Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

Where do you fly from?

Many years ago, back when I started my flight training, I met up with some friends for dinner. One of them––who had worked for many years in Camarillo––said they had always been interested in learning to fly. “Where are you learning?” she asked. “At the Camarillo airport,” I replied.

“I didn’t know there was an airport in Camarillo,” she responded.

As an industry, how many potential customers are we losing, because they don’t know there’s an airport nearby? Even if among pilots the airport, like Camarillo (CMA), happens to be one of the bigger and better known places to fly.

Since then, when learning that I am a pilot many people have asked me, “and where do you fly from?” often expressing surprise when hearing there’s an airport close by.

Here’s the thing … as pilots we tend to take our knowledge of local airports for granted. But many potential customers don’t.

Perhaps, as an industry, we are concerned that increased awareness of a small airport nearby will increase the risk that local activists will want to close it? On the other hand we need to do better when it comes to making people who are supportive of general aviation and are interested in learning to fly, aware of the many airports around the country they can fly from, many of which are just a short commute away.

I believe in the future of general aviation, and the important role of flight school owners like you play in saving private aviation for future generations. Which is why FlightRepublic’s flight school directory uses geolocation to help flight schools increase their visibility to potential customers near them. Let’s increase the number of people who support local airports and, better yet, get them into the left seat of an airplane.