Thu, Apr 14, 2011
Corporate Aircraft Again Cast In The Role Of 'Excess'
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen has submitted a letter to the
editor of USA Today criticizing the paper for its
portrayal of corporate aircraft as an excessive perk for
corporations and executives.
"Among your characterizations about use of company airplanes in
a recent article (
Despite huge salaries, CEOs cling to their perks," Apr.
12), you failed to mention several important facts,"
Bolen writes. "First, a business airplane is an essential tool that
helps achieve competitive advantage in tough economic times by
extending employee productivity and efficiency. Given the 24X7
nature of senior-level positions, it is reasonable that these
managers are conducting company business in-flight, while reporting
the use of aircraft as personal to meet federal requirements.
"Among the many considerations boards of directors weigh in
deciding whether to allow, or even require, senior managers to use
company aircraft for all air travel: personal safety and security
issues; the need to have key personnel quickly available, even if
time off must be disrupted; and the business decision to include
personal use of an airplane as part of compensation. For publicly
traded companies, these decisions are reported in proxies and
personal use is disclosed as well.
"Finally, it is worth noting that during the recession, many
companies reduced travel, on airlines as well as company aircraft,
and now that the economy is reviving, airline passenger loads and
business aviation flight hours are beginning to increase, which
should be an encouraging sign to all of us."
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