June 17, 2021

Business aviation leaders reaffirmed their ongoing work with international lawmakers and regulators to ensure their understanding of the industry’s value and its work to foster greater sustainability, during a session held as part of the Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) Global 2021 virtual summit on June 17.

During the “What’s New on the Hill?” presentation, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen noted grassroots support for business aviation directly benefited the industry while working with Congress on CARES Act relief and with FAA officials in developing SFAR 118.

“Through the years we’ve built strong relationships with members of Congress and strong relationships with local communities,” he said. “The work that we have done through the years on recognizing the value of business aviation – the jobs, the economic development and the humanitarian flights – that really came to the forefront over the last 16-18 months.”

Across the Atlantic, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is dealing not only with lingering effects from the pandemic, but also “Brexit” implications and an ongoing battle to ensure fees levied against business aviation are used to support the industry.

“What we’re fighting against is taxes… [that] just evaporate into the treasury, never been to be seen again,” said EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan. “If you do impose an environmental tax or sustainability tax on the industry, then you should reinvest those proceeds into the industry.”

National Air Transport Association President and CEO Tim Obitts noted many lawmakers and others remain misinformed about the industry’s actual global carbon footprint. “We’ll ask, do you think [our] emissions are more or less than 20%?” he said, “and they’ll say more. No. What about more or less than 10%? Five%? We’re down to .04%, and then compare that to what we do for the economy.”

The leaders emphasized the industry’s multi-faceted approach to promoting greater sustainability, from current initiatives encouraging use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and book-and-claim offsets when SAF is not available at a given airport, to support electric-powered advanced air mobility vehicles.

“The good news is we have the facts on our side,” Bolen added. “Business aviation is a great industry that creates jobs, economic development, does humanitarian flights and is now demonstrating clearly our commitment to sustainability.”

Bolen also announced the 2021 Business Aviation Sustainability Summit will take place during NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) from Oct. 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV. “I think that will be a key part of galvanizing our industry on moving forward on sustainability,” he noted.