Inside the Fence

June 23, 2009

Outtakes with insights ... thoughts that didn’t make the cover story ...

This issue’s cover story features insights from six aviation trade association leaders and one business aviation analyst. Here are a few of their thoughts from the editing file.

  • Brian Foley, Brian Foley Associates:
    “The Big Three had an impact; I won’t blame the Big Three, I blame Capitol Hill. They’re effort at jet bashing was very successful. It’s had an impact. One example is, in the past the big cabin airplanes weren’t as affected during a recession as the small and medium cabin airplanes. They seemed to be a market unto themselves and almost insulated from downturns compared to the others. But due to the bashing on Capitol Hill, the big cabin guys were affected by companies that typically buy them and were a bit spooked by the scrutiny that the government was giving to business jet operators. Thanks to Washington, all classes of cabins have been affected by this downturn.

    “Sadly, our industry is actually contracting because of this. It could be when we come out on the other side that the total employment level of this industry could be 20 percent lower than it was when we entered this in late 2008. And those folks will go off into other unrelated industries and really be lost to us forever.”

  • NBAA’s Ed Bolen:
    “We’ve got work to do. We think a community that actively speaks out about the value of its airplanes is positive. Programs like GA Serves America, which we think complements very nicely ‘noplanenogain’, those types of public relations programs; a willingness on the part of the community to speak out about the value of business aviation to their company; all of those things are important in addressing that issue.

    “It is a fundamental issue for us right now. I think how it is handled will have an impact on where we are five years from now.

    “The last Administration proposed slot auctions in New York. We think the focus should be on things we can do to expand capacity rather than manage demand. It’s an appropriate and worthwhile goal. We’d like people to focus on it being a scarce resource — how do we make it less scarce?

  • NATA’s Jim Coyne:
    “I just became an airport commissioner for an airport in Massachusetts. I’ve been to a couple of meetings and it’s pretty obvious in that environment that there is a real nervousness about the next couple of years. Declining airline revenues for a lot of airports is putting scores of them in a really, really tight spot right now.

  • AAAE’s Todd Hauptli:
    “Today, aviation contributes about 4 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions — less than cattle and farming. Aviation must continue to trim emissions, and we’re working together with other stakeholders, including aircraft operators and manufacturers. Airports can control only so much — we don’t pick aircraft routings or types of aircraft used, for instance.”

Thanks for reading.