Although we don't see airlines or charter services regularly flying into our airport, there's lots of "business" going on at our local airport.
Electro-Media, Inc., headquartered in Spring Lake, provides technology, communication, and security services for customers throughout Michigan and the Midwest. The company employs 22 people, who work in Spring Lake and Mishawaka, Indiana.
Local resident Pete Boon is the president of Electro-Media, Inc., and like many small business owners, he often needs to be in two places at once, in order to be accessible to his customers and employees. Since Pete can't clone himself, he does the next best thing – he uses his 2006 Cessna Skylane, based at the Grand Haven airport, to get quickly from place to place.
Pete says he uses his airplane in almost every aspect of his business – traveling between offices, visiting customers, making sales calls, delivering parts, attending conferences, taking employees to job sites, and turning two-day trips into one-day trips. Pete says that his Skylane and the Grand Haven airport allow him to support his 22 employees and to live and work in the community he loves.
Jamie Abraham owns Universal Tool & Engineering in Johnson City, Tennessee. Earlier this year, Jamie flew his beautiful red, black and silver Cirrus SR22 GTS into Grand Haven to meet with local manufacturing executives regarding the CNC tube bending machines his company produces.
Jamie says he uses his airplane for business travel about every other week, making trips as short as 100 miles and as far away as 1,200 miles. He says local airports like Grand Haven's are a key community and business resource.
"For me, the biggest advantage of flying a private plane to a local airport is time savings. To make a trip to Grand Haven, flying commercial or driving, would be a two- or three-day endeavor. Flying myself to the Grand Haven airport, I can turn this into an overnight or day trip."
Visitors to Grand Haven also arrive hungry and eager to shop. Did you ever consider that the couple sitting next to you at one of our iconic local restaurants or retail stores may have arrived via airplane? Pilots love to use their airplanes to visit their favorite beaches, parks, stores, and restaurants.
Earlier this summer, I ran into a couple of beach bums who had flown from Indiana to Grand Haven to buy a kiteboard from MACkite on Hayes Street. Just a few weeks later, I sat next to a couple at Porto Bello who had flown in from Chicago because they love the variety, atmosphere, and food at our local restaurants.
All in all, Grand Haven enjoys a thriving business community, and our local airport is a one-of-a kind gateway for our vibrant city businesses.