LEA Welcomes BBGA Response to Plane Stupid Activists

London, England, June 10, 2009 - London Executive Aviation, the leading European business aviation charter operator, today welcomed the response of the British Business & General Aviation Association to the action at London City Airport overnight by members of the Plane Stupid protest group.

The BBGA’s statement is as follows:

The British Business & General Aviation Association (BBGA) strongly condemns the misguided, politically-driven, disruption by a small number of Plane Stupid activists at London City Airport this morning.

Business Aviation comprises about 8% of Air Traffic in Europe, and it directly contributes some £3.5 Billion to the UK economy, through the employment of some 50,000 people in the United Kingdom engaged in the manufacturing, maintenance and operation of Business Aircraft.  Those aircraft are used by a variety of individuals and companies as a tool to improve their performance: Studies have shown that companies with access to business aviation perform around 10 % better than those without.

This efficiency delta results from the five key benefits of Business Aviation: Flexibility and Convenience; Time Savings; Cost Savings; Deal Facilitation and Safety and Security.  Businesses constrained to using commercial aviation only are also constraining their staff from attaining optimum efficiency as they wait in check-in queues and obey all the restrictions placed on them by airlines.

Aviation in total contributes about 2% of global emissions.  Business Aviation is responsible for less than 1% of that 2%.  To put that into perspective, in the United Kingdom that is equivalent to each of us with a car driving just twelve miles in a year.  I would ask the Plane Stupid people which they think would have a greater economic impact to the UK – each of us driving 12 miles less per year, or abolishing Business Aviation?  

In a sustainable economy it is clear that Business Aviation is far more environmentally efficient than other forms of transport in terms of value-added per unit of emissions, and it is obtaining the highest possible ratio of economic benefit to quantified emissions that is key. Prudent use of Business Aviation, in combination with an infrastructure of other alternative travel modes, is a boost to the UK and European economies which should be encouraged rather than attacked.  Businesses forced to compromise on this critical issue by insufficient access to Business Aviation in the UK will not equivocate; they will relocate to a region or country better served by access to Business Aviation – to the detriment of our economy.  Just as BBGA believes that Business Aviation is disproportionately valuable for the economy, it follows that it should be disproportionately advantaged compared to activities which have little or no economic value – such as the twelve annual car miles I mentioned earlier.

BBGA would be keen to establish a dialogue with Plane Stupid to address the serious issue of transportation CO2 emissions, but like many other pressure groups seeking to make a point irrespective of the facts, they seem more interested in attention-seeking than engaging in meaningful discussion.  Until we have this dialogue, their activities can only be regarded as a dangerous disruption of other people’s legal and economically-valuable activity.

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