Why Small Airports Are in Big Trouble

Many small airports struggle with attracting customers and lose a significant amount of business as a result. Airlines have cut less profitable flights, and reduced the number of domestic flights by 14% from 2007 through 2012. Small airports have experienced the majority of this decline in flights. Huntsville International Airport has attempted to offer incentives to its remaining airlines to better the service to their northern Alabama city. Many viewed this practice as a violation of federal law. They argued that Huntsville's plan had the government interfering with airline fares and routes. There have been a few small airports that have risen to the challenge such as Trenton-Mercer Airport, a two-gate airport in New Jersey. This success has not been the case for Huntsville, known as "Rocket City." Access to a convenient airport can contribute significantly to the economic success of a city. As competition continues to fall at many small airports they will have to find innovative ways to keep their prices competitive.

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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