by Mark L. Schmaltz

To the unenlightened, business jets are often thought of as the epitome of conspicuous consumption, a contemptible and wretched example of needless luxury. But among those who have experienced the convenience, security, and the globe-shrinking utility these machines have to offer, they are tools of great importance to business and professional life.

The latter view is easily supported by the phenomenal growth and development of the business jet industry. Twenty years ago there was only a handful of private aircraft based at L.A. airports. Today there are well over two hundred business jets based in southern California, nearly two-thirds of which are available for charter.

And the future is even brighter. Business jet manufacturers have invested enormous sums in the development of new models that offer speed, range, and creature comforts that easily exceed the usual amenities of first class air travel. And despite the fact that the acquisition cost of these aircraft is enough to make even the most sophisticated buyer turn pale with sticker shock, most new models are sold out at least a year in advance with some models having a two-year waiting list for delivery. It's a classic example of "if you build it, they will come."

What's all the excitement about? Imagine walking ten steps from your car to your airplane and departing Los Angeles for Rome, Moscow, or Rio de Janero non-stop. Imagine embarking on a ten-city tour in four days where your travel time is spent relaxing and preparing for your next meeting instead of sprinting through airport terminals to make your connections. Using a private jet enhances your lifestyle, allowing you to spend more time with family and adding unparalleled convenience to your everyday life. In short, a private jet affords you the ability to maximize your most important and finite resource: time.

Today's business world is a hyper-competitive environment that punishes business inefficiencies and rewards those who are first to arrive. Traveling in the privacy of a business jet helps you minimize distractions and stay focused. You don't have to worry about overheard conversations or unwanted interruptions. And when traveling with a group of associates or clients, your meeting is private and secure. Focus, productivity, and efficiency---they're the tools you need to maintain your competitive edge and nothing gives you more of them than a business aircraft.

For frequent international travelers, a private aircraft is a Chief of Security's dream. With a long range private jet at his disposal, he can protect senior management from the random dangers that plague international air travelers while completing a complex international itinerary. The aircraft can also serve very nicely as your mobile office on those far flung trips away from home.


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