Business aviation plays an important role in support of both companies and communities. To raise awareness of its significance, No Plane No Gain is running a campaign called “Business Aviation Works.” The goal: to share what industry and government leaders have to say about the positive impact of business aviation.
We couldn’t agree more. So, we sat down with several ATP employees to get their take on how business aviation helps businesses and communities grow and succeed. First up, Bob Jones, ATP’s product marketing specialist and managing editor of AskBob.aero.
What value does business aviation bring to communities, states, and regions?
Business aviation amplifies the benefits of personal transportation. Imagine the constraints if a business was limited to just public transportation on the ground or in the air?
Why is amplifying the benefits of personal transportation a value?
When we increase the efficiency of personal transportation, we amplify its benefits and value to the business. Historically, the accessibility of transportation has drastically affected business. Consider how the Old West towns with stagecoaches or rail service tended to prosper a lot more than the ones that didn’t. Likewise, cities with viable ports are supported economically by the shipping industry.
A modern example would be the direct benefits sales receives. Effective transportation promotes customer reach and customer interaction, so the more flexible and accessible your transportation sources, the more advantages your business has.
Dependability has a significant impact, too. Just last week, I heard a news story about a San Francisco business that’s having trouble hiring sales people who have reliable transportation because so many who live there just use public transportation. Public transit isn’t efficient and dependable enough for their sales people, who need to meet with customers at set appointment times.
What do you see as the top three benefits of personal transportation?
Effective transportation offers improvements in:
- Sales efficiency
- Customer service, relations, and retention
- Prospecting—the leg of sales focused on trying to find and solicit customers
How does business aviation help amplify those benefits?
Over the years, many ATP sales people were licensed pilots and owned their own aircraft. Having a private plane was a more effective use of their time than the alternative, which meant taking a commercial flight and renting a car and driving. Moreover, they could visit several airports in one day, many of them in small cities without commercial service or only one flight per day—allowing them to visit more people.
So, by saving time, increasing flexibility and dependability, and promoting customer interaction, business aviation allows businesses to reach more customers, more effectively than commercial airlines, public transportation, or private automobiles alone.
What do you think is most commonly misunderstood about business aviation?
I’d like to dispel the myth that business and general aviation are a frivolous indulgence. From the outside, people look at private jets and see “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
Yes, there’s a certain amount of glamour involved – although not all business aircraft are fancy jets, some are small piston aircraft – but these airplanes need to make sense for the business from an economic standpoint. The bottom line is, personal aviation saves businesses time and money.
What gets you the most excited about the future of business aviation?
Business aviation allows companies to continue operating in a high-tech world with a personal touch. Today, we have a lot of impersonal tools at our disposal that affect how we interface with our clients and customers. These tools and services—like online meetings and training—are convenient and definitely have their place.
But at ATP, there are still plenty of times when we hop on an airplane to go face-to-face, because there’s just no substitute for personal contact.
As we head into an increasingly complex future, I find it very encouraging that—with the help of business aviation—we can continue to reach our clients personally, in an efficient way.