Oklahoma State Senator Jay Paul Gumm writes a regular column and chose to talk about rural competitiveness and infrastructure recently. Infrastructure can mean lots of things. Gumm talks specifically about rural airports.
These airports are critical gateways to mid-size communities. They are where CEOs land to look for business relocation or expansion sites. The airports are business centers for entrepreneurs who provide services to the aviation industry….
A small airplane manufacturer has relocated its production and office operations from San Diego, Calif., to the Blackwell-Tonkawa Regional Airport. This one relocation will generate 40 jobs and millions of dollars of economic impact.
Alva benefited from the development of Vantage Plane Plastics (airplane interior parts manufacturer) out of a locally-grown business, through its acquisition by a California company, and its recent expansions.
Your own business may rely on the local airport more than you think.
Our local bank had to call for service of a specialized piece of equipment. The service people came in a small jet, actually a bit too big for Alva’s airport. They had to land an hour away and drive in.
The Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma Jari Askins will go anywhere for any event (almost). But you have to have an airport of a certain minimum size for her plane to land. So if want her to come celebrate your major expansion, be sure you’ve supported your local airport.
Cafe Bahnhof in Waynoka, Oklahoma, receives visitors each week who have flown in, rather than driven, just to enjoy Dieter Dorner’s hospitality and Bavarian style food. He even lists fly-in information on his website. You can bet he supports his local airport.
How about you? Do you rely on your local airport? How are you supporting it?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.