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From the XD's Desk: 50 Years Ago

Following the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base would be closed, the Schilling Development Council was established and started the process of adopting a reuse plan to aid in Salina's economic recovery. The Council's first decision was published on January 22, 1965;


                "Schilling Air Force Base's future is tied to industrial expansion....the basic policy will be attempted use of the soon to be closed base for industrial sites and related endeavors."


Soon after setting a course of action, the Council published the first marketing piece used to attract new business and industry to the former Schilling AFB.  The document announced the closing of Schilling AFB and the community's intent to convert the base to an industrial park.


Today the Salina Regional Airport and Airport Industrial Center is home to over 95 businesses and organizations that employ over 4,100 people at a payroll exceeding $145 million. The Schilling Development Council set a course for one of the most successful base closure redevelopment efforts by community partners.


To this day, the City of Salina, Saline County, Salina Airport Authority and the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce continue to support the expansion of existing industry and attract new business to the airport and Airport Industrial Center. Our community has benefited from the visionary action taken by the Schilling Development Council 50 years ago.


Tim Rogers, A.A.E.

Executive Director

Salina Airport Authority
Salina Regional Airport

Business Aviation Chamber After Hours


More than 200 area business men and women attended the Salina Airport Authority's Business Aviation Chamber After Hours, Feb. 26 at the airport's Hangar 600.

Featured guest speaker, Brian Youngers of SouthWind Aviation Global, outlined the benefits and capabilities of business aviation, aircraft ownership and charter to area business men and women.

Attendees also got to tour a dozen different aircraft, including those from Cirrus, Textron and Kansas City Air Center and speak with the crews and representatives about corporate use of aviation. The K-State UAS Program Office and flight program, Universal Helicopter, TDM AeroTek and Schilling Aviation Services also showed off their assets and shared their expertise.

Senators host Kansas Aviation Legislation roundtable


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.


Read on>>>


K-State becomes first entity in US to receive statewide access for flight operations of sUAS


Kansas State University Salina reached a national milestone in the unmanned aircraft systems industry, becoming the first entity in the country to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, for statewide access during flight operations.

The university received three Certificates of Authorization that will allow its unmanned aircraft systems program to conduct research on public property anywhere in the state, or on private property with landowner permission.

"These new authorizations are yet another example of how K-State Salina is truly a leader in unmanned aircraft systems," said Kurt Carraway, K-State Salina's UAS flight operations manager. "Our statewide access will allow us to continue to provide practical applications of technology to our students and will further develop our research abilities for the university, the FAA and our industry partners."


"The Salina Airport Authority recognizes K-State Salina as a leader in developing UAS technology," said Tim Rogers, A.A.E., executive director of the Salina Airport Authority. "The program has unlimited potential in developing UAS for commercial uses such as precision agriculture."


Read on>>>



Sharp Performance Combine & Skills Day


Dragun Corp updates CEOs, citizens on Schilling Project

Tim Unruh

Salina Journal


Looking at fresh test results from Dragun Corp., officials said Friday that contamination at the former Schilling Air Force Base is worse than expected in places and not so bad in others.

"In general, it has bolstered what we thought," said Matt Schroeder, manager of the remedial investigation at the former base and areas surrounding it.


But there also were "some surprises," he said.


During a news conference Friday morning at the City-County Building, Schroeder, a senior environmental engineer for Dragun, a consulting firm from Farmington Hills, Mich., and Michael Sklash, senior hydrologist, updated the public on work accomplished since May.


Dragun was hired by the Salina public entities - city of Salina, Salina Airport Authority, Kansas State University and Salina School District - to map a plan for cleaning up the contamination left by military operations at the former base, which closed in 1965.


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is overseeing the investigation.


The entities learned over the past 20 years that a plume of pollution, primarily the solvent TCE, or trichloroethylene, is in the soil and groundwater that is moving toward city water wells.


TCE, a carcinogen, was used as a degreaser to wash aircraft and weapons at the base.


Some of the higher concentrations in the Airport Industrial Area are more than 10,000 parts per billion, while other spots show levels within the safety threshold of 5 parts per billion or less in water.

Read on>>>

AAAE recognizes KSLN for training excellence


The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) has recognized 92 airports, including Salina Regional Airport with an ANTN Digicast Excellence in Airport Training award for training completed in 2014. 


An ANTN Digicast Excellence in Airport Training award signifies that airport employees and others working at each facility have completed a specified amount of federally mandated airport-specific and continuing education training using ANTN Digicast's Web-based training system. The award levels are based on total training programs watched and total number of employees trained at each airport. Levels vary based on the airport's hub size. Each winning airport is presented with a plaque marking the achievement.

"ANTN Digicast was created for airports of all sizes as a cost-effective, efficient way to help comply with mandated training requirements, and we're encouraged that so many airports have made it an integral part of their training programs," said Patrick Raker, senior vice president of AAAE's Training and Technology Services Department. "The fact that the system tracks training on a per-user basis provides concrete proof to regulators that employees have completed all of their recurrent training requirements."


Read on>>>

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