Feb. 26, 2019

In February 2009, NBAA and GAMA joined forces to highlight a series of new No Plane No Gain advocacy initiatives.

In their announcement, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen and GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce detailed the components of the multimedia campaign, being launched under a trusted industry banner. The program, they said, would focus on educating policymakers and opinion leaders about the important contributions from business aviation to cities, companies and communities across the United States.

The announcement was a timely one, in part because the Great Recession was fueling renewed criticism in and outside Washington, DC about the use of business aviation.

Both associations recently marked the campaign’s 10-year anniversary with an ongoing commitment to the campaign’s effective and multifaceted approach to showcasing the industry’s value.

Shortly after the announcement about the program was made, the two associations immediately took to the airwaves, with 30-second television spots broadcast during a series of network public affairs shows, including nationwide placement on ABC’s “This Week,” as well as placement on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and FOX’s “FOX News Sunday” in select markets. The advertising also includes ad placements on DC-area cable television networks including FOX, CNN, CNBC and MSNBC.

Fulfilling another pledge from NBAA and GAMA, a No Plane No Gain website was immediately stood up, featuring videos showcasing the companies of all sizes, all across the U.S., that rely on business aviation to compete and succeed. The site has been continually updated, and today includes a wide range of advocacy resources people in the industry can use to explain its value.

A series of studies and surveys was undertaken, providing a data-driven case for the industry’s value. Independent analysts with respected firms including NEXA Advisors, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and The Harris Poll repeatedly produced reports underscoring the many economic benefits that business aviation provides not only to companies, but also to Americans, and the towns in which they work and live.

Among the important findings in the reports is that business aviation supports 1.1 million jobs and annually generates $219 billion in total economic output in the United States; that most business aviation flights are in and out of communities with little or no airline service; and that the use of a business airplane is the sign of a well-managed company.

Also called into the campaign were the voices of CEOs with some of the country’s most dynamic and widely known companies, to explain the value of business aviation to their organizations. From famed businessman Warren Buffett’s account of how he changed the name of his company’s airplane from “The Indefensible” to “The Indispensable” once he understood its value, to FedEx Chair Fred Smith calling his airplane a “force multiplier,” the CEO’s testimonials have brought powerful validation to the campaign’s message.

Another hallmark of No Plane No Gain has been its effective utilization of social media. As this communication platform emerged and evolved, the campaign established dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages, and this online presence has grown to nearly 27,000 followers on Facebook today, and more than 26,500 Twitter followers. Supporters use these resources to share examples of the industry’s value to companies and communities, using the hashtag #bizavworks to further highlight and reinforce these important messages.

Across the decade that has passed, the two associations have continually kept the industry advised of the campaign’s initiatives. A weekly No Plane No Gain report, delivered each Friday, details the latest activities and other news about business aviation; a monthly In Case You Missed It Report gathers the most popular news from the weeklies for a quick, executive read.

“When our two associations joined forces to reinvigorate No Plane No Gain, we promised to promote and defend the industry through the innovative use of compelling stories, events, and objective data showing how our industry works for America,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We’re particularly proud that the GAMA-led jobs rallies had the desired ‘grasstops’ appeal to local, state and federal legislators by showcasing the men and women working in our facilities who told their stories about the tremendous economic contribution our industry makes to nations that embrace general aviation. I look forward to the next decade and our increased focus on recapitalizing our industry’s workforce.”

“Ten years ago, our industry not only faced the devastating effects of a profound international economic crisis, but also repeated attempts to question the value of business aviation, and paint it with a negative brush,” concluded NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Then as now, the industry needs a strong and effective counter to these challenges, which is why NBAA and GAMA will continue to advocate for the industry through the No Plane No Gain program today and in the years to come.”