Business Aviation's Importance is Diminished by Damaging Rhetoric
The fact that business aviation provides tens and thousands of Americans with high paying jobs is, quite regrettably, lost in the misinformed rhetoric surrounding this vital sector of the aviation industry. General aviation aircraft, including those flown by NetJets pilots, are largely manufactured or assembled here in the United States where they are flown by U.S.-based pilots and serviced by U.S-based maintenance crews at airports across the nation. To wit, Embraer Executive Jet, which delivered the first Phenom 300 light jet to NetJets in early May, assembles this and other business jets at its Melbourne International Airport-based facility. What's more, NetJets company has ordered $17.6 billion in new aircraft, including 120 large-body Bombardier Globals and an additional 425 small-, and medium-body Bombardier and Cessna aircraft. The long-term fleet overhaul plan is projected to add 750 new aircraft to the fleet. This type of investment is felt across the industry to every stakeholder's benefit.
A Major Contributor to the Nation's Economy
Amidst the highly charged political rhetoric, pundits have seemingly forgotten the industry’s contribution to the nation’s economy, which by any measure, is significant. Each year, more than $150 billion is directly attributable to business aviation, which provides in excess of 1.2 million well paying jobs to hardworking men and women. Unfortunately, many in Washington have incorrectly assumed the tax incentives extended to business aviation customers solely benefit the wealthy – so called corporate fats cats – and that could not be further from the truth.
Proposed User Fees Threaten Jobs
Even the White House has singled out business aviation for increased taxation through the proposed application of a user fee on each flight segment flown in a corporate jet. Let there be no doubt: Efforts to impose an additional financial burden on those who own and use business aircraft would disproportionately harm hard-working, blue-collar Americans and threaten tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.
Encouraging Investment Has a Cascading Effect
In economically stressful times such as these, business owners and entrepreneurs should be encouraged to invest in tools that make their businesses more competitive. Unfortunately, the politically charged rhetoric focused on business aviation only serves to discourage these vital investments, leading to a cascading effect that damages U.S.-based manufacturers and aviation maintenance vendors, and dramatically reduces opportunities for professional pilots.
Inequitable Extended Depreciation Schedules Discourage Investment
Currently, the tax depreciation schedule of business aircraft is no different than that of investments in new equipment made by other types of businesses – nor should it be. Whether used to purchase a new crane by a construction company or new computers for an accounting firm, these policies, which have been in place for more than three decades, allow U.S. businesses to invest in growth strategies to remain viable in the highly competitive global marketplace. Just as we should not discourage these types of purchases, lawmakers and talking heads in Washington should immediately curtail any effort to restrict investments in business aviation.