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Letters to the Editor: With COVID-19, business aviation isn’t just rich people in private jets

Santa Monica Airport
Small planes crowd the tarmac at Santa Monica Airport.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Your article “The rich are flying again — in the comfort of their private jets” offered an incomplete account of COVID-19’s impact on business aviation and missed enduring lessons about its value.

First, business aviation has been hit hard by the pandemic. Consider flight activity at small airports that handle business aviation traffic: At New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport near New York, flights have plummeted a staggering 65% compared to this time last year. Deliveries of business aircraft are off by 21% over the same period.

That said, the virus has also underscored the importance of this critical transportation link, a reality missed in the way your article describes what’s really driving the remaining demand for business aviation.

With airline service significantly reduced, companies are looking to business aviation to reach markets. Also overlooked is the role of these flights in supporting delivery of medical specialists, equipment and other supplies to the pandemic’s front lines.

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There is much uncertainty with regard to this unprecedented situation, but one thing is clear: Mobility and access will be vital to our economic recovery. Business aviation will be a critical component in that equation.

Ed Bolen, Washington

The writer is president and chief executive of the National Business Aviation Assn.


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