Bolen Makes Case for Business Aviation at House Hearing

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,
Patrick Dunne (202) 783-9263,

Washington, DC, February 11, 2009 – Testifying before congressional lawmakers today, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today directly challenged those who have recently questioned the value of business aviation or mischaracterized the use of business aircraft. 

At a House Subcommittee hearing otherwise focused on future planning for the nation’s aviation system, Bolen was asked about the recent drumbeat of negative media coverage of the industry, and an emerging pattern of disparaging the use of general aviation for business purposes and calls for companies to divest of the asset.

“It’s a fact: business aviation is essential to America,” Bolen told the subcommittee. “Unfortunately, an understanding of that reality is not reflected in calls for companies to divest of their business airplanes.

“Instead, such proposals are prompted by a caricature of business aviation that is totally unrepresentative of our community, and dangerous,” Bolen continued. “It’s dangerous because it’s costing jobs. It’s dangerous because it is threatening an entire manufacturing base. It’s dangerous because it is taking away a tool many companies absolutely rely on to remain competitive and survive, especially in this unforgiving marketplace.  

“Business aviation may not be appropriate in every instance,” Bolen said. “But I can tell you this: If you are trying to reach one of the approximately 100 cities that’s lost airline service in the past year, business aviation is prudent and cost effective. If you are trying to reach several sites in a single day, business aviation is prudent and cost effective.

“If you need to move a team quickly, and have them work on proprietary information en route, business aviation is prudent and cost effective. And, if you’re trying to move equipment that you can’t ship or carry on an airline, business aviation is prudent and cost effective. 

“Make no mistake about it: Business aviation is a key ingredient in the nation’s economic activity and well being. In a challenging climate like this, it should be promoted, not disparaged.

“Instead of telling companies that they can’t use a general aviation aircraft to compete, survive and protect jobs, we should be looking for ways to increase general aviation manufacturing jobs, promote economic growth in communities without airline service and support companies’ efforts to be as productive and efficient as possible.”

Review Bolen’s written testimony.

Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

Members of the media may receive NBAA Press Releases immediately via e-mail. To subscribe to the NBAA Press Release e-mail list, submit the online form at