On the heels of the very successful Rick and Carla's Florida Vacation," comes the next installment of the Spring 2013 Flight Center Site Visit Tour. (Get your commemorative t-shirts here.) This time Len joins Rick for a swing through the Midwest. Stops include Nashville, Chicagoland, Southern Wisconsin, Cedar Rapids and Wichita.
You may wonder what the purpose of these trips is. Actually, there are several reasons for heading out:
- We have found the best way to interview prospective Flight Center Directors is in-person. We want to meet him or her, learn about their passion for aviation, their experiences, their interests.
- We want to meet as many of our potential AirShare Owners as we can. We are family at Aviation Access Project.
- We love visiting airports!
- We have something called the "Site Visit Protocol," which is really just Rick-speak for a checklist of items we review at each potential location. These include, in no particular order:
- Signing of various contracts/paperwork, etc.
- review of physical facilities (offices, hangar, amenities)
- Inspection of any aircraft that are coming along for the ride.
- Scouting of local BBQ joints for Rick
- Finding suitable locations for AAP signage (no, really --we look at this)
- Reviewing the "Marketing Protocol" (Rick-speak for the communications activities we engage in prior to a center opening) with the Director
- Meeting key staff and local officials
- Planning the "Kick-Off" (Rick-speak for what the rest of us call "the grand opening.")
- Ordering an airplane. (This is a fun step!)
- We need to get out of the office every now and then.
- An in-person visit is the BEST way to determine how serious a potential Director or Owner is and how willing are they to help do the work of building a local AAP outpost.
Site visits are critically important, and the last major step between being a Flight Center "Candidate" and an actual Flight Center. At this point, the workload (and income) is split between the Center and AAP HQ.
We do site visits in a certain order. One thing we look at is geography. We did a bunch in Florida all at once since it made geographical sense. The same with the current Midwest group. Next, we look at interest level and commitment. The more you are ready to go, and the more potential owners have expressed interest or submitted deposits in an area, then the more likely your location is going to be placed at the top of the list. AAP is new and is small. We have to prioritize.
So, how interested are YOU in an AAP flight center or aircraft at your local airport? If you live in the triangle defined by Nashville, Milwaukee and Wichita, and you want to see the AAP roundel at your airport, then let us know.
You can follow Len and Rick on their journey by keeping an eye on our Facebook page.