As many companies remain reluctant to travel, bizav execs need to actively engage with their organizations to stress the important benefits of flying private and to ensure they have a “seat at the table” when shaping health and safety protocol, according to Aviation Personnel International CEO Sheryl Barden. Recently stressing her concerns in a blog and during an NBAA webinar, Barden noted many corporations remain in stand-by mode on travel and said, “Quite frankly, it’s unsettling.”
Many aviation leaders are awaiting directives from headquarters, she said. “Let me be perfectly clear: Waiting for the phone to ring is not an effective strategy. If you’re not flying, I encourage you to disrupt the status quo.” Aviation directors need to “lean in” and request to be part of any Covid-19 response efforts, including the development of health management policies to ensure a seamless and safe travel environment, she said, suggesting bizav execs consider expanding their aircraft-use policy. “You need an end-to-end solution that focuses on safety— one that delivers significant value to your corporation.”
Barden cited the example of a corporate flight department executive who remained actively involved in his company’s Covid-19 conversations, concerned that otherwise employees would travel by airlines. His task was to convince company executives of the need to travel aboard company aircraft for health and safety reasons, she said. His team further developed travel go-kits that contained items such as cleaning products for rental cars and hotel rooms.
“I realize, of course, that we’re not infectious disease experts. But we can offer our learned perspective on current practices,” she said, noting business aviation teams already have been focusing on the protection of environments, from the FBO to catering and baggage handling. “It’s all about providing an ‘end-to-end health corridor’ for the executive traveler.”