March 27, 2019
A recent Bloomberg story published in Crain’s Chicago Business offered mischaracterizations about ethics among business aviation companies, and the broad negative brush with which the story painted the industry prompted a response from NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Your piece presents a few cherry-picked anomalies as an industry norm, doing a disservice to professionals in an essential industry for Chicago and the nation,” Bolen wrote.
Read Bolen’s full submission to the newspaper’s letters editor in support of business aviation:
To the editor:
Your article on business aviation (“The Super-Rich Are Being Scammed on Their Private Jets,” March 7) caricatures an industry that supports over a million jobs and meets critical transportation needs.
In contrast to your portrayal, the majority of companies using an airplane are small- to mid-size businesses, relying on aircraft for efficient access to destinations worldwide. Chicago is home to dozens of such companies, like one that needs its airplane to transport laser-measuring equipment that is too large for an airliner’s overhead bin, and too delicate to be jostled in a cargo hold. Across Illinois, business aviation activity by companies like this one drives billions in economic activity and supports tens of thousands of jobs.
Equally troubling was the broad brush with which you painted a diverse composite of industry service providers: caterers, attorneys, tax experts, insurers, maintenance specialists, brokers and many others. In Chicago and across the U.S., these companies – which are typically small, family-owned operations – conduct business under a widely adopted industry code of ethics, part of which focuses on the types of transactions you mentioned.
In short, your piece presents a few cherry-picked anomalies as an industry norm, doing a disservice to professionals in an essential industry for Chicago and the nation. It’s unfortunate your article could lead readers to believe otherwise.
President and CEO, National Business Aviation Association