, NV last month, where she was a featured speaker, Banglesdorf used No Plane No Gain data to tell over 2,000 fellow women entrepreneurs about the advantages of business aviation. The conference brings together women business owners and the national corporations seeking to do business with them.

“My assigned topic was responding quickly to clients needs and having a faster speed to market—a perfect opportunity to talk about No Plane No Gain,” said Banglesdorf. “I told them that business aircraft can dramatically improve productivity and that more women-owned business should take advantage of this tool. I wasn’t talking to the Fortune 500 companies in the room; I was talking to the small business owners. I showed them the data from No Plane No Gain that 59 percent of companies operating business aircraft have fewer than 500 employees.”

The data Banglesdorf cited is from a 2009 survey conducted by Harris Interactive for NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the co-sponsors of the No Plane No Gain campaign. She also presented No Plane No Gain data showing that business aviation serves 10 times the number of U.S. airports served by the commercial airlines and that, on average, 92 percent of the most innovative companies, most admired brands and best places to work use business aircraft.

After her presentation, nearly 100 people came up to Banglesdorf to thank her and tell her that she made them consider using business aviation for the first time.

“It was an eye-opener for them,” said Banglesdorf. “These women run $100 million companies and no one’s ever educated them about the enterprise applications of business airplanes.”

Banglesdorf said it’s important to speak to audiences outside the business aviation community so that when new taxes are proposed or airport access is threatened, the industry has defenders among fellow business leaders.
“The No Plane No Gain research was done to help NBAA and GAMA advocate on the Hill,” said Banglesdorf, “but we need to step up and take the message to chambers of commerce and professional organizations. We need to spread the good news about business aviation and educate the naysayers who only see aircraft as a luxury item.”