The public has frowned upon the use of private jets for business since the chief executive officers of the United States' "Big 3" automakers flew in theirs to tell Congress how broke their companies were. In light of the nation's continual struggle to get back on solid financial ground, those who still believe private jets demonstrate opulence and extravagance should face the facts: private jets are not only good for business, they're good for the economy.
Contributions to the economy
Business aviation contributes $150 billion to the U.S. economy. The industry employs more than 1.2 million people in the way of pilots, dispatchers, engineers, manufacturers, mechanics, technicians, airport workers, FBO staff and more.
The benefits also extend to those who may not directly use business aviation. This includes communities with little or no airline service, recipients of humanitarian efforts, businesses that operate in more remote locations and others. An organization dedicated to reinstate the honor and validity of using private jets for business, Noplanenogain.org, offers some facts about airplanes, airline travel and private aircraft.
Necessity, not luxury
For the companies that use private jets, the machines aren't a luxury: they're a necessity and often short on glamour. The most commonly used jet for business is the Cessna CJ1, which has an 11' x 4'9" cabin and seats five passengers. This small plane needs only 3,250 feet of runway to take off, so it can alight on any of the 5,000 public-use airports scattered throughout the nation's suburbs, small towns and back country, as well as land at small city airports abandoned by airlines decades ago.
If two companies are competing for business, the one using a business aircraft can fly directly to one of those smaller airports and get to lunch with the client before the other guys taking the commercial airlines show up. And the business people with the corporate jets won't just arrive faster; they'll also show up better prepared. After all, most companies send teams of people, and in their own airplane they're free to discuss confidential information or polish up that PowerPoint presentation.
Business jets are also widely employed by the government for search and rescue missions, surveillance, medical evacuations and crew training. Such aircraft are also valued as speedy, secure executive transportation that is appreciated and used by high-ranking military and civilian officials, including many members of Congress and even the president.