PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Unfriendliest airport for GA in Australia?
Old 16th May 2022, 04:31
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Please nominate what the public good really is in real, unemotive terms. The councils would love your wisdom. The furphy of defence is just that. we no longer live in the age of piston engine fighters and bombers with no electronics
I think your opinion is understandable but misguided. Firstly, some councils do "get it" about aviation and they are going to make a meal, economically, out of those that don't. just as at least one country has done the same by being 'aviation minded".

There are three effects you need to consider:

The first is the multiplier effect. conventional economics estimate that one skilled job producing goods and services supports about eight unskilled service industry jobs - coffee shops, supermarkets, retail, gardening and so on. The multiplier effect is not inconsiderable, so it is not hard to understand that a flying school with say four or five instructors, or a similarly sized aircraft maintenance facility is contributing to the existence of at least four times that number of unskilled jobs in the service industries. So that is reason number one to support and encourage economic activity at your airport - it provides jobs in the general community. Do I need to explain how that is beneficial to council?

The second is infrastructure. Contrary to your belief, military aviation does rely on some but not all of the same service industries that civil aviation does. How do I know this? Because even way back in my working days there were many companies that did military work as well as civil, especially in sophisticated repair and overhaul. Then the military also relies on some but not all of the same consumables and spares as civil aviation the supply chains are long because of where we are and the preponderance of American suppliers. And Yes, last time I looked at a Hornet (which was long ago), some of the sheet metal was stretch formed and supplied with an index hole at each corner. It was fitted exactly the same way as an amateur builder does today - clecos and back drilling, So don't fall for the line that military aviation is different. It isn't. Furthermore drones also use a lot of conventional GA technology. And on top of that GA - experimental often uses some cutting edge electronics and materials as well.

As it is now, I struggled to find Australian sources for aviation tools and consumables and spent a small fortune (at least $4000) on pre covid freight costs on everything from tools to instruments and hardware. try finding short stub drill bits #30 for a right angle air drill. try getting an Australian company to make an aviation hose assembly. What infrastructure we have left is already under threat.

The third reason is Hotellings Law ( that's Harold Hotelling the economist) the best place to put your aviation business is next to a competing aviation business. That way you both do better. The more industries that cluster together, the more they attract customers from other airports. hence if your council doesnt support your local airport, its businesses and the service jobs they support will migrate to an industry cluster somewhere else, supported by a council that 'gets it".

A classic opportunity: Point Cook (YMPCK) is the oldest continuously operating airbase in the world. it is also the home of the RAAF museum and has (had?) workshops and a huge body of volunteers who developed expertise restoring old aircraft. ...And across the Bay YMMB - all aviation businesses under pressure to close or leave. Same at Tyabb including considerable vintage aircraft restoration and maintenance capability. The vision: develop YMPCK as the Australian centre for the preservation, restoration, maintenance and operational flight instructional base for historic aircraft by migrating unwanted businesses out of Tyabb, YMMB and elsewhere. Yes, I know it ain't going to happen, but its a pity.

On a national level, look at NZ aviation - its gone from arguably a situation worse than ours to thriving. They "get it".
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