Please Don't Drag Private Jets Into The Health Care Debate

Please Don't Drag Private Jets Into The Health Care Debate 960 302 C-Suite Network

Just when the private aviation industry, a beloved target of President Obama, may have thought that private jets were out of the crosshairs of politicians and news commentators, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle invoked them this morning.

In closing her broadcast, which included a discussion of the upcoming health care bill, she invited viewers to look up the compensation packages of executives in that industry. She then added, “There have never been so many private jets and megayachts.” Her comment apparently was an attempt to tie executive compensation and proposed tax reductions for the Super Rich to boats and planes, and I’m not sure what else.

Well, just to give Ms. Ruhle a fact check, 661 private jets were delivered in 2016, a drop from 718 in 2015, 722 in 2014 and far off the 2008 peak of 1,317 business jet deliveries. U.S. manufactured private jet deliveries have dropped from 955 in 2008 to 396 last year. What’s more, a recent report in Corporate Jet Investor showed the price for used private jets has dropped 35% between 2014 and 2017 while the average number of days on the market jumped from 303 to 391 days in the past year. Even the total number of business jets in the U.S., which includes those that are parked and waiting to be sold, is below its all-time high, according to figures from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. It’s hardly a free-for-all with fat cats throwing money to the wind.

Private aviation brings over $219 billion in economic benefits to the U.S. economy annually.
Private aviation brings over $219 billion in economic benefits to the U.S. economy annually.

No Plane No Gain

Private aviation brings over $219 billion in economic benefits to the U.S. economy annually.

It’s a shame the market is so soft. Even in its current state, business aviation supports more than 1.1 million manufacturing and related jobs in the United States, according to the National Business Aviation Association. It is part of a general aviation industry that contributes more than $219 billion to the U.S. economy each year and contributes positively to our nation’s balance of trade.

While it’s popular to think the rich and companies that operate private planes should pay more taxes or give more to charity and private jets are somehow in the way of that, the fact is spending on private flying provides meaningful money that flows into the communities where the jets fly. This comes in the form of private jet terminals (FBOs), caterers, flight attendants, pilots, local hotels that serve crew, security, ramp and maintenance workers associated with airports that service private jets. As an example, Van Nuys Airport contributes over $1.3 billion to the Los Angeles economy, is responsible for over 12,000 jobs and over $700 million in earnings impact. Additional local spending is pegged at $176 million. The same story is repeated in all 50 states.

MSNBC TV anchor Stephanie…
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