LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Re: Ben Sclair’s Touch & Go column, “Let’s attract the money,” in the April 3 issue: Though I find much of what you say accurate, I don’t think it entirely covers or tenders a plan to fix the problems.
As a longtime stakeholder, airport and flight school owner/operator, providing a number of related pilot, mentor, political alligator wrestler, commentator services, etc., I feel as though I’m reasonably qualified to weigh in on these ongoing blame games.
Our situation doesn’t just stem from attracting wealth, though that would be nice and perhaps make things easier. Our problem is more deeply rooted in not attracting anyone at all.
Our industry doesn’t advertise or present ourselves as a viable sport, recreation, or business alternative to the general public. Nowhere today, except in our own “church hymnals,” do we go out and solicit “Joe Six Pack,” the starving reality type, or the unhappy office worker searching for something to do with his sacred weekend or vacation.
No ads in USA Today, none on reality TV, no billboards on major highways, no exposure about becoming a career pilot by the school guidance counselor, no aviation infomercials, no significant web presence, no nothing! We don’t compete for people’s attention, let alone their time and money.
Either our industry is extremely arrogant, stupid, ill informed or can’t be bothered or there’s something I haven’t figured out from more than 35 years in business.
Attract the money, but first let’s attract the masses.
ROBERT POWELL, Owner, Cecil County Airport (58M), Maryland