June 5, 2019

Business Aviation: Invaluable in White Plains, and Across New York (Op-Ed)

(Editor’s note: The National Business Aviation Association’s Northeast Regional Forum is taking place at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY on Thursday June 6th. The following is an Op-Ed from Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA.) 

This week, thousands of business aviation professionals will be attending the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) regional forum at Westchester County Airport. They represent an industry that can only be described as essential, in White Plains and across New York.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “business aviation” refers to the use of mostly small aircraft for employee transport. Business aircraft flights account for the majority of traffic at airports like Westchester County, enabling companies of all sizes to optimize their efficiency and productivity.

But equally important, business aviation does more than help companies remain competitive: Flight activity by business aircraft supports jobs and economic activity, locally, statewide, and nationally.

Consider these data points: Westchester County Airport supports over 6,000 jobs and accounts for nearly $736 million in economic output. The airport also contributes more than $72 million in state and local taxes, helping fund the public programs that New Yorkers rely on most.

Across the state, the economic impact of general aviation – which includes business airplane flights – is even more profound. According to the New York State Department of Transportation, this sector contributes more than $90 billion annually to the state economy — roughly equivalent to Costa Rica’s entire economic output in a given year.

Of course, our industry’s contributions transcend growth for businesses, jobs, and economies – there is a humanitarian component in the equation as well. For example, after Hurricane Sandy struck New York in 2012, more than 50 business aircraft flights delivered over 100,000 pounds of supplies to the victims of the storm.

Meanwhile, a coalition of New York-area business helicopter operators immediately placed their aircraft on standby to assist in the relief effort, offering free transportation to areas that trucks could not reach. Such stories are commonplace in business aviation.

Simply put, business aviation provides a host of benefits, in Westchester County and across the Empire State. In White Plains this week, we’ll be reminded just how essential the industry is, locally and beyond.

(Photo by ReadyJetGo on Flickr.)

About the Author

Ed Bolen
Ed Bolen is the president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association in Washington, D.C.