Business aviation involves the use of privately hired or operated aircraft, including luxury jet aeroplanes and helicopters, for exclusive use. This may include chartered aircraft for private transportation or carrying staff to business meetings.
Business aviation flights can occur at any aerodrome (or a private site) with the facilities to accommodate them. Typically, for private jets, they will operate from aerodromes with paved runways with other provisions including fuel and other services. These aircraft will likely be using ‘Jet A1’ fuel, which is normally available at larger, more complex aerodromes, for turbine and jet engine aircraft.
There are however various high-performance aircraft such as a Pilatus PC12, PC24 or King Air which may be operated from suitable grass runways.
Business aviation flights allow passengers the freedom and efficiency to reach multiple destinations in one day. They can operate in and out of smaller airports with a faster check-in process, saving time and hassle for passengers. Business aircraft may also be able to access hard to reach areas that commercial jets would not.
How can you get involved?
To work in a paid flying job such as business aviation it will necessitate that you hold a commercial pilot’s licence.
A pilot can hold a commercial licence (CPL) for many different types of aircraft, although the most common are for aeroplanes or helicopters, generally referred to as either a CPL (A) or CPL (H). You can see more on commercial licences on the CAA web site.
A ‘rating’ or ‘conversion’ for the type of aircraft being flown by a business aviation company or private owner is likely to be required. For example, if the company is operating a PC12 aircraft, this has turbine engines and therefore a ‘single engine turbine’ (SET) rating will need to be acquired through training and examination on that aircraft.
There are also ground crew or operations jobs in this sector where you can have a role that is integral to the business aviation service being offered.
How can you progress in this career?
- You could work overseas
- You could gather a number of type ratings to operate different aircraft
- Become a Type Rating Instructor (TRI) or Type Rating Examiner (TRE) and instruct/examine other qualified pilots on business aviation aircraft
Good to know…
- Business aviation provides approximately 375,000 people with employment in Europe.
- Business aviation accounts for approximately 8% of all European air travel.