Jobs, Jobs And More
by Jay Mesinger
It seems as
if we all come into work every day, and rather than build
and service planes, provide customer service at FBOs, sell
fuel, sell planes, or help clients develop mission
strategies, we just try to justify Business Aviation. We
find ourselves after five decades trying to find words to
re-brand the value proposition of Business Aviation.
There is no
need to re-brand the relevant value of our industry. The
brand – ‘Business Aviation, It’s working for America’ -
remains as relevant and vital today as it was when
originally branded over 50 years ago.
Aviation puts you in front of your customers and ahead of
• It allows
you to operate businesses in small and rural communities
where there is no commercial access.
• It allows
people doing business to have three meetings in one day
rather than one meeting in three days.
• It turns
travel time into work time.
• It allows
towns to actually survive by providing a lifeline to small
towns and communities.
past year, thirty communities alone have lost all commercial
airline service. Think of how these communities have been
affected, as well as the hundreds of other small towns and
communities that have been built up around a home town
company for 50 or 100 years. Maybe they employ 100 people,
maybe 1,000 people. Generations of families may have worked
for this company. However, if the company could not own a
plane and had no commercial airline access, this company
would have to move to another city and these people would be
out of work the same day!
to mid-size business probably does not own a large cabin
plane, it probably owns a turboprop or small jet. Nothing
flashy, and no “Fat Cats” flying around as they have been
accused of day after day on TV or in print media. The
reality is that they are just people doing business, earning
a living and employing people.
Not only is
Business Aviation a lifeline for small communities, it is a
lifeline for people in life or death situations. Did you
know that there are over 15,000 humanitarian flights flown
every year for organizations like Angel Network, as well as
those flown for disaster relief efforts? These real life
examples of how Business Aviation makes a difference in the
lives of people goes on and on. We as an industry must work
to change the perception that is currently being drilled
into the general public and policy makers by the media. The
assault on our industry is daily and we must all fight this
battle daily to win.
everything is about responsibility. If you cannot afford to
have an airplane, don’t own one. If it is a drain on your
bottom line, get rid of it. I assure you, the automobile and
banking industries are not where they are today because they
own or operate business aircraft. The fact is, doing
business around the world by selling, manufacturing or
distributing products and being able to best service those
segments are responsible business reasons to own an
It is not
reasonable to assume, however, that the big three automakers
or the major banks who own aircraft would be on wonderful
financial ground had they just not owned a Gulfstream. This
line of thinking is just ridiculous. It is scary to think
that our industry is viewed as being so powerful as to be
able to single-handedly bring down the automobile and
banking industries. If anything, our industry has helped to
grow and spread the American Dream – the freedom that allows
all U.S. citizens to pursue their goals in life through hard
work and free choice - and to do it globally.
talk about changing the misperceptions that our industry is
currently undergoing. Let’s talk about how to proudly wear
our industry brand by talking about our global relevance and
how we help people and provide jobs!
industry generates over 1.2 million service and
manufacturing jobs in the U.S. alone. At this time in
history, when every lifeline we can collectively think of is
being thrown to people to help them and to create jobs,
let’s not work so blindly as a nation to shed valuable
aviation industry jobs. The media must begin to tell the
whole story by discussing the real issues instead of
propagating stories that seem sexy and dramatic.
in Congress must begin to understand the impact their
proposed legislation is having on our industry. The negative
one-sided press that is engulfing us everyday must stop.
Each of us who wakes up every day and goes to work in the
aviation sector to feed our families, and the families of
our employees must stand up and take grass roots action that
can make a difference.
by logging onto www.nbaa.org and selecting the contact
Congress button. This will take you directly to a section of
prewritten letters that will automatically be sent to the
legislators in your districts. Doing this is a great start,
but more still needs to be done. Call or write to your
associations to see how you can help. The aviation trade
associations are working daily on our behalf to fight for
our jobs and our industry’s relevance, but they need all of
and NATA need your membership and your financial support. If
you have a membership bill that has been sitting on your
desk, pay it. If you or your employer has a relationship
with a member of Congress, make an appointment and go see
them when they are in their respective home towns. Tell them
Business Aviation works for America. Tell them it is about
jobs. Tell them about your job and its relevance to others.
We cannot and will not lose this perception battle if we all
Jay Mesinger is the CEO of J. Mesinger Corporate
Jet Sales, Inc. He is on the NBAA Board of Directors
and is Vice Chairman of the AMAC. Additionally, he
served on the Duncan Aviation Customer Advisory
Board for two terms, is a member of MEBAA, EBAA
and is associated with IBAC.