May 2019
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From the XD's Desk:  Airport and Airport Industrial Center Activity Featured
Welcome to the May 2019 issue of Reporting Points. This month's edition highlights a rich mixture of activity at the Salina Regional Airport and Airport Industrial Center. You'll enjoy reading about improvements to the Kansas Army National Guard's hangar, a new offering by the Smoky Hill Winery, NOAA's Project TORUS and travel tips for United Airlines travelers.

The Salina Regional Airport and Airport Industrial Center is home to over 100 businesses and organizations that account for over 5,996 Saline County jobs which equals 14% of total Saline County employment.

Thank you for reading this month's issue.

"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tim Rogers, A.A.E.
Executive Director
Salina Airport Authority
Salina Regional Airport & Airport Industrial Center

Guard's Army Aviation Hangar Gets Major Facelift
Tim Unruh
May 2019

Team pride is a given for Maj. Patrik Goss, and in roughly a month, he'll hold similar esteem for his team's workplace.
The facility commander of the Kansas Army National Guard, Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF #2) located at Salina Regional Airport, cherishes his closely knit relationship with his team members. Goss has worked with some for 15 to 20 years. The AASF #2 team supports the pilots, air crew and aircrafts of 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment (Assault), Kansas Army National Guard.
"I've got 25 people who do the work of about 50. They are amazing," Goss said. "I love the guys and gals who work for me. The whole environment is more family oriented. We've been to each other's houses for barbecues and a bunch of our kids go to school together."
The hangar is already beginning to glisten. The Guard has occupied that location since 1985, and the exterior has been "reskinned." Inside the hangar numerous improvements are nearing completion.
The 48-year-old major is excited to give his team a nicer and more efficient place to work once the six-month, $750,000 project is complete. "We're bringing the facility up to the level of the quality of people who work here," Goss said. Workers have been busy moving furniture and sprucing up during the major upgrade.
"For this project, we wanted to improve the aesthetics of the building and improve the lighting in the hangar," said Jason Garr, chief warrant officer 5 and lead instructor pilot for the units nine UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters - six of which housed in the hangar. He's also the Guard's chief pilot for the state, and serves as Goss's second in command.
A new hangar door lets in more light. Walls were painted white to reflect more light for maintenance operations, and the floor was changed from drab concrete to the "traditional colors of Army aviation," Goss said, using special paint that resists oils.
The goal is safety, Garr said. "If we lose a washer on an aircraft or any kind of tool, it doesn't fly until we find them. We have 100-percent accountability for everything," Garr said. "The paint makes it easier to find."
More ambient light in the hangar "makes it glow," he said, enhancing the work environment.  "The guys are on the hangar floor turning wrenches, cleaning, fixing and adjusting aircraft every day," Goss said. "I've got the back shop guys making sure we have supplies;  material handlers and equipment operators making sure hazardous materials they deal with are meeting all OSHA guidelines; avionics guys who are neck deep every day in more digital technology than I would ever begin to comprehend."
For example, the new Black Hawks are loaded with the latest technology. "Everything in it is a computer or a digital something," Goss said. "Without my avionics guys to track all those wires down and solve problems, we'd be grounded."
That's just the north (hangar portion) of the building. The south side includes classrooms "because training never stops," Goss said, along with room for the operations officers, flight operations and the commander.
There are instructor pilots, standardization instructor crew chiefs, and others "making sure all requirements and regulations are met." he said, "so everybody is doing the same job in the same way. Aviation safety is a major component of what we do every day."
A Kansas Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter flown and crewed by soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment out of Salina, Kansas, assisted with fire suppression in Reno County, Kansas on March 6. The helicopter dropped more than 33,600 gallons of water on the fire-photo Kan. National Guard
The Aviation Mission Survivability officer's job is to "make sure 
we are conducting all the training and utilizing all systems available for aircraft survivability in a tactical environment," Goss said. If you're deployed to Syria
 or Iraq, he said, "You can't just pick up a cell phone and call the auto club."
The Black Hawks do everything from flying passengers to transporting water in Bambi Buckets for fighting wildfires. . The air ambulance platoon uses helicopters marked with red crosses to "provide care for life, limb and eyesight," Goss said.
Other than some flooring in places, much of the work will be complete before 10 members of the staff return from deployment next month "so they can walk into a new house," he said. They have served "in a mixture" of locations such as Kuwait, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. "They don't have 
to come back to work for about month, because of leave," Goss said. "We've got a little more time to nail down the final tidbits. We're gonna be doggone close."

Local Winery Honors Salina Aviation Success
Tim Unruh
May 2019

A fun touch of posh is about to flavor the legacy of Salina Regional Airport and its burgeoning commercial air service.
"Kansas Sweet Red Dessert Wine" to Salina's rich aviation history, called "AirPORT Aviator's Reserve."
Co-owners Nicki and Brock Ebert, of Lindsborg, and George and Jeanna Plante, of Salina, are working to launch the label once federal regulators give their approval. "It's just something we thought we could do to highlight the airport," Nicki Ebert said. "We got creative with the name."
The special SLN Airport commemoration stands to reason for the Eberts and their parental partners, who base their wine business at 2771 Centennial, on the eastern edge of Salina Airport Industrial Center. They also have an outlet store, "Under the Cork" in downtown Lindsborg, and are planning to expand to another farm winery outlet.
"The company brings a unique diversification to an already rich mixture of business activity," said Tim Rogers, executive director of the Salina Airport Authority.
Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery's grapes are grown on nearly 13 acres of land. Vines can be spotted on the ground as aircraft take off and land both to the north and south of the airfield - 12 to 15 miles each way.
The local winemakers intend to pay homage to the airport that once carried the tag Smoky Hill Army Airfield, and then Schilling Air Force Base prior to base closure in 1965.
The Department of Defense gifted the base to the City of Salina, Salina Airport Authority, K-State and Salina School District, which diversified the old base into a thriving industrial center and regional airport graced with a two-mile runway.
Winemaking has melded into the industrial center's family of businesses. Smoky Hill Vineyards and Winery employs three full-time persons and several seasonal part-timers, including the family.
Rogers appreciates their imagination. "They're being very creative, and I see a bright future for them," Rogers said. "They're a great part of the industrial center's vitality."
Location and some 2,000 years of earned prestige prompted the Eberts to unleash clever wording as they named the airport wine. "We feel like the wine we produce is very worthy of being a port wine, but we can't call it a port," Brock Ebert said.

That designation is reserved only for wines made in a mountainous region in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, according to Taylor Fladgate's website. The company lauds itself as one of the "oldest and most famous" wine producers.
Smoky Hill's AirPORT wine has many of the same characteristics, according to the Eberts. "It's a port style, a sweet red fortified wine, with more than 16 percent alcohol," Brock said. "It's aged in a unique way that takes time to perfect." AirPort is produced from aronia berries, which are native to Kansas. They're also known as "chokeberries," he said. Production, which includes fermentation and aging, has taken several years.
The label includes a  p icture of the Lockheed Constellation, known as a "Connie," that's been parked at the airport since 1967. Delivered to the Navy in 1949, the aircraft was retired by the U.S. Navy in 1957 and then served the Federal Aviation Administration from 1958 to 1966.

Other than a short flight in 1992, the Connie at Salina Regional Airport "has remained grounded ever since," according to the website. "We decided to put'er in some clouds and make her fly again," Nicki Ebert said of the label, which came from Brady Myers of Topeka-based Friesen Design.  
AirPORT Aviator's Reserve can't be distributed until officials with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau gives its approval. The Eberts are hoping to hear back soon.

There is much to celebrate at the airport these days, Brock said. United now offers two daily flights to Denver and  one to Chicago.
More flights are under consideration, and there are efforts to upgrade and expand the M.J. Kennedy Air Terminal, said Tim Rogers, executive director of the Salina Airport Authority.
The Salina Airport Authority has a rich aviation history. A March 2005 flight in the GlobalFlyer by adventurer Steve Fossett, made him the first to fly solo, nonstop around the world without stopping or refueling, snaring global attention. Takeoff and landing was the Salina Regional Airport.
New history will be made this year with a series of aviation events at the airport:
  • NOAA Project TORUS - Targeted Observation by Radars and UAS of Supercells and tornadoes.

  • NASA Project FIREX-AQ - Fire influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality.
  • U.S. National Aerobatic Championships - Nearly 100 competitors will compete to qualify for the International Aerobatics Championship.
The evolution of Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery began decades ago when Steve Jennings and Kay Bloom started making and selling wine. Norm and Jen Jennings, Steve's son and daughter-in-law   later took over the business.
Meanwhile George Plante was experimenting with wine making when Norm Jennings reached out to him. The business was sold to the Plantes and Eberts in November of 2012.
Brock Ebert, a native of Paxico, and Nicki Ebert, of Norton, have added winery management to their busy lives.
Brock full-time job title is comprehensive health and safety supervisor for United Parcel Service for the Kansas district, and is based in Salina. In recent years with UPS, Brock was in charge of the small feeder aircraft for Salina's UPS, which flew packages flights daily from Salina to Kansas City.
Nicki is a physical therapist assistant at Lindsborg Community Hospital. Both are very involved in the winemaking business. "We're developing some of our own new unique wines while maintaining the great wines that made Smoky Hill successful," she said. "We definitely appreciate what goes into a bottle of wine." The busy couple, both 38, are raising three girls and a boy from ages 15 to 2.
The partners have three full-time employees. Bart Hettenbach is the winery manager and wine maker; Courtney Hall, head of marketing and manager of Under the Cork; and Ken Mayfield, sales manager.
The partners aim to gain some exposure for both their business and the Salina Airport and Industrial area. "We're all excited about it," Brock said. "We feel it would be a great opportunity to represent the airport through this new wine."

Supercell Pursuit
Weather the Focus at Hangar 600
Tim Unruh
May 2019

Tiny anemometer propellers turned in a gentle indoor breeze Tuesday while curious humans milled about several peculiarly outfitted vehicles.
Just outside of a big hangar at Salina Regional Airport, folks in blue jumpsuits stood watch on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Lockheed WP-3 Orion, a large plane loaded with radars and other weather gear.
This was the calm that some 50 scientists, weather experts and students are not here to experience during the early stages of a two-year operation known as Project TORUS. The acronym stands for Targeted Observations by Radars and UAS of Supercells.
The TORUS goal from now through June 16, is to simply learn more, said Adam Houston, lead project investigator from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
"We hope to improve weather forecasting and improve our fundamental understanding (of storms)," he said.
Relating the "observable" with the "unobservable" with cutting-edge instrumentation, Houston said, TORUS aims to research the relationships between severe thunderstorms and tornado formation, according to information provided at the Tuesday legislative briefing, media day and open house.
"To do that, we really do need to get close to the storms," Houston said.
Using the WP-3 from high elevations, gathering information from ground level, and for the first time utilizing drones at elevations below 2,500 feet, team members can attack supercells from more angles.
"We can drive up to the storm, and into the storm if necessary," Houston said, "to get unique observations, but also coordinated observations to see how these relate to each other."  The operation will continue in 2020.
What the average person knows about these immense, dangerous, and sometimes deadly storms, might be thanks only to Hollywood, according to some during opening remarks.
Anthony Bruna, assistant legal counsel for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, admitted his education came from the 1996 film, "Twister."
"You guys are the real deal," Bruna said to the Project TORUS crew after Tim Rogers, executive director of the Salina Airport Authority, spoke during the legislative briefing.
"Right now, we think of you as a bunch of crazy people who fly into storms, releasing sensors that resemble beer cans," said Perry Wiggins, executive director of the Governor's Military Council.
But he assured spectators that those associated with Project TORUS are dedicated professionals.
"I walked around and talked to to them. They have enough information to make your head explode," Wiggins said. "It's reassuring to know that we've got people like that on point to protect us, giving us time to basically get out of the elements."
He resides in Chapman, in a house that was damaged by the 2008 tornado that ravaged the small eastern Dickinson county town, killing one and injuring many.
Wiggins wonders why people chase tornadoes.
"They wouldn't drive toward gunfire, and sometimes these things are more dangerous than that," he said.
Love of the weather excites Justin Kibbey, commander of the WP-3. His focus is completing missions.
"My main priority is us, to keep the plane safe and get the information to the scientists," he said. "There's a lot of expertise here, a lot of knowledge."
Project TORUS "is going to be fabulous," said Lisa Teachman KSN TV's chief meteorologist in Wichita. She broadcast the weather forecast Tuesday at 5 and 6 p.m. from the airport.
Currently, she said, the lead time for an approaching tornado or severe storm is 13 to 14 minutes, and three out of four severe storms are not going to produce a tornado. Teachman aims to glean information from researchers that would add time and accuracy.
"This is like one of the real amazing scientific projects going on," said Mark Robinson. He and Jaclyn Whittal, both storm chasers,   co-host a television show, "Storm Hunters" on The Weather Network, out of Toronto in southern Ontario, Canada.
They filmed interviews Tuesday, and plan on spending two weeks in Salina.
"What I want to learn is why one storm produces a tornado, and the other doesn't," Robinson said.
Displays in and out of the hangar Tuesday fascinated David Kraemer, professor of mathematics and computer studies at Kansas Wesleyan University, considering all of the coordination between government resources and universities.
UNL, the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at the University of Oklahoma, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla., Texas Tech and Colorado University in Boulder, are involved. A small group of students from University of Michigan are on the Texas Tech team.

Moms and kids marvel at stickers on the WP-3 aircraft during the Project TORUS open house at Salina Regional Airport.  The flag stickers show the countries "Kermit" has visited and red stickers commemorate hurricanes that "Kermit" has flown from 1978 to 2018.
"To make it all work right is quite amazing. It's a really good experience for these young kids," Kraemer said. "All of these vehicles taking so many measurements together is really wild. I don't covet anybody's job on that plane."
It's what James McFadden lives for. He has flown in and out of hurricanes 578 times in his long career, and owns the Guinness World Record for being the oldest to fly through one.
"I love to fly and I love meteorology," said McFadden, 85. "It's why I got a PhD in meteorology. My peers were stuck in the lab. I get to see everything unfold right in front of me."  
The big plane is also known as a NOAA WP-3 Hurricane Hunter, that will chase storms in the nation's belly.
It will work in concert with drones at lower elevations and vehicles collecting data from ground level.
This is the first time that unmanned aerial vehicles will be used for the research.
"It's a cheaper solution and you don't have to risk people's lives by sending them int
o the storm," said Anders Olsen, a sophomore at the University of Colorado.
He enjoys to be "part of such an awesome group," while still in college.
Drones will normally perform one flight for each storm, said Eric Frew, professor of aerospace engineering science at CU-Boulder.
He's not yet concerned that wind gusts would cause problems for the unmanned aircraft.
"We've been in high winds before, and have not seen this happen," Frew said.
The project will cover 367,000 square miles from North Dakota to Texas and Iowa to Wyoming and Colorado.
Monica and Avery Hoy thoroughly enjoyed their Tuesday tour. They were part of a group of home-schooled students from Hutchinson.
"The airplane is very neat, with all the hurricanes it's flown through, and the equipment inside" said Monica, 11, who is considering a career in meteorology.
"It's definitely a strong option," she said. "Storms are very interesting and exciting."
Avery, 9, was partial to the ground vehicles inside the hangar.
"I kinda like that weather vein over there," he said. "It has a big camera on the front."

Inside The Tornado Hunter Plane
Inside The Tornado Hunter Plane - Dave Malkoff, The Weather Channel

Flying with Real ID 

Learn about flying with a REAL ID. Beginning October 1, 2020, travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. If you are not sure if your state-issue ID is compliant check with your state driver's license agency. Visit  for more information.

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Feature Facility 
Building 820 , 2413 Hein

Situated adjacent to the campus of Kansas State University Polytechnic, the SAA's Building 820 is move in ready and just the right size for a business or organization needing a few professional offices complete with a break room, restrooms and ADA accessibility.  

This facility located at 2413 Hein contains 2,256 Sq. Ft. of office space and includes one large room that would be perfect for a conference room.  
Call the Salina Airport Authority today at 785-827-3914 to schedule a tour, or email

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