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What General Aviation Needs: 8 not-so-easy solutions to GA’s woes
When you look across the landscape of General Aviation it becomes apparent that there are some challenges.
I took the liberty of writing down a short list of pain-points for you perusal (not in any specific order).
1. We need airplanes that are inexpensive to purchase and fly
In my opinion, this won’t happen until one key development is solidified – electric flight. If we can develop a 200 mph 4 seaters that can run on electrons, the cost of flying will go down exponentially. These electric birds also need to be less expensive to produce than our current dinosaur-burners.
2. More accessibility
More and better access to airports and training facilities. Many airports are like fortresses. Plus the FBOs aren’t super-friendly so we have some work to do in that department. (related article here)
3. Fewer restrictions
The whole user fee issue just makes my blood boil. How is it that our current fuel tax isn’t a user fee already? Why would do we need a standalone fee? It will be a huge waste of money, make our system less safe, and drive folks away from flying. (related article here)
Also no 3rd class medical. This is in work and I feel like this can have a really positive impact on GA. The less barriers for entry, the more folks participate – simple. Also we’ll retain more of our current population.
4. More social opportunities
The camaraderie that comes with a strong local community of pilots is unmatched. Why? As a non-pilot have you ever tried to talk to an aviator? You need a translator most of the time. It’s important to create more of a “brotherhood/sisterhood” to help provide that ‘value-add’ that aviation needs in this day and time. (related article here)
5. Enhanced safety
Make flying safer and you get several great things. First, fewer people get hurt – that’s a no brainer. Indirect benefits include: less negative press, fewer lawsuits and ergo liabilities on OEMs are reduced, which should lower the cost for airplanes and our insurance. Less government interference; if you aren’t planting airplanes into the hills regulators aren’t as compelled to intervene.
It’s a win-win-win!
6. More Good press
This isn’t just an aviation problem. It seems only bad news is newsworthy these days. The press is a for-profit entity and if folks don’t tune in, they don’t make money. I blame our morbid and negative human tendencies for causing most of the news to be doom and gloom. We need to
celebrate promote our successes more!
7. Liability protection
The General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 went a long way, but it is still an issue. Reports are that close to a third of the cost of the average light aircraft (and its associated replacement parts) goes to the liability insurance. Our overly litigious society is entirely to blame. When someone can sue and get awarded damages against a manufacturer for a crash that was clearly not the fault of the OEM, this is what we get. (related article here)
8. A new image
Post WWII airplanes were synonymous with words like, triumph, freedom, and victory. It was on movie trailers, posters, and billboards across the land. Fast forward to post 9/11 and now airplanes tend to viewed by the public as weapons of terrorism. Certainly our security theatre reinforces this stigma.
- Lower the costs
- Provide more access
- Reduce restrictions
- Make it more social
- Be safer
- Less bad press
- Provide real liability protections
- Enhance our image
There you have it – eight not-so-simple things to revitalize general aviation. If only it was as easy as typing out these 600 words!
I encourage you to add to the list. I’m sure I didn’t hit them all. I was in the shower, where I do my best thinking, and ran out of hot water at number eight!
Comment/reply below and/or use the social media buttons below to see what your friends think.
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