Monday, October 23, 2017

Commercial Airshow Could Be Big Boost to South Florida Economy

September 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Events

Miami South Florida commercial air show a possibility

Miami South Florida commercial air show a possibility

As soon as 2012, South Florida might be home to its own commercial air show at Homestead Air Force Base.  It is estimated the show could generate up to $100 million in local economic impact and draw over 125,000 tourists and visitors each day for a week.
 
Forgive the pun – if organizers and Miami Dade County can accurately calculate the cost for such an event, “let’s fly with it!”
 
For too long, Florida has hitched its economic growth to the housing industry.  The thought process was simple – “build them (homes) and they will come.”  That philosophy worked for many years, as warm weather and no personal income taxes lured residents to relocate to our state.
 
Of course that bubble has burst, and Florida has seen a decrease in new residents for the first time in decades. Economic opportunity, not housing, is the key to sustainable growth in the future.
 
Simply put, we need to attract new business to our state and to South Florida.
 
A permanent commercial airshow is a great start to encouraging new business to our local community.  Airshows are much more than public spectator events – they are, in fact, trade shows. Beacon Council President and CEO Frank Nero says such a show, “would clearly cement Miami-Dade County and all of South Florida as an aviation center.”
 
The Beacon Council is spearheading the effort to develop the show, similar to those held outside of Paris at Le Bourget and near London at Farnborough Airfield.
 
“The next step is to have the county commission issue a formal resolution of support” for the show, Mr. Nero said, “asking in that resolution for an interagency taskforce to be formed in order to evaluate and move this ball forward.”
 
Accurate analysis will be crucial, as local politicians often launch projects based on the benefits, before coming to terms with the long-term costs. It will take the joint efforts of the county commission, the aviation department, the Department of Defense, and professional event planners to analyze the feasibility of this venture. Issues such as safety, long-term infrastructure, marketing, and aircraft support services need to be reviewed.
 
As one aircraft industry observer puts it, “The absence of a major commercial air show in the US is a driving cause for South Florida to host one.”  The Beacon Council should be commended for developing this idea and for seeking real solutions to our long-term economic growth. The next step is to define the costs and determine the feasibility of this event. From there, the organizers can approach the international aircraft industry in search of participants and exhibitors.
 
Let’s wish them good luck!

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