Its a big country, no? It is so big, that a map usually can't fit the whole thing without moving Alaska and Hawaii thousands of miles from their real locations. It is the 3rd largest country by land area in the world (behind Canada and People's Republic of China), covering 3,794,000 square miles and including a population of about 314,000,000. Big.
So big you need an airplane to get around much of it. Speaking of airplanes, we here at Aviation Access Project think there should be more of them, and more pilots to fly them. In 2011, the FAA estimates there are about 617,000 active, certificated pilots in the United States, or less than 1% of the population. On the other hand, over 631,000,000 boarded commercial flights in the US in 2010 -about twice the population. So, while not many people know how to fly, lots of people NEED to fly -some of them many times per year. We think there is an opportunity to grow the number of pilots and airplanes in the United States.
But where do we start? Good question. We start where the public wants us to start. As word about AAP has gotten out, we have more and more inquiries about locations of our flight centers.
If you click the map above (or just click HERE), you'll be taken to a larger, more interactive version. The blue pins indicate locations where flight centers are in some stage of development. (This can vary, from some basic level of interest qualified by Rick, to waiting for the papers to close on the airplanes, and to everything in between.)
You will notice a few things. First, we have lots of interest coming from the southeast. Not a surprise, as most of us are based in that part of the country, and our rollout was in Sebring, Florida. Also, you'll see a good representation from the upper mid-west. Also no surprise -lots of aviation history, lots of interest in airplanes, plenty of pilots. Finally, you'll notice two places with few or no pins -the west coast and the northeast -two of the most densely populated sections of our nation. This does not mean there is no interest at all. In fact, we have had some feelers from the New York City area, New Hampshire and the California coast. But nothing set yet, and not many in comparison to Florida, our most successful state so far. (More about Florida in a future post.)
So, if you have been following along (Internet stats suggest people are in fact keeping an eye on us), and are wondering where we are going to land, the map above is a start. It will change. Some pins will go away, while others will replace them. Some pins will go active in the next couple of weeks, while others will take more time. If there is a pin near your house and you want to be a part of our community of aviators, let us know. If there is not a pin near where you live or where you want your airplane to be, also let us know. Get enough interest in your area, and maybe a blue pin will appear in your corner of the map!
It's a big country, with plenty to do and see. It can be easier and more fun to see it by air.
This could be you, taking off to see this beautiful country. No matter where you live! Join us!