Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:54 pm
This is really about disposable income and having somewhere to spend it?
Building more and more housing in over populated areas creates an over supply of people for the jobs available so many of those people are unlikely to have an oversupply of income to spend in the local community or elsewhere. What they do spend is likely to be local basics for living. The local pub in a housing estate is unlikely to get many visitors from outside the local community.
The local leisure/entertainment facilities will never be able to cope with everyone wanting to visit at the same time so only provide for a small subset of that population and the others have not a lot to do which in some cases leads to mischief and the area looks less appealing to visitors.
The larger towns and cities will have more variety and quantity of leisure/entertainment facilities and a wider pool of people to draw from. They still only cope with a small subset of that population, however there is more going on and more to do generally so they are likely to attract visitors from outside the area which is a money supply from outside the local area. It will have better transport facilities to get people in and out, typically cars, taxis, buses, coaches, railway, There will also be more places for people to stop over for the night or longer, which could be locals or visitors (leisure or business) from outside the area. Again its visitors effectively spending more money than the locals would, although the house prices reflect the nearby facilities, so some local people will live a bit further away to get a balance between house price and facilities that are not too far away. Business rates are a function of footfall too, which ought to be income the council gets to spend on the local community projects.
Now consider locations of airfield. Age might be a factor, but some people that fly want peace and quiet and rural and offering a bite to eat, and at the other extreme some want something "more" to do when they get there (including off-airfield). This suggests there needs to be a balance between airfields in the middle of nowhere and airfields close to the beaches, the bigger towns and cities..... the so called (mythical?) national infrastructure of airfields.
After the covid restrictions on doing anything for so long, many people want something to do or go and see and experience. Airfields are an enabler for those with the disposable income to go out and spend it.
Perhaps it is an opportunity for GA to re-vitalise itself within the UK whether that be visiting places or other air sports. Airfields need to play an active part in this to raise awareness to the pilot and tourist community of their facilities, how welcoming they are, how easy it is to get to the beach or whatever "attractions" there are.