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Business aircraft offer many benefits- but none is as significant as an operator’s ability to influence the safety and effectiveness of air transportation- contends Jack Olcott.

Jack Olcott   |   1st June 2013
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Jack Olcott Jack Olcott

Possibly the world’s most recognized advocate, if not expert on the value of Business Aviation,...
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Business Aviation’s Unique Advantage.

Business aircraft offer many benefits- but none is as significant as an operator’s ability to influence the safety and effectiveness of air transportation- contends Jack Olcott.

Talk to your associates and friends about Business Aviation. Ask them if they are familiar with this form of transportation- and if so what are their opinions? You may be surprised by what you learn.

Recently I was introduced to a retired gentleman who had a long and impressive career with a manufacturing company that did business throughout the world. As a marketing expert with the firm- which was founded in 1898- he had been responsible for company activities in various locations in the Americas as well as in Australia. One of his assignments required him to be based for several years in Canada.

With no other motivation than facilitating our friendly conversation- I mentioned that I was a Director of a Canadian firm engaged in aerospace. Noting the aviation connection- my new acquaintance said he was a frequent passenger on a Learjet 36 owned by the company and used to reach Canadian customers his firm served in remote locations. Without any prompting on my part- he expanded upon the importance of the business aircraft in reaching areas of Canada where public air transportation was limited or non-existent.

“The aircraft was essential to our operation-' he volunteered. “Our company made many products including large conveyer belts used in the mining industry. We were able to meet with our Canadian customers at their work sites promptly to address their needs. That Learjet was a great way to travel. Fast- ample for our small team of sales and engineering specialists- and very fast. We were able to use airports that bigger jets didn’t serve.”

Being able to reach remote locations is just one of the many benefits of Business Aviation. Placing the right person or sales team at the right place at the right time- ahead of the competition- is simply good business.

The duration of a meeting depends on what is being accomplished rather than being constrained by Airline arrival and departure times- sluggish security screening and boarding delays. In addition to being effective- use of business aircraft demonstrates commitment to customers. The mobility provided by Business Aviation reflects the high value a firm places on employees- clients and time.

But there is much more to the benefits of this form of transportation. In particular- consider broader issues of control beyond those of scheduling. Individuals deeply engaged in Business Aviation often say that control over the nature and implementation of transportation is the benefit they value most.


A provocative response to the benefits question was given by an entrepreneur who owned a company with business aircraft. ”One word is my answer-” he said. “‘Control’—pure and simple! “Business Aviation-” he continued- “more so than any other form of transportation- provides our company with the greatest ability to influence factors that impact safety- security and effectiveness. Our Board- working with the experts we hire within the company’s flight department- sets the safety standards of our operation. We establish best practices and monitor the implementation of those policies and procedures.

“While other providers of air transportation- such as the scheduled Airlines and major charter operators- have excellent safety records- we don’t want to be dependent on someone else—someone who we do not know as well as we know our company’s flight personnel—to be responsible for safe and secure travel. In essence- when we use public transportation we abdicate control over the wellbeing of our most important assets—our employees—to parties over which we have neither control nor detailed knowledge of their behavior.”

Re-enforcing his reasoning- he said- “Unlike automobiles and even to some extent trains- business aircraft are rarely involved in collisions with other vehicles. Thus we have a very low risk that our company aircraft will be blindsided by another aircraft- and we can strictly adhere to policies that minimize even the low risk of mid-air collisions.

“Other safety issues- such as what weather conditions are acceptable- are stated in our operations procedures and followed with pride by our crews. Because our pilots know our employees and recognize who is the lead passenger on each flight- security is assured. Nothing is more effective in countering terrorism than facial recognition.

“Because operating our company aircraft provides us with more control compared with other forms of transportation- we feel more secure—and that is a good feeling-” he concluded.

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