Safety has always been business aviation’s top priority, and each year in this space, I highlight the latest initiatives to reduce accident rates.
But this year is different. Today, we face an unprecedented global challenge that impacts not only business aviation, but our entire way of life: the COVID-19 pandemic.
As soon as we realized that the rapidly spreading virus was going to severely curtail travel, the NBAA team began working on new ways to support you.
We introduced two new communications channels – the NBAA News Hour interactive webinar series and the NBAA Inside Daily news service – to help you navigate the challenges of this COVID-19 moment. Also, a new resource on NBAA’s website – nbaa.org/coronavirus – provides tools to help members deal with the legal, medical, operational, technical and other aspects of flying in this new environment.
We also have redoubled our efforts to communicate to government officials the importance of business aviation to the nation’s economy and transportation system, especially as we deal with the economic fallout of the pandemic.
For example, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act contained NBAA-initiated provisions to assist business aviation, including:
- Loans and grants that can apply to GA commercial operators, repair stations and other small- to mid-size aviation businesses.
- $100 million in GA airport funding.
- A temporary suspension of federal excise taxes for commercial operators.
NBAA advocacy also led to a series of recent, favorable FAA accommodations for industry:
- Part 135 operators were allowed to temporarily forgo certain training requirements.
- Certain personnel were granted additional time to complete recurrent and upgrade training and qualification activities.
- Aviators were allowed to continue flying if their airmen medical certificates expired between March 31 and June 30.
- A COVID-19-driven attempt to limit access to GA airports in Puerto Rico was thwarted, reaffirming the island’s airfields as part of a national, unified airport system.
As always, NBAA has continued to correct misleading news accounts about business aviation and highlight how the industry has helped communities deal with the crisis. Pages 12 and 13 of this edition of Business Aviation Insider feature just a few examples; more can be found on our website.
I am proud that the people and companies of business aviation are working to support each other, exemplifying our industry’s humanitarian spirit, especially at a time of crisis. As we all work to recover from the coronavirus, my thanks to you for your continued support of NBAA.