With The Failing Business Model Of "Old" Flight Training Fading Away... Who Will Lead The Way To The New???
ANN has expended a great deal of time and energy examining the fact that they way that we, as aviators, have been doing business all wrong and come to the conclusion that we have a fading failing action model that simply does NOT fit the times. If that's the case, though, WHERE will the NEW models come from? One exciting place to look is in the direction of Texas, where the Redbird Experiment is underway and showing GREAT promise.
This new experiment, embodied by the "Redbird Skyport' is the culmination of the efforts of Redbird Flight Simulations and King Schools and is supported by GAMA, AOPA, Cessna, Avemco and other industry partners. Skyport is the first step in developing solutions to the challenges of a shrinking pilot population, staggering student drop-out rate and the ever increasing cost of flight training. The innovative aviation laboratory includes a full service FBO, flight school, and aviation experience center. All aspects of the project provide a test bed for innovative hardware, software, business processes and ideas with the goal of revitalizing general aviation.
Skyport is an open laboratory where new ideas are fostered and innovative solutions are tested. “We have committed to building an R&D facility in the form of a working, for profit, flight school at an airport in San Marcos,Texas. The work product of that institution will be available to and benefit everyone in the industry and we, and our development partners, are looking forward with great anticipation to its opening in the fall of 2011. As a step toward fixing the problems with flight training, it's a drop in the bucket, but it's a start” said Jerry Gregoire, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Redbird Flight Simulations.
The idea for an R&D laboratory came from the need for quantifiable data regarding the use of simulation in general aviation training. “We have always believed that our systems could be a catalyst for improvements in the way pilots are trained and we needed a platform to test our ideas" Gregoire said. Skyport has grown to encompass every aspect of General Aviation. “Early on in the process we recognized that the only way to affect meaningful change was to look at all the pieces of the puzzle,” he continued “we are building this project from the ground up to redefine the status quo.”