Your connection with the sky

Airline’s Loss Could Be GA’s Gain

While there is growing concern and evidence that the general aviation industry is falling off a cliff, there is also evidence of a significant opportunity.  According to the New York Times, more and more small cities are losing airline travel.  You can read the article here. The result?  That small towns supported by tourists are feeling a harsh economic downtown.

So, here's where GA can step in.  The states, such as New Mexico and Washington, need to help support both personal and charter flying in order to keep people coming.  And GA needs to demonstrate how it can help in a cost-effective, safe way.

GA has long been a thorn for politicians--- complaints from residents living near airports, media hysteria over accidents, the idea that only 'rich boys' fly. Some of those complaints we bring unto ourselves.

Here is an opportunity to show that GA can explicitly support communities.  This will require a public relations effort and a real demonstration of how GA can be a realistic travel solution within the budgets of travelers in a down economy.

Easy?  No.  But such a move can go a long way in showing that GA is a valuable member of small communities.

One Response to “Airline’s Loss Could Be GA’s Gain”

  1. The expansion of on-demand charter operations seems to be an opportunity for those fortunate enough to already have a Part 135 certificate in hand. The regulatory barriers to entry are quite high if you are seeking a totally new certificate. Investigating the process last year, I discovered from two small 135 operations (piston singles and piston twins), that their initial applications took over 14 months from first contact with the FAA to certificate in hand. In the context of starting a new operations, that is a challenging time frame given the capital investments required. For the new business, quick entry into the market place seems to require purchase of an existing certificate. A flight school operation that may want to expend into 135 may be a bit better off, given potentially an a/c on hand for the initial proposed operation and the (potentially) positive cash flow from the school while the bureocracy ginds on the 135 application. My understanding is that these apps. take so long due to the limited staffing at many FSDOs and the absence of any real requirements that the FAA act within any particular time frame. For comparison, the FDA is required to act on new drug applications in 6 months ... I think that GA could benefit from a statutory requirement for FAA action ... at least then the FAA could parlay that requirement in to requests for more staff ...

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