Boulder, Colorado is an interesting city with respect to growth. We have a planned open space program that basically circles the entire city with land that cannot be developed. This totally limits growth for homes and businesses outside of these limits. It props up home and land prices within the city and county and only allows for growth within our borders, so we are becoming denser but not larger. Home owners are therefore left with very few choices if they want to move to Boulder or find a bigger house within Boulder. Enlarge or improve the house they have or buy into a neighborhood that will support that type of investment. Enlarging means expanding your footprint if allowed or popping the top and going up. Right about now you must be wondering where could Jay be headed with this article! Indulge me please.
Before you buy a house, you inspect it. The main inspecting point of a house would be the foundation. It must be solid, it cannot be cracked. It is the most important piece of the value proposition of the investment. You can start to see how this relates to aircraft. Today in our short supply, high demand aircraft environment, we are seeing buyers look back to find the value kernels in our remaining aircraft inventory pools, mostly by looking at the classic planes. The Gulfstream Vs, Falcon 900s, the Global Expresses. You can also see this reflective look at the mid-size planes including the Challenger 300s and Falcon 2000s to name a couple. People are scouring the markets, finding the solid foundations and investing fewer extra dollars to end up with a plane that meets 2020 mandates and also has the latest cockpit LED screen enhancements and cabin entertainment features. In other words make it look, feel and connect as if it where the latest technology, yet have as much or more than fifty percent lower capital cost tied up in the plane, compared to a newer model.
This template for life extension can actually fit the lighter jets as well with the Garmin solutions being introduced to the market that allow for 2020 compliance and other enhancements at a fraction of the cost. These types of solutions do make even the smaller planes step up to the ability of today’s new planes. This is the future of the classic aircraft. No longer thinking it may go away, now one can go down a proud path of modernization and compliance for less than the current production model.
If you think this phenomenon is not catching on just look at the classic markets in most categories and watch the solid foundation aircraft inventories shrink. Next, pick up the phone and call the more popular shops and see how long it takes to just get some ROM numbers for these improvements. Even more crazy will be the dates available to get a slot to finally perform these upgrades. In some cases, depending on the scope, it could take three to four months to get in. Astonishing how different today is compared to just a handful of months ago. We as a buying segment are forced to get more resourceful than ever. This resourcefulness can have big rewards though. Big bangs for fewer bucks. In most cases the flight characteristics are minimally different from the newer iterations of the plane. The Classic Global to the XRS or the Gulfstream V to the G550 and on and on.
In many models, even the winglet additions can make ramp presence on par with old versus newer models. These are all very smart ways that our industry can take a finite pool of inventory and expand the numbers for longevity. Now back to the solid foundation and popping the top. When your neighbors start to improve their houses the entire neighborhood wins. Property values are affected positively. This is also happening in these classic models being upgraded. The value of the models firm up. Breathing new value life into this classic segment is wonderful and adds to the balance of our industry.
A solid foundation is the key to this formula for success. Great pedigree, great records and great maintenance still are the drivers for the attention and ultimate sale price your aircraft will receive as a seller and the basic drivers for the attraction of the buyers who want to build their perfect next plane.