Private Jets Provide Jobs
Private Jet Industry
Private jets comprise the major economic portion of what is known as General Aviation. General Aviation is defined as all aviation except for scheduled airline service and military aviation.
This is a $150 billion per year industry employing well over one million people. Besides the jobs provided for those employed in the manufacture of new private jets, hundreds of thousands of Americans make their livelihood in the production of components for the production of new jets, and aftermarket services.
This industry provides jobs for people who sell, charter, lease, maintain, refurbish and provide fuel for these aircraft; as well as an enormous aviation training segment.
General Aviation Aircraft fly over 30 million hours per year with 200 million passengers on board. Nearly two-thirds of these hours are flown for commercial purposes. It is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world.
15,000 companies provide support services. Most visibly prominent of these are Fixed Base Operations (FBOs). General Aviation aircraft cannot use most airport terminals as they are set aside for airline service. The FBO serves as a General Aviation Terminal.
Jobs Provided by General Aviation
There are approximately 3600 FBOs in the United States that provide well over a trillion gallons of aviation fuel per year. These facilities employ Line Service Technicians, who fuel aircraft; Customer Service Representatives, who also provide services as a concierge for travelers and pilots; and administrative personnel.
Companies authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform maintenance are called Repair Stations; and they number about 4000 in America today. Repair Stations employ 323,000 licensed aircraft technicians.
In addition, people are employed to repaint aircraft and refurbish aircraft interiors. Due to wear and tear, most aircraft are refurbished every five years.
There are also 3000 charter companies that employ 22,000 pilots and 20,000 support personnel.
And there are 3200 flight schools that train an average of 21,000 new pilots per year.
There are currently 600,000 licensed pilots in America and each of them requires recurrent training.
The Private Jet Business
Private jets have been vilified by the media and some politicians in the past few years. But the fact is, a private jet is a powerful, efficient business tool—a tool that is a major component of the most successful companies in America. And they perform 15,000 humanitarian missions each year.
Since scheduled airline service only serves 500 airports in The United States, business jets provide a vital link to 5000 suburbs, small cities, and small towns.
Half of the new business jets manufactured in 2007 were sold outside the United States—making this one of our few exported goods of big dollars.
The General Aviation Industry is in deep trouble in America today. I know. I had one such company for 14 years that employed 144 people until a few months ago.
While many industries are receiving bailouts, General Aviation is receiving derision. But our product—the private jet—is one of mankind's greatest achievements and in particular—an industry where America is undoubtedly the worldwide leader.