General aviation, including business aviation, is a vital contributor to the economy in every state, and in November, the governor of Texas officially recognized the industry for the important role it plays. Every state, in addition to hundreds of communities throughout the United States, have highlighted general aviation over the years for its contributions to the success of companies and citizens around the country.
Destin, FL-based Dr. Jordan Harper, DMD, used his Cirrus SR22TN to “give back to people who got hammered [by Hurricane Michael],” adding, “It could easily have been us that got leveled.” Harper was an early volunteer with Operation Airdrop, which organizes aircraft owners to deliver needed supplies as soon as temporary flight restrictions allow private flights to enter disaster areas. Now a 501(c)(3) organization with about 3,000 members, it grew out of a Facebook group of concerned pilots who wanted to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Seven dedicated runners represented Patient AirLift Services (PALS) in the TCS New York City Marathon Nov. 4, raising funds to help PALS continue their mission of providing free air transportation for individuals with immediate medical needs such as medical diagnosis, treatment or follow-up appointments. The PALS in Motion team runners have raised more than $60,000 since their first NYC Marathon in 2016.
In the hours following a natural disaster, business aircraft often provide a vital lifeline for delivering critical supplies to devastated areas cut off from ground transportation by floodwaters and storm damage. Recently, a father-and-son pilot team helped Florida panhandle residents in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Michael. “No matter the size of our aircraft, most of us in aviation will quickly jump in and help when help is needed,” said Robert Lucas.
Lafayette College, in Easton, PA, recently featured an article about alumni who “rule the skies of business aviation,” calling it an industry that continues to grow as more companies choose to either purchase or charter their own aircrafts rather than rely on commercial flights for business travel. “It’s about becoming more efficient and productive from a business perspective,” noted Gil Wolin, publisher of Business Aviation Advisor, who was one of those featured in the article. “Time is really the only nonrenewable resource.”
General aviation, including business aviation, is a vital contributor to the economy in every state, and in October, the governors of Louisiana and West Virginia officially recognized the industry for the important role it plays. Every state, in addition to hundreds of communities throughout the United States, have highlighted general aviation over the years for its contributions to the success of companies and citizens around the country.
The latest survey conducted by The Harris Poll demonstrates the clear value of business aviation’s ability to provide an efficient form of air transportation to companies of all sizes, particularly those located in small communities that have little to no access to commercial airline service. The consensus from the survey – “The Real World of Business Aviation: 2018 Survey of Companies Using General Aviation Aircraft” – is that business aviation works to make companies run more efficiently and keep communities connected when commercial airline service is not an option.
Recognition of aviation’s contribution to the community it serves is key to building the support for aviation as a whole. It takes many forms, including specialty license plates. Two of newest are available in Colorado and Oklahoma. “Creating a specialty plate does more than recognize aviation’s contributions,” said Steve Hadley, southwest regional representative and senior director of NBAA’s regional programs. “It is an opportunity for the different aviation organizations within the state to join together as a team working toward a common goal.”
The Air Care Alliance (ACA) applauded the recent passage of The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which includes a provision that volunteer pilots who conduct flights to help those in need on behalf of nonprofit organizations will no longer have to worry about liability in excess of the limits of their insurance coverage. Pilots who have refrained from charitable flying because of these concerns can now join the ranks of countless thousands of other volunteers who contribute their skills and resources for the public good.
Reisch is the founder of the Reisch Law Firm, a personal injury and criminal defense law firm with headquarters in Denver, CO. Also a seasoned pilot, Reisch flies a Piper Malibu around the state to make court appearances and meet with clients, saving time and money for his clients as well as his law firm. “The plane is a time machine,” said Reisch. “I learned to fly because it was something I wanted to do, but the airplane has really turned into a very valuable tool for work.”