Buena Vista Trustees unanimously approved a 2019 marketing plan for the Central Colorado Regional Airport during their Sept. 25 meeting, noting this is an initial step. Trustees expect the CCRA to return in a few months with a 2019 business plan.
“There is a lot of aviation experience on the seven-member airport board,” said CCRA board member Dennis Heap. “We’re updating the 2016 plan – it’s important to remind us all that this is a living document. Basically (it’s) a wish list of what we need to do. Then a budget can be applied to determine what can actually be done.”
The plan’s purpose, according to the written document filed with trustees, is to showcase the professionalism and long-term viability of the airport to three primary market audiences: business (known as cabin class) aviation, Piston aircraft and on-airport development. In addition to highlighting an approach to each audience, the plan indicated that the airport will exhibit at select aviation conferences and trade shows, as well as maintain memberships and pursue contacts in key aviation associations.
Heap outlined a plan that acknowledges airport resource needs, pointing out that accomplishment of the plan depends on the airport’s most important asset – its employees. The airport functions with one full-time equivalent, Airport Manager Jack Wyles, and two part-time equivalent positions. “This airport has to operate basically 24/7, and Jack can’t be there all the time,” said Heap. “We need him presenting us at aviation conferences and planned events – things like that which he can’t do right now.”
The airport has pursued growth by attracting helicopter testing contracts and is also encouraging growing interest in unmanned aerial systems (drones). During the past summer, the airport served as a firefighting refueling base for aviation equipment fighting the Weston Pass fire.
“There’s a pretty active Facebook page right now about the airport,” volunteered Town Administrator Phillip Puckett. “This past summer there was a lot on it about the drone activity here.”
Motion to approve the marketing plan was made by Trustee Lawanna Best, seconded by Trustee Cindy Swisher, and passed unanimously.