Monday Insight – April 11, 2022

Life After Air Service Development Programs

Economic Refugee Companies – The New Small Airport Opportunity

Lots of huddled aviation-related masses, yearning to be free…

The flaw in most aviation and airport forecasts is that they assume everything is a general trendline, with the drivers of growth being a simple matter of mathematical formulas applied to population and demographic metrics.

But in the next five years – write this down – there will be major economic migrations that will fundamentally change how and where America lives and works. And where aviation-related enterprises relocate to.

There are several complex sub-drivers of what we’ll be experiencing, but the bottom line is that people and commerce will shift to where quality and security of life are better. It doesn’t take a six-month study to figure this out. Businesses in some areas are being almost actually told they’re not welcome, based on dimbulb political and economic policies

Wake Up And Smell The Woke. Let’s not dance around the issue. In he last two years, what has transpired in major cities along the West Coast – and some other points across the nation – without question will affect where commerce will expand and where it will contract. It is a set of factors that will be making refugees out of a lot of aviation-related businesses in formerly strong economic regions. They will be looking to business-migrate. Airports across the country face huge opportunities.

We recently covered this in a Touch & Go™ newsletter to our clients. Make no mistake, jobs and prosperity are not going to be created in places where there is condoned petty crime, ignored and even tacitly-encouraged street violence, high taxes, civil uncertainty and deteriorating social stability.  Businesses are in the progressive cross-hairs. Chambers of Commerce and EDCs and Mayor’s Task Forces won’t change his. The basic foundations are crumbling and that means businesses are looking to emigrate to new more rational locations. And it’s a lot easier to do this in an electronic communication world.

Crime Is Only A Crime If It’s Priced Right. The poster child for this situation is seen in places in California. Shoplifting is not a big deal as long as it’s under around $900 per heist. Drop into that Brooks Brothers shop, and grab yourself something nice off the rack. Obviously, alterations aren’t free, but that Hart Shaftner & Marx 3-piece is.

Small stores are closing in downtown areas because the de facto reality is that there is no protection from crime. This warped mentality permeates the entire approach to business and commerce.

Quietly, we’re seeing the responses to this start to manifest. We’re looking at what will be electronic wagon trains moving commerce from affected cities (and, in a couple of instances, entire states.)

Business Refugees Yearning To Be Free. What this means is that there are hundreds – thousands, actually – of businesses and commercial entities in these affected areas that are candidates for out-migration. The first step is to craft plans to attract and accommodate them.

So, let’s get down to the potential this represents for small and mid-size airports across the mid-section of the nation. No, it’s not the potential for higher enplanements. Instead, it’s the economic potential. Every airport has a Master Plan. But generally, these don’t contemplate potential of attracting new businesses to and around the airport. That is where the future growth is.

Develop A Target-Specific Economic Battle Plan. The opportunity is matching the available airport facilities to targeted refugee businesses in these declining cities.

In Southern California, there are likely hundreds of aviation-related entities that would find airports and communities in Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Kentucky and other places far better locations to do business. Carefully identify their needs, their necessary skill sets, their required logistics, etc., and develop a plan to accommodate them.

It will take some work… identifying what the local airport has available and determining a clear target list of specific companies that can be attracted. To be sure, there is a whole lot of analysis that needs to be accomplished, but the fact is that there are clear opportunities for airports and communities that craft clear, targeted economic outreach.

The point, we would submit, is made. The opportunity is right in front of every small and mid-size airport in America.

Give BGI a call or drop us an email – we can talk about how we can assist in crafting a true Battle Plan for your airport.

This is not a drill – some large cities are policy-honking aviation businesses out of town. Opportunities are rife.


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