Executive Summary

Cunningham Aviation is a brand new Fixed Base Operator at the nation’s busiest general aviation airport.

Kindly give readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located, and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Cunningham Aviation is located in Mesa, AZ, and is Falcon Field Airport’s newest FBO and World Fuel provider. Cunningham Aviation offers full-service Jet A and Avgas / 100LL fueling as well as a self-serve Avgas island, ground handling, oxygen & lavatory service, secure remote parking (ramp or tie-down), hangar space leasing, and GPU service.

Give us a brief description of yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

George is a hometown boy, born and raised in the valley, and attended Mountain View High School. He received his degree in Finance from Northern Arizona University. In addition to his Aircraft Dealer License, George holds the following credentials and memberships:
• Arizona Aircraft Dealer (License No. 2023-12)
• CAI (Certified Auctioneers Institute)
• FFL (Federal Firearms License)
• Licensed Auto Dealer
• International Society of Appraisers, Accredited Member
• Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, certified
• National Auctioneers Association
• Southeast Valley Regional Realtors Association
• Arizona Real Estate Broker
• Private Pilot
• Founding Member of the Arizona State Auctioneers Association
• Commemorative Air Force Member

What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (make significant changes in an existing business)?

Cunningham Aviation, LLC was founded during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in September 2020. Founder and President, George Cunningham, was anything but idle during this time and aimed for the skies settling on Falcon Field as his next business venture. “I’ve always had a love for flying and aviation in general,” says George, who is also a private pilot. He goes on to describe the airport’s military history and veteran community as one of the best perks of the job.

How did the idea for your business come about?

George saw an opportunity to further his love for aviation by purchasing a 30,000-square-foot hangar, which was in shambles at the time of purchase. George and his wife, Nicolle, spent the last 3-years restoring the space to its former glory when it was owned and operated by Hughes Helicopters in the 1970s and 1980s. While rummaging through boxes of papers and old building plans of the hangar, George quickly discovered that his hangar is where the first Apache helicopter ever was designed and built!

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Howard Hughes

What makes you different from other businesses in your industry?

Cunningham Aviation is locally owned and operated by Mesa residents and Arizona natives George and Nicolle Cunningham. Having grown up just down the street, they have always been fond of Falcon Field, which is one of Arizona’s most historic general aviation airports.

To what do you most attribute your success?

Fear of failure.

What do you think is the best way to achieve long-term success in business?

Work your ass off.

Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

2033 🙂

Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Tesla.

Who is your target demographic?

Pilots and charter companies.

Please list 3-5 talking points about your business that you feel are most relevant to your target audience.

Cunningham Aviation is the only locally family-owned and operated FBO in Arizona. We offer the most competitive fuel prices in the state and are preparing to break ground on new FBO facilities and hangar space designed to provide the best luxury pilot accommodations in the entire valley.

What are your overall thoughts on your industry? Any advice you could give people about your industry?

There’s a huge demand in everything aviation and a major shortage of mechanics and pilots.

Is your business involved with any charitable organizations, social causes, or non-profit work?

George describes Falcon Field’s military history and veteran community as one of the best perks of the job. George is a Col. member of the Commemorative Air Force at Falcon Field Airport.

How do you give back and support your community?

George is a certified auctioneer and appraiser and often donates his time at charity auctions, raising funds for several organizations throughout the state of Arizona.

How important have good employees been to your success?

Extremely important.

What motivates you?

My family.

What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Freedom.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Prevailing against a multi-national auction company to win the right to sell the assets resulting from the largest Ponzi scheme in bankruptcy history.

What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

A very family-orientated, no-drama work environment.

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

The ability to read and relate to people, visualize and discover hidden opportunities, and think like no one else.

What three pieces of advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to get started in your industry?

Don’t conform, don’t do what you learned in college, and be an independent thinker.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

After a bad day, comes a good day.

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Motivation and independence.

Business Name

Cunningham Aviation, LLC

Contact Name

George Cunningham

Business Phone

602-488-3878

Website

https://www.cunninghamaviation.com

Email Address

george@cunninghamaviation.com