Yesterday some details of the automaker bailout became known, and amongst the proposals is the requirement for the automakers to sell off their business jets as a condition to receive bailout funds. While I have problems with ANY government interference with businesses, many of the proposals put forth for this segment of business is even more troubling.
Consider for the moment that these folks (Congress) are the people who can not control their own spending, who assist in running up incredible deficit spending, who encouraged the CEOs of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to accept these subprime mortgages (in particular Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) and now they want us to believe they can tell the automakers how to become profitable?
While there is no doubt that the automakers have problems I wonder how these Senators and Congressmen can oversee the resurrection of the auto business when they can't even solve the problems with Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.
For those of us who have made our careers in aviation the attack on our segment of the economy is unprecedented and is creating the image in the public mind that business aircraft equate to the obscene pay some CEOs receive from their companies. It certainly adds to the impression that these folks live big and get rewarded for running companies into the ground.
My experience has been that responsible companies who are not running to the bailout trough in Washington use business aircraft, including bizjets, to become more effecient and profitable. Most of the members of the NBAA (National Business Aircraft Association) have strict rules regarding who can use the aircraft and the purposes for said use. Many companies are located where commercial air service is either non-existent our inefficient for transporting company personnel on essential business travel.
And if you believe forcing companies to dispose of flight departments makes a dent in the need for billions of dollars, then you don't understand business aviation and how it has helped our economy grow. NBAA President Ed Bolen is fighting the good fight for us and standing up to Congress while the CEOs of Ford, Chrysler and GM cower at the begging table. Don't let Congress tell businesses how to run their own businesses as a condition of government largess.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
The light at the end of the tunnel is another airplanes landing light coming down head-on to the runway you are taking off from.
— Robert Livingston, 'Flying The Aeronca.'