Avinode Group / The Node

So much more than business aviation

29 Apr 2020

In the minds of many people, private jets are often associated with the luxury lifestyles of ultra-high-net-worth individuals or the busy travel plans of C-suite executives. And our industry certainly serves these markets superbly. But the wider range of missions business and general aviation aircraft fulfill is staggering. Maybe now, more than ever, we should be spreading that message to the world.

Let’s look at just some of the strengths of bizjets and GA aircraft, often ignored outside the industry:

  • Good in a crisis: where else could we start? Bizav literally saves lives. Since the coronavirus outbreak began, private jets have been quickly mobilized globally to help people in need of evacuation and repatriation. Austria-based operator GlobeAir says the risk of exposure to coronavirus is 30 times lower flying privately than on a commercial airline flight.

    And jets aren’t just flying people from danger, they’re taking remarkable, brave people to the places medical support, supplies and scientific research are urgently needed across the world. Take a look at this great article about Stockholm-based Svenskt Industriflyg on our website, an operator flying essential medical supplies for infection prevention from Malaysia to Sweden.

    We want to do everything we can to help too, which is why we’ve just launched Avinode Aid. It’s a service that allows operators to place available ambulance fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters on our platform for free.

    Talking of Avinode Aid reminds us…

  • Magnificent medevac: let’s not forget, GA aircraft don’t just provide critical medical support during high-profile crises like COVID-19. Leading air ambulance operators globally – from Medical Air Service and IAS Medical to European Air Ambulance – save lives at short notice every day. Their work may not always make the headlines…but it should.

  • A permanent lifeline: often literally going where no other transportation can, aircraft such as the Cessna Grand Caravan EX provide connections to remote communities globally 24/7/365. From cargo to much-needed charter and tourism revenue, there are villages from Alaska to Africa that simply couldn’t survive without our industry’s incredibly versatile, airborne utility vehicles.

  • The big picture: whether serving sectors from rail infrastructure and energy to wildlife conservation and the media, or responding quickly to disasters such as oil spills, the GA industry’s aerial survey capabilities are vast and essential.

  • Making the world a safer place: law enforcement agencies globally use fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft – the Los Angeles Police Department’s Airbus helicopters, for example – for surveillance missions over land and sea.

  • Military might: GA aircraft can support paratrooper operations and be configured with hard points (parts of an airframe that can carry external loads, sometimes called ‘weapon stations’) for missions that need armament.

  • Tremendous training: with the approaching pilot shortage crisis, trainer aircraft – from the Diamond DA42 to the Piper Pilot 100 – are invaluable for the future of the entire aviation industry. Inspiring trainer aircraft play a key role making sure cadet pilots remain committed to their dream careers.

Often able to switch configurations rapidly, and operate with high payloads on short, rough runways in difficult terrain, rugged GA aircraft and flexible bizjets are perfect for so many missions. Whatever the requirement, however, best practice remains the same – understand the customer’s needs, match the aircraft precisely to the demand and put safety first.

If you need support right now – from a platform on which to share advice through to updates on current international travel restrictions – we’re here for you.

We should all be especially proud of the way our industry rises to the challenge at times of humanitarian crisis. Be proud and take care.


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