A pair of New York commercial aviation marketing specialists shared their thoughts on how executives at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport can strengthen the airport’s role as Central Mississippi’s main aviation draw.
Rocco Cipriano, president of Westchester-N.Y.-based Aviation Marketing, said a good first step is to break down the kinds of travel for which fliers use the Jackson airport. Next, he said, find “how many of those are frequent fliers or travelers and the impediments” they encounter in using the airport.
“Is it convenient? How is it comparing to other” airports that its passengers could use? Cipriano said.
Airport executives should also be extensively involved in economic development efforts, he said. “If it (the region) doesn’t have an economic development program in place, why would business” fliers want to come there?
The effort should include land-use policies and regulations conducive to attracting aviation-related businesses to the airport and the areas surrounding it, Cipriano advised.
“So much really depends on the underlying economic dynamics of the area,” he noted, and listed steps such as establishing economic zones around the airport with zoning to accommodate new businesses and prevent residential encroachment.”You can renovate the terminal, create a marketing campaign, create a great new logo. But if the underlying economics are not conducive to attracting travelers, it is – like they say – putting lipstick on a pig,” Cipriano added.
Enhancing the airport’s general aviation operations would be a positive step, according to Cipriano, who said he believes a well-run general aviation component “can make an airport vibrant.”
The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority offers general aviation service for privately owned aircraft at both Medgar Evers International and Hawkins Field. At the Jackson airport, general aviation passengers are accommodated at Atlantic Aviation and cargo is handled at the Mississippi Air Cargo Logistics Center. Aero Jackson services Hawkins Field general aviation customers.
Jamie A. Myer, president & CEO of Syracuse-based Perfect Landing Media, said Jackson’s airport should market its strengths. Here are some ideas he provided:
» Jackson Medger-Evers International Airport … we’ll get you where you need to go.
With three of the industry’s finest carriers — American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines — air travelers from throughout Central Mississippi are well-served by the Jackson Medger-Evers International Airport. Offering all the amenities of a larger airport, with the smooth, stress free experience of flying in or out of a smaller airport, Jackson-Evers is the best of both worlds.
» Save time and money
Now more than ever, with our busy schedules, hectic lifestyles, and the rising cost of everyday living, we’re all looking for ways to enjoy life more while spending less. Gas is expensive. Time is a precious commodity. Congestion and construction on the highway can be a hassle. Why drive all the way to New Orleans, Memphis or Birmingham to catch a flight, when you can save valuable time and money, and have a more enjoyable travel experience by utilizing Jackson Medgers-Evers International Airport?
» Inspire economic development
When travelers from Central Mississippi make Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers their airport of choice, they not only enjoy the benefits associated with leaving closer to home, they help the local economy. A vibrant regional airport helps attract new business to the community, which means more jobs and a stronger tax-base. The more viable Jackson Medgar-Evers International Airport is, the more important it becomes in attracting new industries to the area.