Business Aviation

Business Aviation


Business aviation, also sometimes called corporate aviation, is generally defined as the use of any general aviation (GA) aircraft for a business purpose. Business aviation is considered a subset of the larger general aviation, which encompasses all civil aviation activity except commercial airlines.


Business aviation operators range from large, publicly traded international corporations with established flight departments employing professional pilots operating multi-engine powered intercontinental range jets capable of carrying 20 or more passengers to medium- and small-size companies and organizations flying single-engine fixed or rotary wing aircraft in support of their operations. About 75% of companies that operate business aircraft operate a single aircraft; 12% fly two aircraft and the other 13% operate fleets of three or more aircraft.

The majority of the world’s business aircraft are operated, serviced and maintained in the United States. According to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), about 3% of U.S. business aircraft are flown by Fortune 500 companies, with the rest operated by a range of organisations, including governments, universities, charitable organisations and companies of all sizes.

Rationale for Business Aviation

Business aviation contributes $150 billion annually to the economy to the U.S., according to NBAA, an educational, advocacy and lobbying organization. Reasons often cited for the use of business aviation include:

  • Increased traveller productivity, efficiency, safety and security
  • Ability to reach multiple destinations in a single day
  • Access to communities with little or no airline service
  • Scheduling predictability
  • Minimizing non-business time away from home

Safety Issues

Business aviation operators face many of the same issues, and suffer many of the same accident causes, as air transport operations. Loss of control-inflight, controlled flight into terrain, and runway excursions are all topics frequently addressed in business aviation-focused safety materials. The risk of automation mismanagement is a concern among opertaors of more complex aircraft. Unlike in the scheduled airline world, safety risk in single pilot operations is focus area for many business aviation operators.

Accidents & Incidents

CL60, Teterboro USA, 2005 (On 2 February 2005, a Challenger, being operated by Platinum Jet Management, crashed after attempting a high speed rejected take off due to difficulty rotating to depart Teterboro, New Jersey, USA. The aircraft center of gravity was found to have been outside the allowable envelope for take off and the rejected take off to have been commenced at a substantial margin above the applicable V1 speed.)

GLF4, Bedford MA USA, 2014 (On 31 May 2014, a Gulfstream IV (N121JM) registered to SK Travel and being operated under lease by Arizin Ventures on a private business flight from Bedford MA to Atlantic City NJ initiated a high speed rejected take off in normal ground visibility at night and subsequently overran the end of the 2140 metre-long runway 11 by approximately 570 metres. During the overrun, the aircraft collided with ground obstructions before ending up in a gulley where a post crash fire consumed most of the aircraft wreckage. The three crew and four passengers died and the aircraft was destroyed.)

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