Last, but not least, aviation security continued to play a huge role during 2004, not only in how business aviation operations were conducted and in how much visibility they received but also in considering the industry’s growth opportunities. On one hand, the industry should consider itself fortunate that it was not subject to more restrictions and security regulations imposed at the local, state or federal levels during the year. On another hand, 2004 came and went without any kind of major security “scare” or fear-mongering among the mainstream media.
Whether the ongoing security issues among scheduled carriers will be eclipsed by recent service problems is anyone’s guess. But, for whatever reason, well-heeled airline passengers are throwing in the towel on airlines and opting for alternatives, including fractional operations, charters and private ownership. Business aviation’s challenge will continue to be to convince policy makers and the media that its operations are secure and do not need anything approaching airline-style security. In this and in many other ways, what was 2004, will be 2005.