Business aviation is the use of any “general aviation” aircraft for a business purpose. The Federal Aviation Administration defines general aviation as all flights that are not conducted by the military or the scheduled airlines. As such, business aviation is a part of general aviation that focuses on the business use of airplanes and helicopters.
The business aviation community consists of companies of all sizes that rely on many different types of aircraft – from single-pilot airplanes, to turbine aircraft that fly internationally, to helicopters that survey rush-hour traffic – and the fixed-base operations and many other services that support flight operations at the nation’s 5,000 public-use airports. The vast majority of businesses in this community – 97 percent – are small- to mid-size businesses and other entities including nonprofit organizations.
Business aviation is a diverse composite of entrepreneurs and organizations – nonprofits and companies of all sizes – located in all parts of the United States, often in small towns and rural areas. Business aircraft can range from helicopters to fixed-wing turbine or propeller airplanes, with the prop-and turboprop- driven categories composing the majority of America’s business aviation fleet.
Business aviation is often an economic lifeline for areas with limited options for business transportation. Business aviation also provides vital air transportation in times of public need, including fire and rescue and medical evacuation services, and represents an essential transportation link for communities without scheduled airline service.