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Probable Tomorrows : How Science and Technology Will Transform Our Lives in the Next Twenty Years

Nuts! : Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success

Denver International Airport: Lessons Learned

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Table of Contents
Phoenix, AZ
The $100 Hamburger
Hutchinson, Kansas
Back To Basics
Hangar Flying
Legal Perspective
Comm Radios
Pilot's Review -
SoftComm's C-90 BNE Headset
SWAV News Update
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SW Aviator Magazine
3909 Central NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Phone: 505.256.7031
Fax: 505.256.3172

From The Publisher
by Don Mickey

Welcome to a new millennium. Throughout the last century, aviation changed dramatically. In the beginning, aircraft were few and far between, built by pilots and enthusiasts and often maintained in a haphazard way. As the number of aircraft increased, businesses were created to deal with different facets of the industry. Over time new laws and agencies were established to help define the field, leading to a variety of other businesses and organizations. As aviation evolved, these businesses had to change with the industry as well as with technology. This century will be no different. In order to compete, aviation-related businesses will have to change, not only to adapt to new technology and changing laws, but also to a new clientele.
As I visit more and more aviation-related businesses, one thing makes itself clear to me—there are essentially two types of businesses; those that sit and wait for business to come to them, continually complaining that things just aren’t what they used to be, and those who are forward thinking and motivated enough to create a market for themselves, not to idly let the market slip away. A perfect example of a forward thinking trend in aviation is the surge of kit plane companies that have established themselves as an alternative to the ever increasing cost of a manufactured aircraft. These companies have created a market for themselves and become an increasingly strong force within the industry.

On a more regional level, I have been impressed with a handful of FBOs, flight schools, and shops that have been innovative in their strategies towards a changing market. For instance, Adventure Aviation, in Las Cruces, NM, rented a storefront in the local shopping mall during the holiday season. Then, with the cooperation of the local EAA chapter and other aviation-related organizations, they set up an information center, complete with an actual airplane, as well as a number of models and displays, in the store. They signed up 230 people for the “Be a Pilot Program,” and have been surprised with the number of these folks who continued on to take flying lessons. Their theory is simple; take the interest that many people have in flight, give them an opportunity to act on that interest, and work with that individual through the span of their aviation experience. These students will someday soon be pilots. They will be looking for fuel, supplies and aircraft to buy. Adventure Aviation has helped to establish a new market that has easy access to the services that they offer.

Part of the key to this type of thinking is the realization that the market will inevitably continue to change. The typical general aviation pilot is becoming younger and used to a more “polished” image. The old duct-taped fuselage and shack on the side of the runway just aren’t good enough anymore. New FBOs exhibiting this spirit have opened at fields where older, more complacent businesses already existed, bringing new facilities, self-service fuel and updated rental aircraft, as well as a level of service that pilots were unaccustomed to. These businesses have continued to exceed projections. The owners realized that business would come to them—all they had to do was create an environment that would cater to the changing face of general aviation.

Change is inevitable. Those who learn to use it to their advantage will continue to prosper; those who don’t will fail.

Don Mickey

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The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publishing, Inc. and the staff neither assume any responsibilty for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising out of it. Fly safe.