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Despite its many benefits, corporate use of aircraft still vilified

Brian McGrory’s recent column “At Liberty Mutual, accounting to no one” (Metro, May 2) missed a few important points. First, no one can dispute that corporate executives’ compensation packages should be in line with company performance. However, as unbelievable as it may seem, security concerns for top executives, particularly with regard to the protection of sensitive and proprietary information, are no joke.

In addition, the cost-effectiveness of using one’s own aircraft cannot be debated. According to a recent report, annual earnings of S&P companies that use general aviation were 434 percent higher than those that did not. What’s more, 85 percent of the businesses that own their own aircraft are small- to mid-sized firms that use these aircraft to reach far-off plants, deliver goods in a time-sensitive fashion, and serve customers. In fact, corporate CEOs comprise less than 3 percent of the workers who use these aircraft.

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These aircraft also support many charitable flights that connect patients with treatment centers and bring needed supplies to communities in need.

General aviation represents $150 billion in economic activity, supports more than 1.2 million jobs, and is one of the only manufacturing industries that contributes positively to the US balance of trade. In Massachusetts alone, general aviation airports generate $443 million a year.

Yet the use of general aviation continues to be vilified by lawmakers and members of the media.

We should demand accountability from CEOs who are responsible for the livelihoods of thousands, but let’s not tar an entire industry in the process.

David V. Dinneen

Executive director

Massachusetts Airport

Management Association

Mansfield

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