SAA News Release



Senators host Kansas Aviation Legislation roundtable


SALINA, Kansas (Feb. 11, 2015)- Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran hosted the Kansas Association of Airports Federal Legislative Issues Roundtable, Feb. 9 at the K-State Salina campus.


Kansas aviation leaders attended the roundtable moderated by Salina Airport Authority Executive Director Tim Rogers, A.A.E. K-State students and members of the Kansas aviation and Salina communities observed the discussion of Kansas aviation needs.


Discussions included a Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill, unmanned aerial system use particularly for precision agriculture, the Federal Contract Tower Program, Essential Air Service and sequestration budget cuts.


Aviation leaders spoke of the struggle to maintain and grow their facilities on the current funding. Moran said since the U.S. population is continuing to rise the time for transportation growth is now.


"UAS have a tremendous potential to aid farmers and ranchers for precision agriculture," said Roberts. "If we are going to have to feed 9 billion people down the road this is absolutely essential."


K-State students listened attentively as their future careers in unmanned aerial systems were discussed. The senators discussed Congress' ability to assist the FAA with the implementation of regulations for commercial use of UAS. Roberts, Chairman of House Agriculture Committee, expressed his intention to "boost the process along." The roundtable participants discussed the safety and privacy concerns inherent to the use of these systems.


"It would be easy to become a cheerleader for UAS in the state and nation," said Moran, "but we are reminded that there are challenges that have to be dealt with before integration."


The Kansas Association of Airport works to improve and discuss their current and future plans involving aviation. These meetings promote and encourage the passage of legislation on all levels for the good of Kansas airports and aviation. The KAA provides a medium for the exchange of ideas, methods, information and experience as they relate to airport management and operations. 


Story by Daniel Moss.


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The Salina Airport Authority has developed the premier airport and industrial center in the Midwest. The board of directors and staff are proactive in providing the citizens of Salina, Saline County and North Central Kansas with a center that support business and industry which in turn, provides jobs and payroll that benefit the region.


The Salina Airport Authority is home to the Salina Regional Airport, the Salina Aviation Service Center and the Salina Airport Industrial Center.

Jerry Moran
United State Senator for Kansas

After serving seven terms in the United States House of Representatives, Kansans elected Jerry Moran to the United States Senate in 2010. During his time in the U.S. Senate, he has been committed to putting policies in place that foster a pro-growth environment where businesses can succeed without government-imposed barriers.

Senator Moran believes air service is a vital public safety and economic development asset for communities across Kansas. He was recently selected serve as co-chair of the Senate Aerospace Caucus in addition to his role on
the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security for the 114th Congress.

This subcommittee oversees civil aviation, with oversight responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Specifically, the subcommittee monitors FAA's grant making efforts in funding airport infrastructure projects and upgrades to air traffic control facilities, in addition to its jurisdiction over domestic aviation security, which includes the majority of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workforce.

While general aviation is Kansas' largest industry - generating nearly $3 billion in annual exports and producing 40 percent of all general aviation planes - it is also the most reliable means of connecting with the rest of the world for many individuals and businesses in rural Kansas.

Senator Moran has always made it a priority to stay connected to the people he represents. Despite the distance of more than 1,000 miles between Washington, D.C., and Kansas, he returns home each weekend to meet with Kansans. The conversations he has during his travels around the state greatly impact the work he does in Washington.

Before his election to public office, Jerry Moran attended Fort Hays State University and later the University of Kansas, where he completed a degree in economics. After an early career as a small town banker, he received his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law. Senator Moran and his wife Robba live in Manhattan, and have two daughters - Kelsey and Alex.
Pat Roberts
United States Senator for Kansas

He was born in Topeka, graduated from Holton High School and went on to earn his journalism degree from K-State. He always puts Kansas' needs and concerns front and center in his public service career. For 16 years, he represented the Big First District, including his home of Dodge City, in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He is currently serving his fourth term.           


Senator Roberts is Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He becomes the first member of Congress in history to have chaired both the House Agriculture Committee and now the Senate committee. He has also served as the ranking member of each committee. Senator Roberts continues his work in the 114th Congress ensuring that farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to advance American agriculture. He is fighting barriers to trade and regulations that threaten producers' competitiveness.

As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, Roberts gives Kansans increased leadership on legislation ranging from taxes to trade, health care, Medicare, Social Security, the aviation industry and transportation - issues impacting all Kansas families.


Roberts' record shows his long-standing concern for Kansas communities, businesses and families. A member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Roberts has passed legislation to address the high cost of quality childcare. He voted against Obamacare and will work to repeal it and replace it with a plan that would lower health care costs for all families, and prohibit cost controls that would interfere with treatment decisions between doctors and patients. As co-chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, Roberts has worked hard to ensure rural communities have access to the same affordable high quality care as their urban counterparts.


Roberts recognized the biosciences industry developing in Kansas starting in 1996 and has carefully looked for ways to enhance its development to promote an industry that has tremendous potential for growth, will keep Kansas' best and brightest in Kansas and will make Americans safer. Roberts has been recognized as a leader in food and biosecurity. He held the first hearings on the issue in Congress, has helped pass major biosecurity legislation, assisted Kansas State and other Kansas schools in gaining federal research investments, leading to the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Kansas State (housed in Pat Roberts Hall). Finally, he led the state's effort to compete and earn the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a new federal laboratory to replace the aging federal plant and animal research facility at Plum Island.


Kansans also know Roberts as an advocate for the states' military installations and those who serve in uniform. A former Marine, he played a key role in strengthening Kansas' military missions despite nationwide base closings - bringing thousands of new jobs to Kansas. He is the most senior Marine in the Congress.


As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee for four years, Roberts worked to improve intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities at a critical time in our nation's history. When concerns arose regarding the timing and accuracy of U.S. intelligence on pre-war Iraq, Roberts led the Intelligence Committee through one of the most sweeping and exhaustive reviews of U.S. intelligence ever conducted. The bipartisan report, unanimously approved by the members of the Intelligence Committee, revealed systemic failures within the intelligence community. The review led Roberts to propose critical and forward thinking intelligence reforms. Many of his proposals were included in the 9/11 Intelligence Reform Act of 2004. In 2004, Roberts delivered the prestigious Landon Lecture at Kansas State University on national security topics.


Senator Roberts is also privileged to be a member of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee.


Pat Roberts is a fourth generation Kansan. Born in Topeka on April 20, 1936, Roberts is the son of the late Wes Roberts, chairman of the Republican National Committee under President Dwight Eisenhower. His great-grandfather, J.W. Roberts, founded the

Oskaloosa Independent, the state's second oldest newspaper. Following graduation from Kansas State University in 1958, Roberts served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, then worked as a reporter and editor for several Arizona newspapers. He joined the staff of Kansas' U.S. Senator Frank Carlson in 1967. In 1969, Roberts became administrative assistant to First District U.S. Congressman Keith Sebelius. Roberts and his wife, Franki, have three grown children - David, Ashleigh and Anne-Wesley, and five grandchildren.


Salina Airport Authority
Executive Director
Tim Rogers, A.A.E.   
Salina Airport Authority Manager of Public Affairs & Communications 
Melissa L. McCoy      
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Senator Jerry Moran


Senator Pat Roberts

Additional Links


Salina Area Chamber of Commerce


City of Salina


Saline County


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