CJI Town Hall delegates meet the ‘now normal’ of business aviation


Introducing the idea of the “now normal” in business aviation at Corporate Jet Investor’s Town Hall, Steve McManus, GE Aviation sales director, said it would help the industry prepare for the inevitability of change.

Borrowing a term coined by this wife, McManus said the term “now normal” was useful in persuading people who don’t like change to come to terms with its implications. “We are going to be in a state of change and dynamic flux in a changing world for the next 18 months,” he told the Town Hall online meeting’s 300 plus delegates.

A recent now normal trend McManus had detected were business jets being used more widely for family journeys – leading to a heighted awareness of safety. “The term business jet maybe needs to be reconsidered as the family jet,” said McManus. Over the past six months, private jet owners have increasingly chosen to use their aircraft for family holidays. “Even charter airlines are starting to get charters for whole families seeing. So, the business jet is not used just by a business jet person doing business but also for transporting their family.”

This trend had sparked an even greater awareness of safety topics, he said. Owners and charters with family aboard their business jet wanted the aircraft to be “extra safe”. That was leading to renewed emphasis on engine prognostics building on the long-established idea of engine diagnostics. ”From diagnostics, we have not moved to the next level of prognostics – anticipating a trend or activity in a jet engine,” said McManus.

‘New engines have 88 sensors’

“Our new engines have 88 sensors on them. It’s a sensor and algorithm complexity that really helps keep people safe.”

Continuous monitoring of engine performance in the air and on the ground enables the early detection of problems and, if necessary, the dispatch of a team to remedy them as soon as possible.

Quizzed about flight-shaming, McManus said this is “still absolutely an issue”. There were things customers could do to combat criticism. “You can go and buy yourself the most fuel efficient private jet in the world – the Global 7500. But the people doing the flight shaming won’t really care.” Another option was to buy carbon offset credits “but no one is going to see that as you get into your business jet”.

‘That story needs to be out there’

A much more visible remedy to the challenge of flight shaming was for business jets to be seen as playing a key role in humanitarian roles. Examples included fighting the bush fires in Australia last year and in the US western states this year. “That story needs to be out there and told to the world,” said McManus. “These [aircraft] are not fancy toys. They provide a service and a purpose and a surge for these kind of activities.”

Asked to choose between which term best represented the current state of business aviation, 95.5% of respondents selected ‘Now Normal’ and 4.5% selected ‘New Normal’.

Steve McManus, GE Aviation sales director, introduced delegates to the

new concept of  the “Now Normal” in business aviation.

Meanwhile, other speakers at this week’s Town Hall included: Chris Marich, MySky, Vicki Nakata, Stellar Labs, Adrian Parsons, Aviation Data Solutions, Byron Severson, Tally Ho! and Paul Mulko, FlyEasy Software.

Two new data products were announced: the Airport Pricing Calculator (APC) and Tally Ho!; an app for owners and operators. Read more about them here. You can also watch this week’s edition of Corporate Jet Investor Town Hall below.