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Cessna Calls for Industry Unity to Defend the Image of Business Aviation

Aviation - 9th March 2010

LONDON, March 9, 2010 – Robert Stangarone, vice president, Corporate Communications, Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, said today at the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) Annual Conference that the industry needs to keep communicating the value and benefits of business aviation.

Stangarone said: “Everyone in our industry should consider themselves ambassadors. Business aircraft are used in so many valuable ways and have truly become essential to the global transportation system. We need to take every opportunity to spread that message to the world.”

Stangarone stressed the importance and strength of unity. “Protecting our image is a common goal we can all pursue, on both sides of the Atlantic. Through Cessna’s own ‘Rise’ campaign, we’ve seen the power of partnering with our industry allies and associations, with our government officials, with our customers and with other stakeholders.

“Together, we need to make sure the facts are heard. Business aviation supports 1.2 million jobs across the U.S. Equally, thousands of European jobs depend on our industry. And companies that use business aviation are more productive than their competitors.

“It’s not just big business either,” continued Stangarone. “The vast majority of companies that rely on business aviation are small and medium-sized operations. And just as important, business jets are a lifeline for small cities across North America and remote communities in Europe, and they play a critical role in disaster relief efforts following catastrophes such as the earthquake in Haiti.”

Stangarone concluded: “As an industry we’re a force with strong points to make and a solid strategy. We’re making good headway but we have to keep working to protect our image.”

The BBGA is the UK’s national trade body representing companies operating and trading in general and business aviation. The association’s Annual Conference is taking place today at the Sopwell House Hotel (St. Albans), bringing together some 200 leading representatives from industry, politics and regulatory bodies.