December 19, 2012

Town officials in Addison, TX have launched an advertising campaign, part of which shows the region that their general aviation (GA) airport is a critical business asset.

”This ad tells the story of how the town supports the airport and why the airport is such an important part of Addison’s growth and vitality,“ said Darci Neuzil, deputy director of Addison Airport (ADS). ”We also invite surrounding communities, businessmen, city and county officials to visit, and it’s been a real eye-opener for them. They’d always viewed Addison Airport as just Addison’s facility, but we look at them as neighbors who could benefit from our proximity.“

”In Business, Sometimes It Pays To Have Your Head In The Clouds“ is the headline on the first print advertisement, which will appear on the back cover of the next issue of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Guide, a widely distributed publication promoting economic development in the region. Other ads in the series will appear in newspapers, on the web and in other media read by business people responsible for decisions about locations for companies’ headquarters.

The initial full-page advertisement features J-W Energy Co., an Addison-based company that appreciates having a business-quality airport just minutes from its headquarters. The Addison Airport ad is set on a red background and portrays a business jet taking off. Above the jet are prominent quotes noting that the company maintains five company aircraft at Addison Airport and makes 350 flights in and out of the airport annually.

In large letters on the right side of the ad, viewers are told ”thanks to the proximity and convenience of Addison Airport, our management team routinely deploys to 50-plus field offices and visits clients and vendors from coast to coast.“ In slightly smaller print below, the ad proclaims, ”Compared to commercial travel, a corporate fleet means fewer overnighters and more family time. Just another reason business is booming in Addison.“

The campaign was the brainchild of Orlando Campos, the town’s director of economic development and a man who recognizes the true value of a business airport.

”Actually, the airport really is a big part of our town,“ said Campos. ”The town is about 4.3 square miles, and the airport takes up literally about a quarter of the land area. But more, our airport is an important component of our economic development. We’re very attractive to businesses. We have about 12 million square feet of commercial office space, which is more than in downtown Fort Worth.“

There are more than 70 aviation-related businesses on the airport and several hundred non-aviation companies nearby. Many of those depend on the airport, either as a site to base their own aircraft or to provide easy access for visiting customers. About 750 aircraft are based on the field, including about 250 business jets. Neuzil told of an Addison-based medical clinic doctor who opened a clinic in another small Texas city and depends on his single-engine Cessna 172 to make a trip between the two locations three days a week.

”With a 7,000-foot-plus runway, a U.S. Customs facility and full-service fixed-base operators, Addison Airport is ideally positioned for companies anywhere in the North Dallas area,“ said Steve Hadley, NBAA regional programs director and Southwest regional representative. ”Unlike some communities, they’ve made their airport a key ingredient in their economic development plan.“

Neuzil frequently tells business groups in the North Dallas area about Addison Airport’s advantages, and depends on NBAA’s 2012 Business Aviation Fact Book as a key resource.

”I don’t think they realize the economic impact of our GA airport on their community,“ she said. ”Addison’s population is 13,056, and I think they believe KADS is a sleepy little airport. One of the questions I always get is ‘How many people work at this airport?’ When I tell them that more than 2,300 people come to work at this airport every day, they’re astonished.“ The most recent economic impact report for the area showed Addison Airport contributing some $370 million annually to the local economy.