BBGA Responds to Private Jet Ban Proposal

BBGA Responds to Private Jet Ban Proposal

11 November, 2019

Banning private jets in the UK?

Facts to consider

The Labour Government’s pledge last week to ban corporate aircraft by 2025 is controversial and emotive indeed. Whether it makes it into its Election manifesto or not, The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA), as the influential voice for business aviation in the UK, is obliged to highlight that such a sweeping statement shows a worrying lack of understanding of the business aviation industry and of the impact such a measure would have on the UK’s economy, GDP, employment and the facilitation of business to and from the UK.

Europe has less than 3,000 corporate aircraft registered in Europe, including air ambulance models, which perform 1,000 medical flights per month and save hundreds of lives.  Several scheduled airlines run small jets and turboprops, not just for their premium passengers, but because they are highly effective at quickly repositioning crew and carrying spare parts for vital AOG situations (i.e. aircraft grounded while awaiting maintenance or spare parts).  Business aviation in Europe, including turboprops like the King Air and Pilatus PC-12, contribute 7% of aviation traffic.

Aviation contributes 2% of global emissions and business aviation accounts for 2% of that.  At a time when our sector’s highly publicised prime focus is to deliver sustainable alternative fuel (SAF) as quickly as possible, pioneer new forms of propulsion, explore better and more efficient use of airspace to make a positive impact on the environment, we cordially invite Jeremy Corbyn and his advisors to consult with us.

The Labour Government’s Think Tank is wrong to suggest that commercial general aviation activities are the preserve of high net worth individuals.    Rather, over 65% of routes flown are ‘business enabling,’ because a direct, scheduled air service simply does not exist.  For savvy industry executives the options are corporate charter, join a fractional programme, buy flying ‘hours’ in a corporate aircraft or have their own corporate aircraft.  Suggestions of banning private jets in the UK will mean that business owners and executives cannot grow their businesses and meet the highly competitive demands of international trade.

On top of the 50 airports reached both by scheduled airlines and business aviation, another 100 airports in the UK can only be connected by business aircraft.   Our dedicated business aviation airports and small airfields mean that business owners and users can get to where they need to go, quickly and efficiently, on their own demanding itinerary, taking in multiple cities in one day and meeting the continuously escalating demands of doing business, internationally.

Then there is the value our industry contributes:

€ 87 billion of output

€ 32 bn in Gross Value Added (GVA)

 €25 bn in wages and salaries. 

374,000 jobs across Europe directly or indirectly dependent on business aviation. 

More jobs will be created with the arrival of the next generation eVTOL/hybrid aircraft designs and in Europe the UK is leading the way with 19 designs, according to recent research by Vertical Flight. 

Yet while they are an important part of our sustainability drive, hand in hand with being able to raise required funding and proving the technology, there remain important regulatory and infrastructure matters to address, which means we are some years away from seeing fully fledged autonomous passenger vehicles.

UK studies show that strong access for business aviation is the third most important factor in encouraging inward investment, so let’s not discount the value of corporate aircraft owners and users flying in and out of the UK.  These individuals contribute exponentially to trade and business growth within the UK.  The more world business leaders are welcomed into a country, the greater the chance of inward investment, the more employment, the greater the generation of GDP and the subsequent tax yield — both corporation and personal taxation – from employees and the businesses themselves – it has.   Let’s not forget too the secondary and tertiary indirect employment by local companies and professional firms supporting those businesses and employees.

At a time of profound change for the UK during and post Brexit, when we need to be leading the way and encouraging international trade with the UK, the very people helping us to address the necessary changes in building a sustainable future, face the prospect of being hindered from entering or leaving the UK efficiently to help initiate and promote that change for the greater good of the UK.

The UK is in the top three ranked countries for business travel in Europe, alongside Germany and France, with 60% business aviation movements passing through these three countries. Taking the UK out of that network would have a profound impact on business activities, with much of the UK financial services relying on the crucial links that business aviation provides.  Not only would the UK risk losing 140,000 direct and indirect jobs, the impact on our GDP would be £8bn per annum – with direct and indirect losses.

Such a dangerous precedent would certainly jeopardise important commercial general aviation activities including air ambulance flights; emergency flights, support for remote communities, etc, not to mention the airports that support them – that also train tomorrow’s commercial airline pilots.

Let’s do our utmost to encourage the growth of our sector so we can facilitate an accelerated plan for sustainability.  Let’s not weaponise aviation in the current political arena, but be positive and grow aviation to help sustain the UK and its ability to do business internationally and at home.

BBGA’s annual conference on 5th March, 2020 at Luton Hoo will focus on the theme ‘Flight to Sustainability.’

Marc Bailey, CEO


VAT Treatment of Aircraft in the Event of No Deal Brexit

BBGA have been very concerned at the apparent lack of clarity surrounding the VAT treatment of aircraft in the event a deal is not agreed and the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement.

It was our understanding that all aircraft which were previously imported through the UK or Isle of Man would be deemed exported from both the UK and the EU on Exit Day. There was a risk that such aircraft would be exposed to UK VAT on entering the UK or that such aircraft would have to be reimported into the UK. Our Board Members have therefore been working with the DfT, HMRC, Treasury and the CAA to give comfort to owners and operators of aircraft which have already been imported into the UK or Isle of Man, that they will not have their UK VAT paid status affected, irrespective of where the aircraft is located on Exit Day.

We are pleased to confirm assurances have been given to us in writing that “HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will take steps to minimise burdens on aircraft, on which UK VAT has been paid, re-entering the UK from the EU. In particular, transitional changes will be made to Returned Goods Relief (RGR) to allow for returns of goods from the EU to the UK. This will mean that if an aircraft has previously been imported into the UK/IOM and the appropriate taxes and duties have been paid, its UK VAT paid status will not be affected on the day of EU Exit, irrespective of where it is located”.

Please note BBGA is not qualified to give tax advice and this note is for information purposes only. Please ensure you take appropriate advice on the tax treatment of aircraft you own or operate.

Signature TECHNICAir expands on-call aircraft maintenance into the northern United Kingdom with inauguration of Manchester, England mobile service unit

Signature TECHNICAir, the aircraft maintenance division of worldwide FBO network Signature Flight Support, has expanded its MRO capabilities with a new mobile service unit (MSU) based at the Manchester Airport in Manchester, England. The addition of a location in the geographic center of the United Kingdom broadens mobile maintenance coverage across Northern England, the Midlands, and southern Scotland, complimenting four existing TECHNICAir MSUs in the south of England at Bournemouth, Farnborough, London-Luton, and London-Biggin Hill airports.

Business jet operators are able to take advantage of a variety of services traditionally reserved for time expending visits to a certified repair station through a TECHNICAir MSU, which are outfitted to accommodate light to medium on-demand maintenance at any airport. Licensed technicians are able to respond to call outs for AOG incidents, preventative maintenance, regular checks, and avionics, engine or interior repairs, with specializations in Hawker, Cessna Citation, and Embraer series aircraft.

“Signature TECHNICAir’s ability to offer aircraft maintenance throughout the United Kingdom has been consistently growing due to our investment in our mobile services business” noted John Hamshere, Sales and Customer Support Manager for TECHNICAir’s EMEA region. “With the addition of our Manchester based mobile service unit, Signature TECHNICAir can offer comprehensive coverage of the entire country, empowering aircraft operators with MRO services that are designed to fit the unique needs of their schedule and location. “

Information on Signature Flight Support

Signature, including Signature TECHNICAirTM and EPIC Fuels, provides premium, full service flight and home base support including refueling, ground handling and MRO services through the world’s largest fixed base operation (FBO) network for B&GA users with around 200 locations covering key destinations in North America, Europe, South America, Caribbean, Africa and Asia. EPIC Fuels is a provider of aviation fuels, supplies and services operating at more than 200 locations.

For more information, please visit

Air Charter Service expands its US Headquarters

Air Charter Service’s US headquarters expanded last month in order to facilitate future growth of the company’s nine offices across the region. The long-running project of moving ACS’s second largest office is off the back of its most successful year in 2018.

Richard Thompson, ACS Americas President, commented: “Last year ACS Americas arranged just shy of 6,000 charter contracts across the nine offices and saw revenue of more than $250 million. This expansion was essential as our HQ supports the ever-growing network of offices across the region – three of the nine have opened in the past two years and we have more planned in the near future.

“In 2004 we opened our first US office here in a small shopfront premises on Long Island – now there are more than 50 of us in our Long Island headquarters, and we are continually expanding, another reason for the move to these new offices.

“The project to move here has taken almost a year to complete, in order for it to be as seamless as possible. The new office is 20,000 square feet, more than double the floor space of our previous premises. We now have the space to allow us to grow and expand our sales, operations, HR, accounts, legal and customer experience teams.”

For a video walk-through of the new HQ, please click here:


About Air Charter Service

Air Charter Service is a global aircraft charter broker with 25 worldwide offices, spanning all six major continents and we offer private jet, commercial airliner and cargo aircraft charters, as well as onboard courier solutions. We arrange more than 16,000 contracts annually with revenue of close to 700 million dollars. We were formed in 1990 by Chairman Chris Leach and CEO Justin Bowman in the basement of a house, and we now employ more than 500 staff worldwide.

For more information, an interview or additional images please contact:
Glenn Phillips / PR & Advertising Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8339 8593 /+44 (0) 7799 692 629

Inflite The Jet Centre to house Embraer Executive Jets’ European demo fleet

Inflite The Jet Centre, part of the Inflite group of companies, is pleased to announce that its London Stansted Airport FBO will become the new European home of Embraer’s business jet demo fleet.  With immediate effect, Inflite will look after the manufacturer’s demo fleet, including both Phenom and Legacy demonstrators (and eventually the new Praetor 500 and 600), under dedicated terms, inclusive of handling, maintenance and hangarage.

Christoffer Creutz, Managing Director of Inflite The Jet Centre, concluded the agreement with Embraer’s Brad McKeage, VP Flight Operations, in Melbourne, Florida, just ahead of the annual NBAA-BACE Convention in Las Vegas, NV last week.

The deal builds on a 16-year relationship between Embraer and Inflite. Today, independently-owned Inflite is the OEM’s largest Authorised Service Centre serving the EMEA region for the Legacy, Lineage and Phenom families of aircraft. With its far-reaching global customer base, consisting of operators and private owners, Inflite offers a full turnkey solution, including scheduled and line maintenance services, VVIP handling and concierge services.

“Inflite The Jet Centre is an ideal location for us, given our London-based demo crews and sales team.  We have a valued, long-standing relationship with the team, who know our product line well. Also, existing and prospective customers visiting from Europe will find a comfortable, stylish, convenient and discreet private jet facility, co-located with maintenance and tech support,” said Brad McKeage, VP, Flight Operations, Embraer Executive Jets.

Inflite will oversee the full preparation of the demo fleet, including aircraft detailing, cleaning and presentation. Inflite Head of Customer Service Alan Barnes will be overseeing the integration of the Embraer fleet into The Jet Centre’s care and will manage the interaction with the Embraer EMEA Sales Team, as well as Embraer’s Flight Operations Department, which is based in Melbourne, Florida.

The Embraer Executive Jet Sales team in EMEA, headed by Peter Griffith and recently bolstered with the appointment of UK-based Craig Lammiman as Sales Director, Northern Europe, has a dedicated office at Inflite.

“This is a terrific endorsement for an excellent 16-year collaboration between Inflite and Embraer, which continues to grow,” said Christoffer Creutz, Managing Director, Inflite The Jet Centre. “We are really looking forward to welcoming their demo fleet here.”

 “This is a wonderful vote of confidence for our facility and great news for the UK and London Stansted,” added Inflite CEO Penny Stephens. 

In 2012, under Penny’s leadership, Inflite The Jet Centre was transformed into a luxurious dedicated FBO and MRO, responding to a gap in the market for larger ‘VVIP’ lounges to host executive flights. Its outstanding attention to detail and customer service has made Inflite a regular recipient of industry awards.

Editor’s note

Inflite The Jet Centre provides an extensive range of aircraft handling, engineering and support services from purpose built and newly refurbished premises at London Stansted Airport.  With three decades of experience, the company’s success has been built on the pursuit of excellence and a total commitment to maintaining the quality of its highly skilled workforce and state of the art facilities. 

For further details and enquiries please contact Alan Barnes, Head of Customer Service.

Media enquiries:

Alison Chambers

Emerald Media

Telephone 01420 560094  Mobile +44 (0) 7721 882939


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BBGA’s ability to bring together all sectors of UK general and business aviation gives us enviable networking access.
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Adams Aviation Supply Co Ltd
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