...And Other Challenges

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Meanwhile, many other challenges still confront the business aviation industry. Perhaps foremost among them is that over-the-top security concerns designed to win the last battle with terrorism will return and further restrict non-scheduled flight operations at certain places or times. While the appearance this week of the TSA's Stone at Las Vegas is, at least in part, designed to help "educate" him and his agency on what the industry is doing to ensure its security, neither the general media nor elected officials seem willing to focus on other potential security issues. Meanwhile, oil prices hit all-time highs just hours before this year's NBAA convention got underway, highlighting the rising costs of operating a personal or business aircraft. As if that were not enough, unrestricted access to airspace and airports remains a concern, as evidenced by the FAA's decision last month to reinstate arrival and departure slots at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. And, don't forget that operators without a government-approved security plan are banned from flying in certain airspace. Still, where there's a will to get to out-of -the-way locations not served by the airlines or do an out-and-back trip from one coast to mid-America and back the same day, nothing beats a business aircraft. And, as the turbines wind down, that's what it's all about this week in Las Vegas.