Sustainable Development Goals:
Making an Impact, One Goal at a Time
Something not many people may be aware of is what business aviation provides to companies in terms of health, safety, and service versatility. Moreover, with a diverse range of aircraft catering to medical and humanitarian relief initiatives, this is a sector that puts its people in first place – be it aircraft owners, passengers or employees. These elements, among others, make the industry an active contributor to 15 of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
One example is how the industry helps advance SDG 3, the Good Health and Well-Being goal to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. Aircraft manufacturer Textron Aviation’s VP of Sales for Europe, Tom Perry, explains in detail…
With COVID-19 having taken over a significant part of 2020, the specific goal of Good Health and Well-Being became a priority for many commercial airlines. As a result, many had to rethink their strategies on the health and safety of passengers while traveling. That, however, is where business aviation comes in. In a world highly sensitive to safety, healthy proximity and hygiene, business aviation offers all of that (see this example) on top of being a fast and flexible air transport mode, giving passengers the option to enjoy a more productive, secure, and stress-free travel solution.
Business aircraft contributing to passengers’ well-being
“There’s a big added value in using business aviation when it comes to health,” Tom Perry explains. Take for example the different ways cabin air is replenished. “Before entering the cabin, the air is heated up to engine temperature, killing all germs and bacteria. There’s also the option of using High-Efficiency Particle Arrestance (HEPA) filters, which reuses cabin air. These methods make the air very safe and clean to breathe in.”
Tom continues by highlighting that operating at a low-cabin altitude makes business aircraft safer particularly for passengers that have medical or respiratory issues. Changes in pressure can cause health conditions to deteriorate, so maintaining the air pressure at sea level keeps the patients’ vitals steady.
“Business aircraft have very comfortable and protected cabins, which is an important factor for transporting vulnerable passengers,” Tom mentions. “Being in a quiet, vibration-free space with only a companion or doctor present turns a potentially traumatic journey into a calm, beneficial one.”
The passengers you might not know about: performing special missions
Did you know that – pre-COVID19 – medical flights counted for more than 70 business aviation departures a day? “That’s something we should underline: business aviation is a reliable solution for emergency responses and humanitarian relief missions,” Tom adds. “Business aircraft are easier to manoeuvre on airfields, and smaller planes are easier to disinfect. There are also less people on board, which gives distressed passengers peace of mind.”
“A lot of our aircraft are well-suited to becoming air ambulances,” he explains. “We’ve also converted planes to accommodate medevac missions. Our aircraft have also carried incapacitated passengers, and are well-suited to carrying important cargo, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccines, or even organs. We have the accessibility and flexibility to accommodate emergency response flights.”
Across Europe, up to 25,280 airport or city pairs are not connected by commercial airlines. They are, however, accessible through business aviation flights. This makes a significant impact on connectivity, especially when related to health emergencies: “The advantage of business aircraft is that we’re able to reach remote communities,” says Tom. “This is a win for companies, aid, and medical organisations alike.”
Tom also mentions the COVID-19 crisis, and what the future will bring for businesses: “Pre-COVID, roughly 10% of flights in the travel industry fell under business aviation,” Tom states. “This number has doubled in the meantime. Although passenger numbers are generally still on the lower side due to the crisis, we can estimate that a larger percentage of passengers will likely prefer flying privately. A lot of people will want to avoid large airport crowds.”
People are also starting to better understand the value/benefit ratio of such a transport option.
“This crisis has shown us how valuable business aviation can be, and how indispensable the industry is. With business aviation, it’s important to recognise that the entire passenger journey is healthy and safe.”
The privacy afforded during the flight is an ideal way to ensure passengers maintain control over who is sharing the cabin with them: “Instead of encountering thousands of people in a busy terminal, you’re met with only a handful, if even that. Vulnerable passengers will feel a lot more at ease with the possibility of minimised human interaction.”
“The accessibility and desirability of business aviation will definitely be a decisive factor for many companies moving forward,” Tom concludes confidently.
The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals came to life with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These goals were established as the guidelines for countries and companies to work towards making the world a more peaceful and prosperous place. Goals not only focus on humanitarian causes such as reducing inequality, ending poverty, and improving education, but also encouraging economic growth and stimulating climate action.
Do you have an example of how a company in the business aviation sector is aligned with these goals? Don’t hesitate to reach out!