The Provo “Municipal” Airport

The Provo Airport has a new website. It’s a nice little site that I’m sure will help the airport grow.

But looking at the website I noticed one big problem: The Provo Airport is still called the “Provo Municipal Airport.”

Though including the word “municipal” may still be an accurate description of the airport, it’s a marketing mistake. For one thing, it screams “small time,” which over the long run is hardly the message a successful airport wants to convey. Indeed when I think of a municipal airport, I think of a little air strip where old men go to fly Cessnas.

For another thing, including the word “municipal” in the name of the airport is confusing to non-aviation professionals. My impression was that municipal airports don’t have major commercial flights. Evidently — as Provo demonstrates — I was wrong, but from a marketing perspective it seems counterproductive to give your commercial airport a name that basically says “this airport is not commercial.”

This problem could ultimately slow the necessary spread of information about the airport; if someone sees a link on Facebook or Twitter to information on the Provo Municipal Airport, they may not click on it because the word “municipal” isn’t usually associated with commercial air travel.

In the end, this small but financially detrimental problem would be solved if the airport were just called “The Provo Airport.” Actually, we could call it anything we want, as long as the name doesn’t say “airport for small planes and aviation enthusiasts only.” Just because it still serves as a municipal airport, in addition to a commercial airport, doesn’t mean it has to have that word in its name.

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