Something to Think About
October 1, 2019
I hope you were able to read the September installment of Hangar Flying, but if you didn’t please retrieve that issue of the Minnesota Flyer. In that article I used Charles Dickens first sentence of “A Tale of Two Cities” and modified it from “They were the best of times. They were the worst of times” to, “They were the best of airports. They were the worst of airports” and I pointed toward one airport, KDTL, as a best airport. I also alluded to an unnamed airport that was on the other end of the spectrum, in terms of being welcoming and “pilot friendly” to those who might consider flying in.
I was surprised to receive a number of phone calls and messages asking “were you writing about my local airport” as the unnamed entity, and to my surprise non of the messages came from pilots whose airport I was describing!
I am encouraged by the responses. First, it was gratifying to know that there are people out there who read this column, and subscribe to the Minnesota Flyer. Second, I think it to be a good thing that some of the readers took my comments to heart and stepped outside the box to ask themselves if theirs was one of the worst. Third, there were those who were able to ask themselves some tough questions. Lastly, what a great thing for us to be able to identify with a piece of real estate as being “my airport.” That kind of ownership is so important for many reasons.
A former president of Harvard University created a bit of a stir with his response to questions about his approach to leading that prestigious University. “Never in the history of man has anyone washed a rental car.” His paradigm is an important one to consider, his point being that people need to take ownership. In the present context, this would be ownership of our airports. We need to compare our airports with others that we visit in conjunction with a business trip, or when attending a pancake breakfast, or helping out with a Young Eagles rally. Be a critical thinker and take notes of things you really liked, or really disliked, about the airport you are visiting. Take those notes back to your local Table of Wisdom (this is what a group of flying experts calls their breakfast table at Wings Café at KBRD) and brainstorm about ways of improving your airport. Your airport doesn’t have a courtesy car? Look into making this happen. Your airport has high priced fuel? Look into ways of convincing the owners of the fuel entity to lower the cost. Are there shopping, entertainment or historical sites which may be of interest? Identify them and get the word out on AirNav, etc.
If you are one of those introspective types…well, Good On You. If not, please become one, and make your airport one of the “best of airports.”