July 9, 2020
When a recent USA Today story mischaracterized the mostly small, often family-owned charter (or air-taxi) companies that received CARES Act relief help from the ravages of COVID-19 on countless businesses, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen and National Air Transportation Association President and CEO Tim Obitts cleared up the misperceptions for the paper, which is largely available in airports, and mostly focused on airline coverage.
“Air-taxi providers…requested aid for the same reason countless other small businesses did: to keep employees on the job,” Bolen and Obitts wrote in a letter to the editor published July 9. “As our country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, airplanes are flying medicines, specimens and testing supplies to patients in need and other critical missions.”
July 9, 2020
A column in USA TODAY mischaracterized a charter company, and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on many companies like it (“Trump didn’t drain the swamp. Now Biden may drown him in it,” May 21, USATODAY.com).
Customers rely on these aircraft to boost employee efficiency and productivity. But, with travel at a standstill, flights have fallen to a trickle. Air-taxi providers therefore requested aid for the same reason countless other small businesses did: to keep employees on the job.
So it is with Clay Lacy Aviation. Founded more than 50 years ago by distinguished military pilot Clay Lacy, this family-owned business is a cornerstone of the local community and provides jobs for more than 500 line workers, technicians, customer-service representatives, facility managers and other professionals, in the local area and beyond. This organization also supports aviation scholarships for countless students.
Clay Lacy Aviation — and the community-based companies like it, spread across all 50 states — are a critical part of business aviation, which supports more than one million jobs and $247 billion in economic activity. As our country grapples with the COVID-19 crisis, airplanes are flying medicines, specimens and testing supplies to patients in need and other critical missions.
The failure of any of these businesses will deal a serious blow to the ability of American companies and communities to connect with one another, to foster business success and to provide critically needed transport in times of crisis.
Tim Obitts; Arlington, Va.
President and CEO, National Air Transportation Association
Ed Bolen; Bethesda, Md.
President and CEO, National Business Aviation Association