Business aviation is the use of any “general aviation” aircraft for a business purpose. The Federal Aviation Administration defines general aviation as all flights that are not conducted by the military or the scheduled airlines. As such, business aviation is a part of general aviation that focuses on the business use of airplanes and helicopters.
The business aviation community consists of companies of all sizes that rely on many different types of aircraft – from single-pilot airplanes, to turbine aircraft that fly internationally, to helicopters that survey rush-hour traffic – and the fixed-base operations and many other services that support flight operations at the nation’s 5,000 public-use airports. The vast majority of businesses in this community – 97 percent – are small- to mid-size businesses and other entities including nonprofit organizations. The tens of thousands of businesses in the business aviation community are:
Business aviation is a diverse composite of entrepreneurs and organizations – nonprofits and companies of all sizes – located in all parts of the United States, often in small towns and rural areas. Business aircraft can range from helicopters to fixed-wing turbine or propeller airplanes, with the prop- and turboprop-driven categories composing the majority of America’s business aviation fleet.
To see the range of business aviation operators, Review NBAA member profiles.
Safe and Secure
The business aviation community and the federal government have adopted many security measures to harden the industry against terrorist threats. NBAA works to ensure that the businesses in its membership have secure and reliable access to airspace and airports across the country.
Learn more about business aviation safety.
Economic Drivers, Essential to the National Interest
Contributing significantly to the national economy, state and local economies, business aviation is often an economic lifeline for areas with limited options for business transportation. Business aviation also provides vital air transportation in times of public need, including fire and rescue and medical evacuation services, and represents an essential transportation link for communities without scheduled airline service.
Learn more about the economic impact of business aviation.
Updated in November 2015, the Business Leaders on Business Aviation publication collects the voices of 25 CEOs from some of the country’s most dynamic and widely known companies, affirming how business aviation works for their companies.
NBAA’s Business Aviation Fact Book is a broad overview of the industry – a shareable resource designed for professionals and advocates as well as newcomers, the general public and civic leaders.
NBAA’s Airports Handbook makes a compelling case for the importance of general aviation airports and their economic and social contributions to surrounding communities and the nation.
The Real World of Business Aviation: 2018 Survey of Companies Using General Aviation Aircraft
This 2018 Harris Poll survey demonstrates that business aviation is a vital tool for companies of all sizes, enabling passengers to use their travel time more effectively and efficiently than alternatives, while also providing critical lift to smaller communities and areas in need of emergency relief.
Download the study (409 KB, PDF)
Business Aviation and Top Performing Companies 2017
This 2017 NEXA Advisors study shows that whether in today’s growing economic environment or during the nation’s most challenging economic conditions, business aviation contributes meaningfully to a company’s enterprise value and continues to be a powerful tool of the best-managed companies in America.
Download the study (2.3 MB, PDF)
The Real World of Business Aviation: 2015 Survey of Companies Using General Aviation Aircraft
The 2015 edition of this study conducted by Harris Poll confirms that business aviation continues to provide the same benefits that have traditionally been associated with its use, including – but not limited to – greater efficiency and flexibility in travel scheduling; heightened employee productivity while en route; access from secondary cities to larger metropolitan areas for exploring business opportunities; and a means of business transport to augment airline travel, as needed.
Download the study (350 KB, PDF)
Contribution of General Aviation to the U.S. Economy in 2013
Conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and funded by eight general aviation associations, including NBAA, this 2015 study determined that general aviation supports 1.1 million total jobs and supplies $219 billion in total economic output in the United States. These numbers include direct, indirect, induced and enabled impacts. A related narrative report, titled “The Wide Wings and Rotors of General Aviation,” captures some of the stories behind the industry’s significant economic and community impact throughout the United States.
Business Aviation and the World’s Top Performing Companies
Part V in the NEXA Advisors series found that on a global level, companies using business aviation overwhelmingly take top honors in revenue growth, innovation, employee satisfaction, and market share, confirming that business aircraft are a mark of a well-managed global company.
Download the study (2.1 MB, PDF)
Business Aviation: Maintaining Shareholder Value Through Turbulent Times
Part IV in the NEXA Advisors series examined the performance of S&P 500 companies during the Great Recession between 2007 and 2012 and determined that companies that utilize business aviation consistently outperform organizations that don’t, even in tough economic times.
Download the study (3 MB, PDF)
Government Use of Aircraft: A Taxpayer Value Perspective
Part III in the NEXA Advisors series shows that local, state and federal government use of business aircraft increases agency or departmental efficiency and provides significant taxpayer value.
Download the study (2.1 MB, PDF)
Business Aviation: An Enterprise Value Perspective – Small and Medium Enterprises
Part II in the NEXA Advisors series examined whether the use of business aircraft provided benefits to small and medium businesses, measured in terms of shareholder and enterprise value. The analysis showed that small and medium companies in America that used business aviation consistently outperformed nonusers.
Download the study (3.7 MB, PDF)
Business Aviation: An Enterprise Value Perspective – The S&P 500
Part I in a series of studies conducted by NEXA Advisors, this study examined the performance of S&P 500 companies between 2003 and 2009 and determined that business aircraft users outperformed nonusers in several important financial measures.
Download the study (4 MB, PDF)