Not only is Aviation good for business in a regional and economic impact sense, it also can be a key to advancing individual businesses.
“Aviation has revolutionized the way we do business,” explains Jeremy Pinkston of Black Diamond Aviation, a sister-company of Marion’s Black Diamond Harley-Davidson. “You can get anything you want to get done at your own pace.”
Pinkston shared the story of Black Diamond co-owner Shad Zimbro, who was supposed to fly to College Station, Texas, for meetings concerning the company’s dealership there.
“The plan was for him to fly commercially from Marion to St. Louis, then to Dallas and on to College Station,” Pinkston said. “He was supposed to be in College Station by 1 p.m., but didn’t get there until 9 p.m. There was a weather delay in St. Louis, which means he missed his connecting flight and that put him behind in Dallas. He lost an entire day of productivity. What’s that value of a day?”
He said Zimbro probably will use a company-owned plane next time.
“To get to College Station or somewhere else, it makes a lot of sense to take a plane where we can leave at any time we want," Pinkston said. "For instance, we can leave Marion at 6 a.m. and be at the College Station dealership before they open.”
Black Diamond currently operates several helicopters, as well as three airplanes and offers a helicopter training facility for individuals to train and obtain private or commercial licenses. Pinkston says the aircraft are just another set of tools that help the business be successful.
“It’s a matter of efficiency,” he said. “Time is money. Driving even for a couple of hours can take away from being an efficient part of the business. That’s the beauty of the planes and helicopters. You can get anywhere a lot faster and you are not confined by the schedules of the airlines.”
Pinkston says not only do planes help with the business, but the availability of airports nearby makes other opportunities possible as well.
“For the big entertainment artists we bring it, it’s much nicer to have them land at one of the airports here instead of having to land in St. Louis and drive here,” he said. “It’s a plus when it comes to booking and the performers prefer it. It is again a matter of efficiency.”