The Securities & Exchange Commission requires each company to disclose any personal use provided to its top executives (the Named Executive Officers). This disclosure is made in the annual proxy statement to shareholders, and details the costs incurred to provide personal flights to the Named Executive Officers included in proxy.
Most companies treat their SEC proxy reporting with great care. While the IRS treats corporate tax returns confidentially, proxy statements filed with the SEC are published on the Internet and available for anyone to view.
Many media articles and stories scrutinizing corporate aircraft have involved review of proxy statements to gain information about executive use of corporate aircraft:
The Wall Street Journal publishes a major story comparing corporate proxy disclosures to corporate flight aircraft history obtained from the FAA through an Freedom of Information Act. They also publish an internet database of corporate aircraft flights for anyone to search.
The Financial Times releases “Executive Perks: The Corporate Jet Files” after analyzing over 1,000 SEC filings for executives’ personal use of corporate aircraft.
The Washington Post releases “Elon Musk’s highflying 2018: What 150,000 miles in a private jet reveal about his ‘excruciating’ year”, including an animation of each flight of his corporate aircraft.