Some airport investors look for ways to increase revenues. Aircraft maintenance, air cargo, logistics centers, flying schools… All sort of great ideas come to their minds.
Potential airport investors should be aware that people are the main source of income.
Airports are business development catalysts. They are one of the largest employment sites in any region. Airports generate not only air-transport related jobs – on-site and off-site -; they are also responsible for many indirect jobs. Shopping malls, hotels, business parks, golf courses, gas stations; all sorts of businesses develop around these infrastructures.
Even though airports are great regional economic motors, that does not mean that revenues – and therefore dividends – will show in the airport accounting books. Many on-site businesses, such as flying schools, may thrive while providing very little revenues for the airport financial manager. Flying schools don’t help much to pay back a runway. Furthermore, they may become an irritating nuisance to daily operations.
Potential airport investors should be aware that people – passengers, friends and family – are the main source of income. Car parks, car rentals and airport shopping generate the lion’s share of commercial revenues. Air cargo, aircraft maintenance and other great aero-ideas may most likely be just trifles. If the objective is to improve the profit and loss sheet of the airport, you might be better off featuring an on-site bowling alley.