WHAT WE PLAN TO DO
When an airport closes, the opportunity to recover the land for aviation purposes is lost forever. Protecting the airport is what the Community And Airport Partnership for Safe Operations (CAAPSO) and Save Reid Hillview Airport, organizations working to save the Reid Hillview airport, have been doing for the past 4 years. Since the main factor of this issue is caused primarily by misinformation, the simple solution is advocating the correct information to the public through the use of videos, interactive activities, and events that would discredit the misinformation made about the airport as well as demonstrate to the public the legislations created despite their concerns.
THE 4 STRATEGIES
Support Key Legislation
The first strategy is to pressure the federal government to pass legislation such as AB-1322 California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. This AB-1322 act is geared towards many private and public companies as well as various governmental agencies such as the FAA. If similar legislation is passed this act will pressure the FAA into creating procedures at which to stop the production of leaded 100 octane avgas and present a new solution of providing 100 unleaded octane avgas to the aviation community. Benefits include safer air emissions, a demonstration of change to the local community around Reid Hillview, and when combined with California’s AB-1322 global warming act of 2006, would present a solution to using sustainable fuels or completely transitioning to electric aircraft. Not only will this solution solve the current lead issue, but would also create jobs and STEM educational programs, such that research and production will be required to take place. Many drawbacks include the time at which legislation will be held for review, the addition to the national debt due to funds required for research and production, and the lack of community support as most are focused on closing the airport rather than changing the industry for the future generations. Despite the drawbacks, the legislation would already have the support of the aviation community, as stated by the AOPA president, “Yes, we all want leaded fuel out of general aviation…” but even though pilots and the community want the lead out of the fuels, the FAA still has rigorous procedures in place to ensure the safety of the new fuel. Reid Hillview Airport could be setting the future for airports across the United States of America.
Integrate Interactive Programs
The second strategy is to integrate interactive programs with a similar intent to the videos which will further advocate the capabilities of the airport. With the inclusion of a 360 degree, interactive virtual exploration of the airport, visitors to the website will be allowed onto the airport grounds from the comfort of their homes. In a study on interactive programs conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, data shows 60 percent of organizations agree or strongly agree that their audience engagement has increased since they started to use interactive content on their website. Another 81 percent say that interactive content grabs the attention of the readers more effectively than static content. Other benefits include the ability to link videos, articles, or other sources to unfamiliar texts included in explanations for any topic. The new editor will allow for easy access to edit the site making it easier and less stressful to update the site with fresh new content every week. Some disadvantages include the cost of the website subscription being upwards of $22 a month; $264 a year. Content must be maintained constantly to keep visitors engaged and updated with the latest news. These are minor disadvantages that can be fixed with ample funding and support from CAAPSO.
Encourage Support from the Public
The third strategy is to invite the public to join pilots and airport operators during events hosted at airports such as Young Eagles. This allows the public to experience the airport in person, and understand the value that the airport provides to the public. This also provides the opportunity to show the STEM topics taught at the airport and helps debunk the general misconceptions heard on social media. In-person events also promote interactive engagement where the public can interact with pilots, tenants, and operators at the airport, further enhancing the information they gather. In an article written by a Communications Officer at Harvard University, “There has been evidence that classroom techniques designed to get students to participate in the learning process produce better educational outcomes at virtually all levels.” Interactive strategies to education allow a deeper understanding of any topic. This strategy will need time and money to plan and execute correctly, but with an investment in these events, pilots and aviation enthusiasts can show the public the value of the airport and the thrill of flying.
Create Informative Videos
The final strategy is creating short, low-cost, professional-grade informational videos that would be beneficial to the airport’s social media platforms. Videos between one and two minutes can help to explain any information that may have been misunderstood by the public. A peer-reviewed study on education and videos states, “Videos can also increase retention significantly as long as the video is congruent to the material. A hedonic-congruent video has the potential to increase retention by an average of 6%”. Originally the platforms only posted flyers for visitors to read, which may deem challenging to understand. Creating these short clips will cost little as the organization has access to the equipment needed to create these videos as well as making them visually pleasing to watch. Educating the public is easier, as the method of learning is visual. Though social media is a great benefit to combating the problem, there are also disadvantages to this strategy. Many only watch the first 10 seconds of a video, and most videos do not reach a mass of people without funding advertisements. Solutions include editing the videos to deliver the message in the first 10 seconds before explaining the topic in detail and funding advertisements.