Millionaire Sells His Private Jet

Why Millionaire Sells His Private Jet?

The private jet industry has experienced significant growth over the past two decades, with the global private jet fleet more than doubling. However, a recent report by the US Institute for Policy Studies highlights the disproportionate environmental impact of private jets compared to commercial planes. Private jets emit at least 10 times more pollutants per passenger, contributing significantly to the aviation sector’s climate footprint. Additionally, despite handling only a fraction of flights, the private jet sector contributes only 2% of the taxes that fund the Federal Aviation Administration.

In light of these concerns, one private jet owner has decided to take action. Stephen Prince, vice-chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, a group advocating for higher taxes, has chosen to part ways with his Cessna 650 Citation III. Prince, who previously owned several private jets, realized the environmental consequences of his love for private air travel. He describes the realization as a “horrible travesty” and expresses his inability to continue such practices.

Prince's jet

Prince acknowledges the allure of private jet travel, noting its convenience and luxury. However, he has made the decision to switch back to commercial flights, despite the inconveniences associated with them. He highlights the long lines, canceled flights, and lost luggage as drawbacks but emphasizes his commitment to change. Prince plans to aggressively sell his current jet and lease a smaller aircraft from a friend for occasional trips to a hunting preserve in Nebraska.

While Prince does not aim to persuade other millionaires to follow suit, he believes that wealthy individuals in the US should pay higher taxes. He expresses the need for a shift from a “me” to a “we” society, emphasizing the importance of considering the greater good of mankind.

The Institute for Policy Studies report, in line with Prince’s views, recommends higher taxes on private jet sales and fuel. The authors propose a 10% sales tax on used aircraft and 5% on new purchases. They also advocate for doubling the federal jet fuel tax for frequent private jet users. The report highlights the significant carbon emissions of private jets, noting that individuals such as Elon Musk, one of the most active private jet users, would face millions of dollars in additional taxes under the proposed conditions.

Private jets emit at least 10 times more pollutants than commercial planes per passenger

The authors argue that private jets reflect the growing wealth inequality and concentration of power. The report advocates for the implementation of elevated taxes, usage fees, and fuel taxes as measures to discourage private jet ownership. Furthermore, they suggest halting the construction of private aviation infrastructure, as private air travel should be phased out due to its substantial carbon footprint.

The report’s findings align with efforts in Europe, where countries like France and Ireland are pushing for stricter regulations on private jets to curb their usage. Schiphol airport in Amsterdam has even considered banning private jets altogether.

The global private jet fleet has experienced a remarkable 133% increase over the past two decades, reaching 23,133 aircraft in mid-2022 compared to 9,895 in 2000. The authors of the report argue that private air travel should be made to pay its true ecological and social costs. They emphasize the necessity of decarbonizing the aviation sector and suggest that higher taxes and discouraging private jet ownership are crucial steps in achieving this goal.

James L. Chatman

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