Two recent and independent threads here actually have an interesting connection.
The market dynamics at present and for the foreseeable next few years certainly look very favorable for Cirrus Design and GA in general: increasing affluence, more widespread means and desire to travel, exasperation with the cattle-car, mass-transit trend in the mindset of the airlines. “The money is certainly out there,” and possibly the desire and interest too, in a potentially much broader market than GA has enjoyed in the past.
But most of the money that is out there is out there in high density urban areas such as, well, San Jose and the Silicon Valley. And “parking at San Jose” is an omen that can’t be ignored for such communities. I firmly believe that the TIME/HASSLE factor is perhaps an even larger potential obstacle than $$$ for new people coming into GA. Another example: my only chance to get a hangar in the next few years would have been at Reid-Hillview or Hayward. Just try to get to those airports from Palo Alto after work or on a weekday morning for a flight! They might as well be in Utah.
High density, high cost-of-living areas will only become less friendly to GA and its space requirements for runways, tiedowns, hangars, clear areas, etc. Hey, we could all get 260se/stols and cut runway length requirements by 2/3! Unfortunately, this has some really lousy implications for the likelihood that GA’s current renaissance can be extended beyond previous limits.
Perhaps pilots can minimize this trend by actively participating in and publicizing the good that flying can do for their local communities. Fly for Angel Flight, participate in Young Eagles programs, help educate young people in the schools about aviation, be available to assist with your aircraft if there’s a local or nearby public need. It’s time well spent, and you might even enjoy it.