October 2019
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From the XD's Desk: 
K-State Aviation Enrollment Soars
The demand for pilots for the airlines, military and business aviation has resulted in record enrollment in the K-State professional pilot training program. K-State faculty and staff is handling the enrollment growth with enthusiasm and a "can do" spirit. 

This issue of Reporting Points will give you insight on how K-State is responding to enrollment growth. You'll also learn how K-State successfully completed another summer of USAF Junior ROTC basic flight training.

While student pilots are training at the Salina Airport, NASA and NOAA completed another successful deployment to study the environmental impacts of fires. In the years to come current K-State student pilots may be piloting NASA and NOAA aircraft conducting atmospheric and climate research.

Thank you for reading the October 2019 edition of Reporting Points.
"The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together."Bill Gates

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

FIREX-AQ Team Ready to Interpret New Fire and Science Data Collected this Summer
Tim Unruh
September 2019

Following several weeks tracking fires and tracing smoke throughout western and southeastern United States, dozens of government scientists returned to their respective homes and offices from Salina, toting computers crammed with data.
They will reflect on measurements of microscopic particles, plot their movements through the atmosphere, and endeavor to make life safer and healthier for all.
Improvements to weather forecasting might occur as well.
"We know in general how those things work, but the specifics that we want to understand better are the environmental impacts of burning," said James Crawford, senior research scientist at the NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
He was among the key figures in FIREX-AQ conducted by NASA and NOAA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"The genesis of this project is more focused on the chemistry of smoke and the health impacts of smoke," he said.
A team of 200, which included graduate students, spent 3 1/2 weeks based in Boise, Idaho, tracking western wildfires, in a big DC-8 jetliner, transformed into a flying laboratory.
The group, reduced to 100, then moved to Salina Regional Airport Aug. 20, to focus on agriculture fires, and prescribed burns, mostly targeting the southeastern U.S., until Sept. 5.

"We were able to sample 85 individual fires from Florida to Kansas and from southern Nebraska into Illinois, some small crop fires and grasslands in the Mississippi River Valley, Alabama, Georgia and Florida," Crawford said.
The "unconnected systems" were studied by land, air and space to "determine how fire and smoke affect people, places and the environment," according to promotional materials from NASA and NOAA.
"We were also spending a lot of time consulting these ag burns to determine what crop was being burned," he said. "We are excited to look at the diversity, and see what is common in the different fires. We studied crop types and fuel types, and the burning and clearing of timber. It was pleasing."
There was enough burning through the summer that the fires showed up on satellite, Crawford said, and the smoke from several fires integrated.

"This is part of a golden era of global views of our home planet in a way we've never had before," said Jack Dibb, of the NASA Airborne Science Program, during the FIREX-AQ open house Aug. 20 in Salina Regional Airport's Hangar 600.
"We're looking at whole continents and regions," he said. "There are things happening in the smoke."
The project is "not just chemistry," Crawford said, "but how smoke interacts with sunlight to affect temperatures, both at the altitude of the smoke and at Earth's surface."
The data will help scientists better understand the weather impacts of smoke, he said, also the chemical makeup of smoke.
"We're learning from history and expanding on the ability to inform people," Crawford said. Crop and pasture burning are a concern in Kansas, said Kristen Chaffin, of Salina, a natural resource specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
She's looking forward to more information that will be gleaned from this summer's FireX-AQ data collection and interpretation.
Prescribed burning is a common tool. She said it's used every three to five years in the Flint Hills region.
"There have been smoke concerns," Chaffin said. "You have to look at weather factors, roads, oil rigs, towers, power lines, and train on specific techniques to conduct burns more efficiently."
Another group of scientists will return to Salina next summer, flying the ER-2 High-Altitude Airborne Science Aircraft.
Crawford will be headed in a different direction.
"I will be off to Asia to look at some of the most polluted air in the world," he said. "They're choking on this stuff. Nobody wants clean air more than they do."

KSU Aviation Swamped, but Nobody's Complaining 
Tim Unruh
September 2019

Keeping all those alphas and bravos straight might pose challenges early on for young Charlie Rusco and his aviator classmates at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus.
In the very early stages of college, they're adjusting to higher learning as text books stack up in their dormitory digs.
It's crazy busy these days on the west Salina campus, not just for rookies enrolled in the professional pilot program - the most since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, school officials said - but also for the instructors, professors and staff.
Nobody's complaining. Quite the contrary.
"It's exciting that we're so extremely busy," said Bill Gross, chief flight instructor in his 32nd year at K-State. He has taught and-or worked as a professional pilot at Salina's Airport Industrial Center since 1973.
The school is not allowed to release specific enrollment figures until 20 days after the semester starts, said K-State spokeswoman Heather Wagoner, but others have said it's evident that numbers are up.
Rusco, a Topeka teenager, is stoked as the budding professional pilot is just days into pursuing a promising career, where demand is higher than he's flown so far.
Like most of the other 90 or more frosh enrolled in the pro-pilot program, Rusco, 18, is committed to four or more years of learning how to fly, completing a college education, and snaring careers in the cockpit.
Choices right now are pleasantly daunting.
"It's great," said the curly-headed graduate of Washburn Rural High School, who has already amassed nearly 10 of the required 35 flight hours to land a private pilot's license at K-State Polytechnic. He'll need 1,000 hours to fly for a commercial airline, not to mention achieving a number of flight ratings.
"We're learning all the basics and you go flying with your instructor," Rusco said.
It wouldn't surprise Prof. Troy Brockway, professional pilot option coordinator, if some of the freshmen bow out and choose other paths, but "so far, so good," he said in early September.
"They all seem to be pretty eager to be learning. I think (professional pilot) will be a good fit for some of them," Brockway said. "These young people seem to be excited about the process and the job. They're starting to learn to fly and learn about their classes.
"These are freshman, their first time away from home. They all seem pretty happy to be here."
The novices may feel swamped at times adjusting to the college experience, but it's no different this year for their upper-class aviation colleagues.
"It seems like we've been steadily getting busier and busier," said Caleb Strahm, 21, a senior pro pilot student from Sabetha. He is instructing six student pilots, one of them Rusco, and may add a seventh.
Student flight instructors are in short supply given the glut of freshman pilot pupils, Prof. Gross said, and other reasons.
Aviation department leaders put a halt to signing up more students in early August.
"This is the first time ever that we've asked enrollment (staff) to stop enrolling people," he said. "The airlines are hiring flight instructors so fast, we don't have enough."
It's a delicate balance, said Alysia Starkey, PhD, the Salina campus's interim CEO and dean.
"It's so sensitive to maintain quality in your practices. You've got to make sure you have the numbers of instructors," she said.
Well into retirement age, Gross said, the pilot educator shortage played a role in extending his career.

"I hate to leave all my K-State kids," he said. "We're so short on help."
The university is responding, Starkey said, thanks to some help from higher up.
"We're kind of in a growth stage," she said.
The 2018 Kansas Legislature bumped K-State Poly's budget by $520,000, making it possible to hire more flight instructors.
The campus has a position open for aviation director, three assistant chief instructors and four advanced flight instructors, Starkey said.
"(Lawmakers) recognize the tremendous need in the industry for manned aviation," she said. 

"This year, our focus is to make sure our system is prepared for even more growth."
The rise in aviation enrollment is a result, at least in part, to steep demand. "... the U.S. needs to train a staggering number of 87 new airline pilots every day for the next 20 years in order to meet growing demand,"aviationvoice.com reported in June, quoting "Federal Aviation Administration calculations." That's a good problem for aviation academia.
"We could expand to triple or more (pilot students) and still not have enough. The airlines could hire all available graduates from every flight school and still not have enough," Brockway said. "Every student that we graduate will have a job if they are any quality at all, and in aviation, they have to be quality. This is not just a job, but a really good career."
On track to graduate in December, instructor/student Strahm is geared to enter the workforce. He has targeted regional airlines, where the starting pay has ballooned in recent years.
"We used to see pilots going to regional airlines, getting paid $20,000 a year. Now it's double that," Strahm said. "It's that much better. Plus, there are signing bonuses. We're pretty blessed."
Pay potential can climb up to $300,000 a year for major airline pilots, Brockway said.
With so much knowledge to absorb, and flying to master, Rusco is in no hurry to decide on his future, saying he will take it "semester by semester," do some research and decide whether to enter commercial aviation, fly corporate, or earn his wings in another area of the industry.
"It feels like I can do anything I want. It's a good feeling," Rusco said, "but with all the job opportunities, that's the least thing on my mind."
As a recipient of a $48,000 Vanier Bluemont Scholarship, he said financial woes are lessened for him and his mom, Roxie Rusco, of Topeka.
There are no guarantees of what the job market will be when Charlie graduates, but Dean and CEO Starkey figures chances for lucrative futures will linger.
"Aviation typically has hills and valleys every 10 years, but with the pending retirements from the Baby Boomer generation, that could change," she said.
"There is also interest in aircraft maintenance."
That's thanks locally to the opening of 1 Vision Aviation, a large aircraft repair and upgrade firm, at Big Bertha, a.k.a. Hangar 959, aiming to bring up to 450 workers to Salina.
Additional pilot students will push up flight traffic for Salina Regional Airport, Starkey said, and provide "tremendous energy to campus."
Aviation Voice reported that roughly half of the pilots flying today "are about to retire," (as they reach the federally required retirement age of 65 for airline captains, Brockway said, or they can take a demotion in rank and continue). Flight hour limitations are also an issue, the online story reads.
"We're really being challenged by all of our industry partners to produce graduates much more efficiently," Starkey said. "As long as we can keep pace with what's needed, it's a great challenge to have."

Air Force Jr. ROTC Flight Academy Aims to Fill Massive Pilot Void
Tim Unruh
September 2019

A gaping gully in the American pilot pool prompted action by the United States Air Force two summers ago, and it appears to be helping to fill both civilian and military voids.
Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in Salina enjoys a major role in the Air Force Junior ROTC Flight Academy that just completed its second summer session. The acronym ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Nationally, the academy has so far gifted a private pilot certification to more than 150 young men and women from high school to college age, 30 of them who attended the academy at K-State Poly since 2018.
"It's a great deal for these kids if they want to take advantage of it," said Prof. Bill Gross, chief flight instructor at the Salina campus.
The cost of a private pilot's license alone is nearly $10,000, he said, and the Air Force requires no military service in return. The Air Force pays airfare for cadets to and from their summer training site, along with room and board, use of aircraft, flight time, use of facilities, and course materials.
After eight weeks, the cadets also complete up to eight college credit hours - no charge.
University staff supply the flight and classroom instruction.
The academy effort was launched from the top, by Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein, through the Air Crew Crisis Task Force, said Lt. Col. Vanessa Saks, of JROTC Outreach & Communication, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala.
"The chief of staff identified a few years ago that we need to reach kids at a young age to get them interested in aviation, to address the shortage of pilots," Saks said. "If they go in the military, awesome; love it. But if they go into the civilian side of it, we're helping on that end."

Pulling from Federal Aviation Administration figures, she said, "we need 6,000 to 8,000 pilots annually for the next 20 years, and that's not being met."
The flight academy began in the summer of 2018 with 120 cadets training at six different universities. This year it grew to 150 cadets at 11 universities, Saks said. 
At K-State Poly, the program attracted 12 students from six high schools in 2018 and 18 students from 10 schools this past summer, Gross said. "It's to see if there is an interest," he said. "The hope is they (enter) the Air Force, and some said it was their plan. Some weren't sure."

Summer flight academy moves quickly.
"We take a year-long program and condense it to eight weeks, give or take. It's an aggressive program," Saks said. "Some people take a little bit longer in the program to get used to it."
Gross flew with the students to make sure they acquired their skills. He estimated up to four from the 2019 class are high school juniors this fall. Others are seniors and two or more were high school graduates. "None have come and enrolled with us," he said. "Some are going to major in engineering and various other things."
This Air Force program is not about military or college recruitment, Saks said.
"It's about addressing the national crisis, and that's what I like about these universities," she said. 
Cadets are chosen from the 125,000 Junior ROTC cadets in the nation and overseas, Saks said, and this year, the program was opened up to Civil Air Patrol and ROTC college students. 
To fill the 2019 class, the Air Force received 1,400 applications, and selected 150 cadets. They were chosen based on the AQT (Aviation Qualification Test), endorsements from ROTC and school counselors, aviation experiences, physical fitness and life experiences.
"Do they have leadership experiences or a job? What else do they have that makes them a well-rounded applicant?" Saks said. 
Another goal of the program is to improve on diversity. The current aviation community is 6 percent female, 94 percent male, and 11 percent minority; 89 percent are white males, she said.
"The advantages of partnering with Junior ROTC is we currently are a diverse organization (58 percent female and 40 percent minority)," Saks said. "The goal is that our application mirrors this. ...we currently don't have to have weighted factors of diversity, because we have naturally diverse numbers."  
She likes what has occurred so far.
"Our return on investment is huge right now. There are a lot of pilots that we've put out there," Saks said.
Of the graduating high school seniors this year, 20 have received Air Force Academy appointments, and 65 have snared ROTC scholarship offers. "They are really sharp, high-level cadets," she said.
The Air Force just opened the application process for the 2020 flight academy, Saks said, and selections will be made after the New Year.

Refresh your memory on the liquid rules

We all know by now that a turkey sandwich is not a liquid, but it can still be confusing when you're figuring out how to pack your liquids. Watch this video and it will all be crystal clear.

Travel Tips: 3-1-1 liquids rule
Travel Tips: 3-1-1 liquids rule
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Available Properties

Feature Facility 
Building 520, Unit A

The Salina Airport Authority has available for lease, a 5,388 sq. ft. building perfect for any business or organization needing a shop and/or warehouse space.  

Building 520, Unit A is located at 2775 Arnold Avenue in the heart of the Salina Airport Industrial Center.  

This well maintained facility features 3,056 sq. ft. of space on the 1st floor and 2,332 sq. ft. on the 2nd floor. 

 Call the Salina Airport Authority today at 785-827-3914 to schedule a tour or email shellis@salair.org.

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