As No Plane No Gain celebrates seven years this month since NBAA and GAMA jointly revived it in 2009, Dave Higdon looks at the progress made in the public perception of BizAv...
Back in the mid-1990s, my AvBuyer colleague Jack Olcott gave me a cap that’s spent hundreds of hours on my head as I’ve flown various aircraft around the Western Hemisphere. It says, simply, ‘No Plane No Gain’. The sentiment reflected the attitude held by my late wife and me as we used our aircraft to support our business and personal aspirations.
Back then Jack was president of NBAA, which established its No Plane No Gain campaign in 1993 to spread the positive image of Business Aviation. With a plethora of companies and the media having the wrong impression about business aircraft, No Plane No Gain sought to accurately tell the stories of companies using Business Aviation, and how the airplane helped their bottom lines.
Several years later No Plane No Gain took a back seat… until 2009, that is.
Seven years ago this month, Ed Bolen, president, NBAA joined with Pete Bunce, president, GAMA to revive No Plane No Gain. It’s safe to say that revival has been a success.
The persistence and unity of message remains the signature element of No Plane No Gain, which can boast seven years of positive messages about BizAv and the benefits companies derive from using it.
The atmosphere back in 2009 was “toxic” towards Business Aviation thanks to a concerted effort by some elements of Commercial Aviation to paint corporate aircraft and their operators as air-travel villains, responsible for airport delays and sundry other air-travel maladies. The then Air Transport Association (now A4A) even resorted to short cartoon spots showing a corporate jet elbowing its way past airliners to get to the head of the line for take-off.
The uninitiated public didn't know or understand that such high-jinx never occur because business passengers get some sort of priority; that operations and safety dictate. Airliners sometimes wait for capacity elsewhere in the system before ATC releases them for take-off. Meanwhile, aircraft headed in other directions continue to depart. That's not preference, it's acknowledging operational issues.
Congrats GAMA & NBAA
Via weekly newsletters, regional action, scientific studies and tireless advocacy, NBAA and GAMA have helped improve public understanding of Business Aviation today and its role in America's most-active, most diverse aviation field, while helping countless public officials develop an appreciation for Business and General Aviation, and community airports that support it.
Business and General Aviation provide the only air access for thousands of communities ignored, overlooked and otherwise not served by commercial operators. From its start, No Plane No Gain has pushed back against efforts to privatize ATC changing FAA funding to an inefficient user-fee system.
The cumulative impact of these seven years has helped arm thousands of people with the information they use today to push back against similar ATC privatization in Congress.
A tip of my “No Plane, No Gain” cap to GAMA and NBAA as the program celebrates its revival anniversary! Safe flying - See you next week…
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