July 6, 2020

When Salon magazine recently published a COVID-19 related article including mischaracterizations about business aviation, and outright misstatements of fact about NBAA, the association was quick to respond, leading the publication to correct its own story.

First, Salon falsely reported on NBAA’s spending to advocate before Washington policymakers, on behalf of the thousands of small and mid-sized businesses using an airplane to meet their transportation needs. Bolen noted in a letter responding to Salon’s account. “In truth, NBAA spent less on lobbying in the first quarter of 2020 than it has in any first quarter over the last four years,” Bolen said. “A simple call to our offices would’ve corrected your mistake, but apparently, that call was never made.”

More troubling for Bolen, though, was the publication’s decision to “Ignore the very real impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the business aviation industry, and the legitimate need for assistance,” Bolen said, adding that tens of thousands of workers have been laid off, sales of airplanes and avionics have been severely disrupted, and flights at many airports dipped by half or more.

“This aid has predominantly helped small businesses, which typically employ about 20 people or less on average, to keep workers on the job and reach far-off customers, plants and locations, especially in rural regions of the country, as well as to support critical services and humanitarian missions for communities, which is more important than ever in this COVID moment,” Bolen added.

Read the full article, which in amended form includes several of Bolen’s corrections and clarifications.