Business View Magazine | May 2019

114 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MAY 2019 changed. So, it’s kind of like those little puzzles you used to do as a kid when you had those 16 squares and 15 little blocks and you had to put them in order. You’ve got to be strategically looking ahead as you put them in place and that’s what it’s taking to get all this done.” Another one of those little blocks that Garrett is trying to nudge into place is how to increase air carrier operations to get more commercial travelers to use the Airport. And right now, the competition is winning. He explains: “You take a 50-mile radius around Redding, and since there are no other large airports within that 50-mile radius, you would assume, that all things being equal, that all the people who live in that area and fly, would fly out of your airport. That would be 100 percent of those people; but I only maintain 12 percent of that population. So, I have an 88 percent leakage to the competitor airport and that is Sacramento. Sacramento is, obviously, a medium hub and we’re a non-hub. But if the pricing is correct, the convenience factor should play in and I should be able to hold, certainly, more than 12 percent. So, the question is why is there such a disparity between those that are coming to the closest airport versus those that are going elsewhere? Well, you’ve got at least one low-cost carrier – Southwest – that dominates Sacramento. And then the other part of it is, it’s just a nice, easy, straight shot down I-5 from Redding to Sacramento. So, that’s what people are doing and I’m trying to convince them, the commercial flyers, that there’s a better option here at home. “Like it or not, airline passengers equal profitability; it’s a simple equation. The only reason that we have a profit is simply because of the amount of air carrier activity we have. We had a lot more of that activity in our past – and not the distant past. Going back to 2005-06, we had non- stop service to Portland, with connecting service to Seattle, and we had non-stop to Los Angeles. So, I’m trying to reconstruct our past that I believe fell away only because of the national economy and the crash that occurred in 2008-09. For the Airport, it should be a low hurdle to get back to what we were just a little over a decade ago. I think the non-stop service to L.A. is the start of it and I think there’s a high opportunity for a non-stop heading east to Denver, and certainly to restore our service from the past to both Portland and Seattle.” Garrett concludes that with more and more people moving from the San Francisco Bay area into the California heartland – to places like Redding - the city and the Airport are well-poised for future growth and development. “I think there’s just a lot of opportunity,” he avers. “We’re a Part-139 certified field; we have a thriving general aviation population and the larger corporate aircraft; we’ve got the Fire Attack Base; we have a feeder operation for Federal Express; we’ve got a vibrant training environment with Iasco Flight School and Air Shasta, a helicopter training base. Redding is just waiting for the capital investment that we can’t all handle ourself. So, we’re looking for strategic partners and I believe that once we get it started, it will be the beginning of much higher demand for the empty land that we have available. There’s just a lot of opportunity at Redding.” PREFERRED VENDOR n IASCO Flight Training