What I Would Say To An EBACE Protester  
Photo Credits
Photo Credits


What I would say to an EBACE Protester  

Omar Hosari | - 06/02/2023
Eco-protesters breached the security fence at the EBACE static display and handcuffed themselves aircraft. (Photo: David McIntosh), ainonline.com

I’m sure anyone who attended last week’s EBACE in Geneva will share my view that it was the best EBACE yet. Unfortunately, the event was disrupted by protests by climate activists who consider business aviation the big bad wolf of carbon emissions. I know I don’t need to explain to my industry peers that BA actually produces a relatively small percentage of emissions when compared to commercial flight or other methods of transport. I know I don’t have to explain the economic benefits to regions that come directly from business aviation activities. However, it still seems that many of the public are under false illusions on this matter. So, the following is what I would say to one of those people in defense of our industry.  

Dear Protester,  

As a nature lover and a humanitarian, I share your passion for the earth and your commitment to the environment. However, the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition wasn’t the right platform for your recent protest, just as the business aviation industry doesn’t deserve your scorn and censure. Please let me explain why.   

The idea of business aviation being exclusively about the ultra-wealthy flying for leisure is extremely misguided. This may account for a tiny percentage of BA operations. In reality, business aviation does more to help the average person than other industries because it creates and sustains employment across a broad range of sectors, breathes life into areas that require connectivity and investment, and delivers life-saving aid during times of disaster.  

Business aviation is often the only means capable of delivering life-saving humanitarian aid. During the COVID pandemic, it was the only means of moving vital supplies and aid, keeping people alive. During the recent Turkish and Syrian earthquake, it was the means of getting rescuers and emergency supplies to regions that were inaccessible by land. When disaster strikes, business aviation provides the connectivity and speed to save lives. 

Business aviation also empowers businesses to make global partnerships, as well as encourage investment, and economic growth and we need healthy and growing economies to sustain our populations and raise people out of poverty. In this light, it is essentially a tool that fights inequality and inequity without which the world would be a much darker and unjust place. 

When a business jet lands in a regional airport, anywhere in the world, many people benefit. The airport employees, the handling companies, transportation providers, hotels, and their suppliers. In short, the entire local and regional economy is boosted. Having an airport that caters exclusively for private aviation is enough to keep an entire community employed and sustained generationally. And at a time when so many rural communities all over the world suffer from forced emigration and are losing generations to cities, business aviation is a powerful method of sustainable rural regeneration.  

This is why the notion of an outright ban of private jets is not workable and would ultimately be counterproductive to achieving your goal of sustainable travel. You may not be aware but there are few industries that are investing as much capital and resources into creating greener travel alternatives than the business aviation industry. This is a well-documented fact, as is the goal the business aviation community has committed to make flight carbon zero over the next few decades 

So, while business aviation may be an easy target due to a false public perception, the truth is that it is a more powerful force for good than you may imagine and is an industry that actively shares your environmental values and goals.  

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