Managing the Corporate Aviation Function

  • Managers in corporate aviation are, by default, the symbol of their department’s success. As representatives of the significant capital invested in business aircraft, they need to show consistent financial returns despite unpredictable market conditions. And success is more than a balance sheet — it also hinges on a leader’s ability to inspire diverse teams to execute technically demanding and complex work with increasing efficiency and excellence. 

  • At a Glance

    Maximize your organization's investment in aviation resources and take your business career higher. In Managing the Corporate Aviation Function, you'll examine the challenges specific to your industry and learn how to promote high performance among team members while improving departmental productivity, efficiency, financing and equipment selection.

    The Program

    Presented in partnership with the National Business Aviation Association, this program provides the comprehensive bundle of industry insights, management techniques and hands-on experience professionals need to become high-performance leaders in corporate aviation. Through case studies and small-group work, you'll uncover solutions to traditional and emerging challenges, particularly budgeting, financial management, and maintaining performance and operational standards among direct reports. You'll practice interpreting annual reports and financial statements, analyze the business case for corporate aviation and explore various cost allocation techniques, including user charge-back methods, so you can better manage the expense to profit margin of your department. You'll also learn new ways to make the most of your capital budget, reviewing alternative financing methods and your options for chartering, leasing, fractional ownership and outright purchase of aircraft to provide the necessary flight hours for your business. You'll apply these principles during an in-class project, developing a fleet business case for a turboprop plane, a jet airplane and a helicopter using net present value. Finally, you'll practice the key leadership skills that bridge the gap between disciplines and motivate teams to work more efficiently and happily.

    Where You'll Excel

    • Develop a broad-based view of the corporate aviation function's impact on organizational goals and profit.
    • Blend business best practices with practical considerations around aircraft acquisition, maintenance, equipment technology updates, and continuing education and personnel development.
    • Audit operational performance to provide meaningful feedback to direct reports and upper management.
    • Practice building trust and collaboration among team members with diverse responsibilities
    • Make an informed capital budgeting business case for new aircraft. 

    Schedule & Topics

    • Financial Fundamentals
    • Equipment Justification
    • Operational Challenges
    • Financing Methods
    • Organizational and Behavior Difficulties


    When you finish Managing the Corporate Aviation Function, you'll walk away with:

    • A broadened industry perspective so you can make more competitive and strategic choices
    • Knowledge of the latest standards in fleet planning, airplane and helicopter acquisition, charge-back methods and financing options
    • The ability to speak the language of aviation finance, analyze capital budgets and make smarter allocation decisions
    • A comprehensive set of analytical techniques for realizing greater cost savings or improved service while providing necessary flight hours
    • An awareness of your personal management style and how to inspire both aviation and corporate reports



    This program is designed for aspiring and experienced leaders in the aviation industry, from chief pilots to maintenance managers to executives. It will be useful to managers who want to update or expand their ability to build savvier budgets, negotiate equipment acquisition more effectively or learn new techniques for improving their bottom line.


    Mark E. Haskins

    Professor of Business Administration
    Haskins has designed and delivered executive education programs for such clients as IBM, INTELSAT, MCI, Coopers & Lybrand, Aetna Insurance, Norfolk Southern Railroad, AES Corporation, Rolls Royce NA, Harris Corporation, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. Professor Haskins has taught executives in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong and the United States. He is author of The Secret Language of Financial Reports(McGraw-Hill, 2008) and coauthor of Teaching Management: A Field Guide for Professors, Consultants and Corporate Trainers(Cambridge University Press, 2006).



    Lynn Isabella

    Associate Professor of Business Administration 
    Isabella teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership and change, and team interaction. As a management consultant, she has extensive international experience with companies worldwide, helping them develop their global leadership talent and organizational effectiveness. She regularly works with companies in Central and Eastern Europe through IEDC, Bled School of Management in Slovenia and has extensive experience in Latin and South America, China, Africa and Western Europe. As a certified executive coach, Professor Isabella helps managers and executives achieve their highest leadership potential in order to do the best work of their career and inspire others to do the same. As a researcher, she focuses on questions of leading change as a middle manager, developing one's collaborative leadership abilities, understanding the mindsets that shape individual careers and propel organizational change.



    Kenneth C. Lichtendahl Jr.

    Associate Professor of Business Administration
    Lichtendahl teaches Quantitative Analysis courses in Darden's MBA and Executive Education programs. His research focuses on eliciting, evaluating, and combining probability forecasts and modeling consumption preferences. His work has appeared in leading academic journals such as Management Science and Operations Research. He serves as an associate editor for Management Science and Decision Analysis. Several of his research papers received publication awards from the Institute for Management Science and Operations Research (INFORMS). Lichtendahl was nominated for Darden's Outstanding Faculty Award in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. In 2009, he received the University of Virginia's Mead-Colley Award.



    June A. West

    Assistant Professor of Business Administration
    Other than this course, West teaches First Year "Management Communication" in the MBA program at Darden and Second Year electives in special topics in organizational communication. She is the university faculty liaison to the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA, and team-teaches in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. West also directs a Darden faculty team that teaches in the summer orientation program for the Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellows program that places active-duty military officers in corporations for a one-year fellowship. West was also instrumental in the inception in 2003 of the Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education (PLE). This partnership between the graduate schools of business and education was formed to strategically combine the most innovative thinking in business and education to provide education leaders with the knowledge, tools, skills and resources necessary for managing and governing schools and school systems.

    Location & Accommodations

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    As a participant, you'll stay in a private room at the  Inn at Darden, our highly rated hotel adjacent to the classroom buildings and dining center. Accommodations are included in your tuition.

    Tuition & Certificates

    $9,950 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the  Inn at Darden. NBAA members receive a 10 percent tuition reduction.

    By taking this course, you will earn one week of credit toward a Certificate in Management.