On May 1, National Air Transportation Association President James K. Coyne highlighted critical issues that face America’s aviation businesses and airports during a town hall meeting hosted by Jet Aviation Palm Beach. The Palm Beach mayor’s office, city commissioners, representatives from the airport authority and area residents were among those invited to attend.
Coyne commented on topics including the Federal Aviation Administration’s reauthorization bill before Congress; the need to improve airport infrastructures, while also building new airports in key areas; and the importance of keeping current airports open and functioning. He suggested that creative coalitions could provide solutions for developing better ways of reducing noise, congestion and the environmental impact of aviation on surrounding areas. Coyne encouraged all constituents, including citizens, politicians, FBOs, commercial airlines, the FAA, the Transportation Security Administration and air traffic control operators to engage in open dialogue, citing the Teterboro citizen/airport action group as a strong example of open communication resulting in change.
Issues related to the proposed expansion of Palm Beach International Airport, noise and pollution arose during the question and answer session. Coyne mentioned that technology improvements in today’s aircraft are resulting in lower emissions and quieter operations, as well as enhanced safety. He also commented that federal, state and local governments should consider adding new airports in less populated areas, to allow some relief for high-traffic airports.
Norbert Ehrich, senior vice president and general manager of Jet Aviation Palm Beach, also addressed the airport expansion debate.
“We’re currently partnering with the airport to devise a solution that allows Jet Aviation to continue its current operations, keep its employees and satisfy the needs of its clients, who have a major economic impact on Palm Beach County,” he said.
Jet Aviation was founded in Switzerland in 1967, and is one of the leading business aviation services companies in the world. Close to 5,100 employees serve clients at more than 20 airport facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America, with maintenance, completions and refurbishment, engineering, fixed base operations, aircraft management, charter services, aircraft sales and personnel services. Jet Aviation’s European and U.S. aircraft management and charter divisions jointly operate a fleet of more than 200 aircraft and provided more than 65,000 hours in global flight operations in 2007.