Summer 2019
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From the XD's Desk: Salina Welcomes New Airport Tenants and the CAF
The Salina Airport Authority is pleased to welcome 1 Vision Aviation and LifeSave Transport to the Salina Regional Airport. In this issue of  Reporting Points, you'll read more about each company and their importance to our local and state economies.

United flights to Denver, Chicago and beyond continue to meet and exceed the expectations of Salina and North Central Kansas travelers. Reporting Points writer, Tim Unruh interviewed local United customers and "in their own words" tells the story of the impact of United air service on our community and region.

Finally, check out the dates and times for the CAF's AirPower History Tour stop at the Salina Airport. The event will include the CAF's B-29, FIFI. FIFI's stay at the Salina Airport will bring back memories of B-29s and their crews stationed at the Smoky Hill Army Airfield (which is now the Salina Regional Airport) during World War II.

Thank you for reading the Summer, 2019 edition of Reporting Points.
"Those who say it cannot be done should not get in the way of those doing it" - 645th Aeronautical Systems Group (Big Safari)

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

'Big Bertha' Becomes a Second, but Largest, Home for Sioux City's 1 Vision Aviation
Tim Unruh
August 2019

Come October 1, airline jets will land at the Salina Regional Airport for repairs and upgrades when Sioux City, Iowa-based 1 Vision Aviation begins operations in Hangar H959 "Big Bertha" at Salina Regional Airport. 
The new tenant -President and CEO Jim Sponder - is leasing the 129,000 square-foot building known officially as Hangar 959. Initially, 1 Vision Aviation will employ 50 workers, mostly airframe and power plant mechanics.
Assuming demand projections materialize, the service here in the nation's mid-section will need 450 workers by 2022, said Mitch Robinson, executive director of the Salina Community Economic Development Organization. "It's been awhile since we've had that kind of announcement," he said after a June 20 Salina Airport Authority special board meeting.
Renting the huge hangar is a "fantastic" development, said Salina Mayor, Dr. Trent Davis. "It brings in a large number of jobs that have premier salaries (average $25 an hour), and there are ancillary jobs," he said.
"From a purely economic development perspective, we're going to have new families here, buying houses, with disposable income. The real benefit is in those secondary waves of spending." The influx "should increase demand for new and existing housing," Davis said. "I'm hoping developers are ready to look at all types of housing options - downtown, multi-family and single family. This should be a good challenge for our housing industry."
He added that 1 Vision Aviation could boost Salina's reputation as a hub for the aviation industry. "If we can set up certain industries here, other companies will take notice and say, 'They're good at that in Salina. They've got a great airport. Let's look at Salina for expansion.' "
Huge local demand for airframe and power plant mechanics lifts hopes for enrollment in that area at the nearby Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus. "We're pumped," Kurt Barnhart, associate dean of research, and former aviation department head at K-State Polytechnic. "For a few years, we've had low enrollments in aviation maintenance, which is the aviation mechanic program. Because of Hawker Beechcraft leaving (in February 2012), that program has been slower to recover," he said. "This basically solves that problem, and opens up a whole lot of other opportunities."
A July 18 special job fair for 1 Vision brought out Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Toland, who expressed excitement for Salina and Kansas as a whole. "When you see growth in Salina, it's really incredible to see how large the economic impact is around the state," he said. "(Adding) 450 jobs anywhere in our state is a huge deal, but particularly to have it right here in Salina is just a tremendous, tremendous success."
There will be boosts to the local economic development community, those involved in the housing, others with restaurants or bars in the area, retail stores, he said. The economic impact will "ripple across the state in a positive way," Toland said. "We're just thrilled to see this happen, and we're particularly thrilled to see the continued growth in Salina. It's a great community that has strong local leaderships that is doing a terrific job."
In late July, Barnhart said the anticipated arrival of 1 Vision Aviation prompted lots of discussion about filling the company's needs. "We've been to the table with them. We really need to be responsive to their needs in this situation, and try to fill those gaps," he said. "The really neat part about this, is now there will be multiple good-paying jobs that will attract talent and allow us to retain talent in that career field."
There are a number of good fits. "It's a tailor-made industry for Salina," Dr. Davis said.

Likewise for 1Vision Aviation, said Justine Sponder, the firm's business manager and daughter of the owner. She was impressed during a Salina visit that included the job fair, hosted by Kansas Works and Salina Area Chamber of Commerce. "Salina has been so welcoming so far," she said.
The 1 Vision Aviation team was introduced to the K-State Polytechnic Campus and was equally embraced. "It's just an early representation of how the individuals of Salina have been," Sponder said. "Now that we've started the job fair, we've been meeting a lot of great people with great aviation experiences. That just shows we're in the right spot."
The job fair in Hangar 600 attracted 90 applicants, said Latron North, the chamber's workforce development talent initiative specialist. "It went very well. We had a great turnout," he said of the collaboration with Kansas Works and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Of the applicants, 20 were military veterans, and there were some former Beechcraft and Hawker Beechcraft employees.
With help from the state and the city, North is eager to assist 1 Vision Aviation in meeting its employment goals, letting folks know about the opportunities in Salina by posting jobs in Wichita, Fort Riley, McConnell Air Force Base, and other sites. "We are very confident that we will be able to assist them finding the manpower they need," he said. "It's just about making sure information about their jobs and vacancies are being spread very well." The potential is lucrative.
"This is a huge jolt for the tax base," Secretary Toland said. "It's critically important, not just for Salina and Saline County, but for this entire region, because the work force is going to come from a pretty wide radius."

LifeSave Transport Opens SLN Base
Tim Unruh
August 2019

Precious minutes are sure to be saved for those in need when LifeSave Transport begins operations next month at Salina Regional Airport.
The Wichita-based company will offer air ambulance services from Hangar 504.

The ground and critical care company will place a helicopter and staff a crew around the clock, 7 days per week. LifeSave will employ 19 full- and part-time jobs to the airport.
"We're really looking forward to being in the Salina area," said Courtney Bachrodt, LifeSave's director of business operations.
"The Salina Airport Authority has been completely welcoming to us," she said. "We feel like this is going to be a really good location for our next rotor wing base."
LifeSave will fill a huge need for the region, transporting critically ill and injured patients, said Rachelle Giroux, director of trauma, stroke and chest pain accreditation at Salina Regional Health Center. "The goal with LifeSave is to rapidly transfer patients to the facility that offers the service that the patient needs," she said. If you're involved in a crash in the North Central Kansas area, for example, the flight crew will launch from Salina and provide help. "LifeSave will be very valuable to get the patient to the right place for the right care, based on need," Giroux said.
Emergency medical professionals refer to the "Golden Hour" following someone suffering traumatic injury, the "sooner trauma patients reached definitive care - particularly if they arrived (at a hospital, for example) within 60 minutes of being injured - the better their chance of survival," according to Dr. R. Adams Cowley in an Aug. 31, 2008, story in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

Having an air ambulance helicopter in Salina will place help closer in case someone is critically injured in north-central Kansas. "We are flying pretty critically ill or injured patients," Bachrodt said. "This was a natural fit to complement our service area."
LifeSave Transport will house a specially equipped Bell 206 LongRanger helicopter at the hangar, and there is enough extra space for a King Air fixed wing aircraft, if needed. The company also provides ground transport.
LifeSave has hired four pilots and 15 medical workers, Bachrodt said, and they will begin training within the next 30 days. Each crew consists of a pilot, flight nurse, and a paramedic. Pilots work 12-hour shifts. Nurses and paramedics work 24-hour shifts, Bachrodt said. "There will be living quarters so the crew can rest, similar to a firehouse setting," she said. "Most of the pilots are local to the area, or within driving distance."
Salina will serve as LifeSave's fifth rotor wing base in Kansas. The others are in Emporia, Dodge City, Garden City and Colby. Fixed wing aircraft are in Liberal and Garden City. Company headquarters in Wichita includes in-house billing, a communications center and maintenance facility. All administrative functions are there, and two ground units are housed there. LifeSave Transport has locations across Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Hawaii, and employs 260; 180 in Kansas.
The company was selected as The University of Kansas Health System's Kansas Clinical Improvement Collaborative "transport provider of choice," Bachrodt said. "As part of the selection process, we really wanted to look at the hospitals within that collaborative, and reallocate resources to best serve that process."
LifeSave managers met with the Salina Airport Authority staff and were impressed. "They just really became that partner that we wanted to work with," she said. "We felt like it was just a perfect fit."
LifeSave will move the region to new heights, Giroux said. "I'm excited about it," she said, "anxious to work with them and continue to improve that care throughout the region."

Commemorative Air Force Brings AirPower History Tour to Salina Regional Airport
August 2019

The distinctive rumble of radial engines from two of the rarest World War II bombers, the B-29 Superfortress FIFI and B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil, will be heard over the skies of Salina in September when they visit Salina Regional Airport as part of the AirPower History Tour of the Commemorative Air Force.
The two bombers are to be accompanied by the P-51 Mustang Gunfighter, a T-6 Texan, and a PT-13 Stearman.
The Boeing B-29 was the most advanced four-engine bomber of WWII and featured many innovations such as a pressurized cockpit, remote-control computerized fire-control system that operated four machine gun turrets, and onboard radar. It was the most expensive weapons project undertaken by the United States during the war, costing more than $3 billion, which exceeded the cost of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. The bomber could fly higher, 31,850 feet, than any other bomber of the period and had a top speed of 350 miles per hour.
Superfortresses were used in the China-Burma-India Theater and in the Pacific Theater of Operations where their range could take the air war to Japan. Hundreds of B-29s at a time would make the 3,000-mile round trip from the islands of Guam, Saipan, and Tinian on missions lasting anywhere from 12 to 18 hours.
On August 6, 1945, the B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, the B-29 Bockscar, dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Those two missions led to the end of the war and the surrender ceremony on the deck of the USS Missouri on September 2 with 525 B-29s flying overhead in a show of force.
FIFI is one of only two flying B-29s in the world. She was acquired by the CAF in 1971 from the U.S. Navy Proving Grounds in China Lake, California. After a three-year restoration she began touring in 1974 and has been entertaining air show audiences across the country ever since.
The B-24 Liberator was the most produced American warplane of WWII over 18,400 aircraft rolling off assembly lines across the country. Most were manufactured at Ford's giant Willow Run assembly plant in Detroit.
Diamond Lil, one of only two flying Liberators in the world, provides the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of our fathers and grandfathers in the dangerous air wars over Europe, the Pacific, North Africa and Asia.
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator, first flown in 1939, was used by the US Army Air Corps and US Navy. The four-engine bomber featured a high aspect Davis wing that gave it more range and more speed than the B-17 Flying Fortress, and allowed it to carry a greater bomb load.
Diamond Lil was ordered by Great Britain and was the 26th to roll off the production line. However, she was involved in a landing accident while the RAF was training crews in the United States and did not see combat.

The aircraft was rebuilt in transport configuration and used by Consolidated through the remainder of the war. It was then sold to Consolidated Can Company and used as an executive transport for 10 years, until being sold to PEMEX, the national oil company of Mexico, where it continued as an executive transport until acquired by the Commemorative Air Force in 1967.
Diamond Lil is the oldest Consolidated B-24 in existence and has been used to honor the greatest generation and educate future generations at air shows across the country for almost 50 years.
The North American P-51D Mustang is one of the most loved aircraft in aviation history. With its speed, range, and sleek lines, the P-51 became a favorite of Allied fighter pilots and bomber crews. The long-range fighter aircraft had a range of 1,300 miles that enabled it to accompany the bombers to their targets and back. The fighter was equipped with six machine guns in its wings and was faster, 437 miles per hour, and more maneuverable than its German and Japanese opponents. A total of 15,386 Mustangs were manufactured and the airplane was used by more than 50 air forces around the world until the 1980s
Known as the "Pilotmaker," the T-6 Texan was an advanced flight trainer manufactured by North American Aviation, the same company that built the P-51 Mustang fighter. First flown in 1935, the T-6 introduced new pilots to a complex aircraft with more speed, 200-plus miles per hour, to prepare them for the warbirds they would fly in combat in WWII. The T-6 was designed for an instructor and student, and had a closed cockpit. Airshow fans may notice the T-6 serving the CAF as an impersonator---several of the airplanes have been slightly modified and painted as Japanese torpedo bombers and fighters for the Tora, Tora, Tora re-enactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Boeing PT-13 was the primary flight trainer for all branches of the military during World War II. Officially named the Boeing Model 75, this plane is almost universally known as the "Stearman. If an aspiring aviator wanted to earn his wings, he started in the iconic bi-plane, which was sturdily built to withstand the abuse of flight students. The open cockpit airplane had a maximum speed of 135 miles per hour. A ride in the fully aerobatic Stearman brings back the wind-in-your hair feeling of the early days of flying.
The aircraft will be staged at the Salina Regional Airport, Hangar H606, 2630 Arnold Ct., Salina KS 67401. The event will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, September 4-8. Access to the ramp where the warbirds are parked is $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 10-17 and free for children nine and under. Supporting aircraft will be offering rides all five days. The B-29 flies on Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The B-24 flies on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Cockpit tours of the B-29 and B-24 will be available beginning at 9:00 a.m., except on Saturday and Sunday when they will begin at noon.
Rides may be booked in advance at where additional information about the event may also be found.
The Commemorative Air Force was founded to acquire, restore and preserve in flying condition a complete collection of combat aircraft which were flown by all military services of the United States, and selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans.
Collecting aircraft for nearly a half a century, the CAF now ranks as one of the largest air forces in the world. Today the CAF has approximately 13,000 members and a fleet of more than 175 aircraft representing more than 60 different types, including planes from several foreign countries and other military conflicts since World War II.
The Headquarters of the CAF is located in Dallas, TX. CAF members live in every state and 28 foreign countries. In 26 states and four foreign countries, our members have joined together and formed units to foster camaraderie and, in many cases, actively support one or more of the classic military aircraft operated by the CAF.
More than just a collection of airworthy warplanes from the past, the CAF's fleet of historic aircraft, known as the CAF Ghost Squadron, recreate, remind and reinforce the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history in a living tribute to the men and women who built, maintained and flew them.
To learn more about the Commemorative Air Force, please visit

Salina's United Air Service Climbs to New Heights
Tim Unruh
August 2019

Locals who embrace life from multiple angles are realizing what a top-shelf commercial air carrier can provide Salina and north-central Kansas.
In the 15 months since United Airlines launched jet service at Salina Regional Airport with daily flights to Denver and Chicago, the city and region have seen their legitimacy climb.
Salina's partnership with United is golden when parents and recruits visit the Kansas Wesleyan University campus, said Mike Hermann, vice president and director of athletics. "It elevates the reputation of our community in their minds," he said. "It really adds value."
Passenger numbers continue to grow as United seals more connections to spots all over the planet. "We're really excited to have a local, really close, method of travel," said Monte White, president and CEO of REPCO, a food ingredients company in north Salina.
The company, in business since 1946, makes vitamins and mineral premixes for foods humans eat every day. Repco markets its products worldwide. "The service has been great for me personally and for several others who have been flying with our company," White said. "It is nice to be close to home when you land, instead of having to drive an hour or two back from the airport after a trip."
The United service is great to go and come back, he said, but also for welcoming customers who visit Salina from all over the globe. "We recommend that they check into flying here first, and a lot of them will," White said.
Flying Salina is just easier, he said, when you can park for free and check in with less hassle.

"You don't have the challenges, or the lines, that some of the bigger airports have," White said. "If you get to another airport during rush time with a lot of people, you may have to stand in line and miss a flight. You're not going to have that challenge here."
"I would encourage anyone looking to travel, whether it's your first trip or 100th trip, to try using the service out of Salina," White said. "We'd like to see it expand. It's a good deal."
One or two travelers - families as well - are flying United in Salina, but others are finding their way to and from here in groups large and small, said McClure. She is the local contact for conventions and meetings. Tiffany Benien is the Visit Salina contact for sports. Thanks in large part to United, she said, "Salina is coming back on the meetings and conventions map," and attracting more interest as a destination for tourism, conventions and meetings in the middle of the United States.
United's group discounts are a boost, said Gary Foss, managing partner of the Frisco, Texas-based ArkStar Group. He serves as the Salina Airport Authority's commercial air service consultant. "United offers discounts for meetings, for groups and for athletic travel," he said. "If you have as few as 10 people flying into SLN for a meeting on individual (different) flights, your company can qualify for a percentage discount, or flat 'zone rate.' If you have 10 or more flying on the same plane, that is considered a group, and United will offer a discount, being a bit more aggressive than the other two network carriers."
The same works for vacations, weddings, and family reunions, Foss said, "and if you have an athletic team - Little League baseball, high school wrestling, the Kansas Wesleyan golf team (for example) - they can get a discount for as few as six people, with relaxed rules that allow for travel dates to be changed without a fee."
With fast and easy enrollment, great rewards are available to individual travelers and organizations with the following programs:
MileagePlus Program (for individuals)      
PerksPlus Program (for organizations)
United Meetings (designed for travel when ten or more people are flying from different cities to a single destination for a specific conference, training class, or event)
United Groups and Sports (guaranteed group airfare for your family, friends, sports teams, and business associates when traveling together in groups of ten or more.)
"This has opened the ability to utilize Salina as the starting point for travel for athletic teams," said Herman of KWU. The Coyotes' men's and women's soccer teams will fly out of Salina for a non-conference road trip to southern California, "which is making it much more convenient, and eliminates the extra cost of getting them to and from other airports," he said.
The service helps Kansas Wesleyan recruiters to hit the road and identify prospects. "It's much more convenient to use this airport as the starting point for the recruiting process," Herman said. The United service also aids in the decision for students and their families to choose KWU for higher education.
With Salina enjoying the advantage of location, United service further enhances the convenience and streamlines the process of accomplishing a successful gathering.  "Daily flights to Denver and Chicago and beyond, make it really easy for meeting planners to put together an entire event," McClure said. "They can bring in national speakers, VIPs and guests. It saves them a lot of time and effort. It's much more cost effective."
Clare Stramel, Visit Salina's tourism information manager, is soon to be one of those travelers when she flies to Austin, Texas, next month, to take in the Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations. "I will fly out and come home, and nobody will have to pick me up at the airport," Stramel said. "It's a five-minute drive to my house. I'm always worn out after traveling. The planning and booking a hotel, are huge headaches."
As a young professional in Salina, she said it's gratifying to visit friends, or vice versa. "As a recent college graduate, having an airport in Salina makes it easy for friends and family," Stramel said. "Having United jet service is incredibly valuable to visitors and travelers. Being able to fly directly into Salina has attracted a new market and visitors who may not have come otherwise."
Perhaps even more special is when she and her husband, Scott Stramel, welcome their first child this fall. "I have a sister in northern Minnesota, and friends all over the country," Clare Stramel said. "They will be able to fly straight to Salina."

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United Meetings

Available Properties

Feature Facility 
Hangar 606, 2630 Arnold Court

The Salina Airport Authority has available for lease, a 49,222 sq. ft. hangar located at the Salina Regional Airport.  Located in a great location on the field as well as easy access to I-135 & I-70.

Commonly known as Hangar 606, this well maintained facility features 34,932 sq. ft. of hangar bay and 14,290 sq. ft. of office and/or shop space.  

Hangar 606 underwent major rehabilitation in 2012.  This facility is a perfect location for any business or regional jet, MRO or aicraft storage facility.
Call the Salina Airport Authority today at 785-827-3914 to schedule a tour, or email

On the Flightline at America's Fuel Stop

Kansas Highway Patrol recently celebrated it's 51st year of the KHP cadet law program.  Over 40 high school students got an opportunity to start their summer vacation by living the life of a Kansas State Trooper. 

The Cadet Law Enforcement Academy program was held at the Salina Regional Airport in June 2019. The event is hosted by the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy in Salina and sponsored by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary.  

Fly Salina

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