Monday Insight – January 24, 2022

Rural/Regional Air Access:

Just One Example of 1950s Planning Dogma

The USA really needs a complete thought overhaul when it comes to the role of air transportation as a communication channel.

What’s really amazing is that there are still lots of folks in high places declaring that commercial service right at every local airport is the equivalent of having running water – it’s a natural economic necessity.

Do The Pied Piper Act – They Aren’t Experts In Aviation, So Have At It. It’s natural the mayors, Chambers of Commerce, EDCs, ad-hock “task forces” themselves aren’t expert in air service economics, so they can be manipulated like wind-up toys with grand promises of “air service” (no need to define it or outline what it’s to accomplish) that will make the community whole. Even if the consumer base has much superior alternatives already.

One recent comment from a state official declared that air service is a far safer modality to leave small towns than other conveyances. Don’t take the Interstate – just wait for that taxpayer-subsidized 2PM Cessna Caravan that connects to nowhere. Real forward thinking. Wagon trains may be next.

There are examples of this across the nation, but generally it’s not questioned. Too politically-challenging. Here we are with the best national airport system in the world, and instead of focusing on the future opportunities it represents in regard to areas such as job creation in the new technologies coming along, attracting new industries hankerin’ to get out of big cities, not to mention the new logistics, too many communities are being convinced that all it really takes to reach the Promised Land is “local air service.” No need to define what that is, or what the goal is. Just “air service.”

Air service that in most cases has a snowball’s chance in Miami of being successful.

Actually, This Small Community ASD Emperor Is Buck Naked. Amid this righteous din, consider the following bit of heresy:

“…Small communities cannot satisfy their demand base with 2 frequencies per day. They cannot begin to retain their local traffic with multiple options available within a reasonable driving distance. Potential re-purposing some small airports will result in more economic generation than what scant air service for the sake of air service produces…”

Apostasy! Anti-social behavior! Intellectual hooliganism! This illuminates the fact that when consumers have 20-30-40 or more daily departures less than an hour – or even two hours or more – away, the chase after just having “flights” at the local airport – no definition and no destinations planned – is really myopic planning.

As for the author, we can rule out Epictetus, Plato, Pope John XXIII, and Howard Stern.

Finally, it can be revealed that this can be traced to one William Swelbar. But it’s the raw truth. Get ready. More is coming.

Last week, we implemented a new video channel that has the temerity to tackle issues such as this.

Boyd+Swelbar Unvarnished. No sacred cows. No dancing around. Just straight discussion about aviation issues. This Wednesday, we’re doing it again. Log on to our channel – Boyd Swelbar – at Or log on here at, and click the link in the menu bar.

Everything In Aviation Is On The Table – And None of It Is Sacred. This week, we’ll be talking about a number of areas that, well, aren’t usually discussed. All free-form, all free-think. No telling where it’s going to go.

The 5G media fiasco? The potential for an unexpected near-explosion in personal travel, as the CCP-Omicron variant evolves away? How airport re-purposing faces some real opportunities? The issue of electric short-haul air taxi aircraft? The 100LL discussion? International access?  Pilot issues? More than can be covered in a few minutes, but enough to get some new thought patterns into play.

At Boyd+Swelbar Unvarished, we have no boundries or set agendas. Just exploring the future outside of stale, ambient thinking.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the first video can be accessed by hitting the Boyd Swelbar tab on the menu bar. (Or, click here.)

This week’s format may be a bit more refined, but the approach to key issues certainly won’t. And if there’s some areas you want us to go into, we’re all ears… just send an email to

Join the Unvarnished Uprising this Wednesday!