Why Small, Private Airports Are Critical in the Transportation Sector

Aubrey Gladstone pic

Aubrey Gladstone
Image: gladstoneconsulting.com

An experienced business consultant, Aubrey Gladstone has operated his consulting firm Gladstone Consulting, Inc., for more than 20 years. Aubrey Gladstone also has more than 35 years of experience as a pilot and advocates for the growth of small airports.

Small airports benefit the economy and the general airport system in a number of ways. First, small airports keep private traffic away from major commercial airports. If a small, single-person aircraft had to land at a major airport, it would take up a slot that could be used by a commercial jet with over 150 passengers.

Secondly, private airports are critical to the business aviation sector, which sustains 1.2 million high-wage jobs in the United States and accounts for $150 billion per year in the U.S. economy. In large part, this is due to the manufacturing jobs created by the demand for business aircraft.

Lastly, small airports allow passengers to visit remote places without access to major commercial airlines. Of the 5,000 public-use airports in the country, only 500 receive commercial airlines. This access to remote areas benefits not only businesses, but also residents of these areas who require emergency travel for medical purposes, making private airports a vital part of the U.S. aviation industry.

The Benefits of General Aviation and Local Airports

Aubrey Gladstone pic

Aubrey Gladstone
Image: gladstoneconsulting.com

Aubrey Gladstone has been flying throughout the United States for decades, and, like most other general aviation pilots, depends upon small, local airports for safety and ease of travel. Aubrey Gladstone understands the importance of general aviation and community airports in business and personal travel.

Small, local airports are an integral part of the larger aviation system. Local airports are crucial for local commerce. They contribute to the strong network of airports that allows industry to move products to points where they are needed. Commerce needs a diverse network of air services to operate efficiently, which means airports both large and small are critical.

Smaller airports also provide greater opportunities for general aviation. They serve hobbyists, flight schools, news organizations, emergency services, and many other groups. Busy executives use general aviation services at community airports to quickly travel multiple times in a day. Medical patients take advantage of small airports when they need to travel for lifesaving procedures, and air ambulances use these facilities to reach patients outside of major metropolitan areas.

The Cessna Citation SP

 Cessna Citation SP  pic

Cessna Citation SP
Image: jetadvisors.com/

Aubrey Gladstone is an experienced business administrator and project manager who has served as president of Gladstone Consulting for more than two decades. He has been a commercial pilot even longer, flying with National Jet Corp. since 1980. Over the course of his aviation career, Aubrey Gladstone has flown a wide range of aircraft, including the Cessna Citation SP series.

Part of the 500 Citation series, the Citation I/SP was one of the first single-pilot, owner/flown jet aircraft. It shares the same turbo-fan-powered engine as the original Citation I, which featured a cockpit designed for two pilots. Both of these business jet models entered into production in 1977.

Because it was configured for a single pilot, the Citation I/SP allowed room for an extra passenger on the flight deck. The cabin is designed to seat up to six passengers and features both a full-width lavatory and a small galley/refreshment center.

Cessna ceased production on both the Citation I and the Citation I/SP in 1985. The company ultimately replaced the Citation line with the CitationJet several years later.