Whether your business is a small but quickly-growing enterprise or a large international corporation, a private jet can be an invaluable asset in helping you reach your business goals.
Private jets provide efficiency, convenience, privacy, and comfort for your team and clients. They save your employees hours of travel time by bypassing the typical commercial airport experience, and allow them to work while traveling with privacy and free Wi-Fi.
A private charter jet is also an investment in both retaining your best staff, and satisfying your most important clients.
If you’ve decided to give your business an advantage with a private jet, the next step is to create an aircraft use company policy.
A company policy is important for any use of a private aircraft, whether that be chartering one on as as-needed basis or investing a private jet owned by and operated exclusively for your company.
From safety to taxes and liability, here’s what you should include in your company’s private charter jet policy.
Why Do You Need a Private Aircraft Use Company Policy?
A company policy for your private charter jet is critical for outlining important rules and procedures for your jet.
These include how and when the aircraft can be used, compliance with staffing, safety, and maintenance regulations, and documentation for legal, liability, and tax purposes.
A private aircraft use company policy should include the following:
- Pilot requirements
- Rules for what constitutes “business use”
- Policies for personal use of business aircraft
- Legal liability review and insurance agreement
- Regulatory compliance
- Cost reporting rules
- Documentation of all use for tax reporting
Protecting Your Company and Your Staff
The purpose of a detailed company policy for use of a private aircraft should be to benefit and protect the well-being of your company, its employees, and all staff associated with operating the jet.
There are 3 general consequences of a private aircraft use company policy:
You value the safety of your employees. Since your company is responsible for getting your team from point A to B in a private jet, you want to rest assured that their safety is first priority.
Created in collaboration with an aircraft regulations expert, your company policy can specify detailed procedures for hiring competent pilots and maintenance and flight crew, as well as ensuring that your private charter jet is up to code.
Many of the expenses related to the use of your private jet can be tax deductible. This consideration is important for your bottom line.
In order to take advantage of the full tax deductions associated with your company’s private jet expenses, you’ll need to keep detailed documentation of all flights, and what percentage of any given flight is deemed as “business use”.
The IRS doesn’t allow any potentially “lavish” or personal use of the aircraft to be deducted.
A business trip to London has deductible expenses — a stopover in Lisbon for a weekend of sunshine and seafood doesn’t.
Your company policy should give guidelines for internal documentation of your private aircraft. These guidelines should be in addition to the FAA requirements for flight logs.
This documentation should include:
- Date of flight
- Point of departure and destination, as well as all stops, logged by airport code
- Flight time of each leg
- All passengers’ full names, including title of each (e.g., employee, client, or someone not related to direct business use, such as a spouse) — the more detail, the better
- Purpose of trip in detail, including any non-business activity
- % of trip that is tax-deductible business use vs. non-business use
Be sure to consult an expert in aircraft accounting during the development of this aspect of the policy.
It’s important to protect the liability of your company in the very rare occurrence of an accident.
Your company’s policy should be crystal clear about what constitutes business use, as well as detailed procedures for employee requests to use the private charter jet.
These details can protect you if an employee overreaches company policy in their use of the jet.
And if an accident occurs, it’s important to show that you’ve been fully responsible in your pilot staffing, maintenance, and safety procedures.
Who Should Be Involved In Creating a Private Jet Use Policy?
The following should be involved in creating your company’s private jet use policy:
- The people who will be responsible for managing approval of use of the aircraft.
- An aircraft safety and FAA regulations expert.
- An expert in aircraft accounting and travel-by-air tax law.
- A human resource professional, either internally or as consultant.
- Your company’s legal counsel.
- Your company’s board must approve the company policy.
Sharing Your New Company Policy
Your employees will be excited to learn about the convenience and efficiency offered by your company’s investment in a private charter jet.
But they may not be so interested in the details of your company’s private jet policy. However, knowing and understanding the information in the policy is key to ensuring their safety, protecting your company’s legal and tax liability, and maximizing the benefits of the private jet for your business.
Once your board has approved the new private jet use company policy, take the following steps to make sure your staff is trained and knowledgeable about your company’s private jet policy:
- Hold mandatory meetings for all relevant staff to go over the policy in detail.
- Email a full copy of the policy to relevant staff, as well as a simplified one-page outlining the basic tenants of the policy.
- Post material outlining basic tenants of the policy in the workplace and in the employee resources section of your company’s website.
- Include information about the policy in your company’s newsletter.
- Make sure managers/supervisors receive more detailed training in understanding the finer points of the policy.
- Add information about the policy to your employee handbook.
- Require each relevant employee to sign an agreement stating that they’ve read and understand the policy, and add the signed agreement to that employee’s internal company file.
Getting Ready for Take-Off
If you’re looking for professional guidance to help craft your company’s new private jet policy, look no further than the experts at Mountain Aviation.
Mountain Aviation has decades of experience in helping companies find and acquire the right kind of aircraft to suit their needs and budget.
We can assist in every step of the policy drafting process, and can store, maintain, and even fly your jet for you.
Plus, our flight crews and dispatchers can oversee and sign off on each and every flight to make sure its safe and complies with all FAA regulations.
As a private jet operator, safety is our business.
Mountain Aviation has achieved the coveted ARG/US Platinum Rating. This prestigious rating covers every facet of Mountain Aviation’s flight operations and is one of the highest ratings for “safety and excellence in service” the aircraft industry can offer.
And in our 20th year of business, we were awarded the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Safety Award for its track record and high standards. More recently, Mountain Aviation joined the Air Charter Safety Foundation, supporting the highest levels of safety in the aviation industry.
Interested in getting ready for that first take-off? Learn about Mountain Aviation’s Proven Aircraft Acquisition Process >