February | 2020
Nonstop to Denver Improves Air Travel out of Salina Regional Airport

Tim Unruh
March 2020

An early morning flight beginning Thursday from Salina nonstop to Denver, marks another major improvement in air service for the airport of choice for north-central Kansas.

The United Airlines service, Flight 5147, flown by SkyWest Airlines, departs at 6:10 a.m. from Salina Regional Airport, taking passengers to Denver International — arriving at 6:50 a.m. mountain time, where they can connect to other flights or enjoy a Rocky Mountain weekend.

The difference is that this flight, and future ones, will no longer require stops in Hays, either coming or going.

Then over lunch hour, 12:35 p.m, Flight 5194 will depart nonstop to Chicago O’Hare Airport, landing at 2:39. A mid-afternoon arrival offers better connecting flights times or an afternoon exploring Chicago.

Together, the two hubs (Denver and Chicago) offer connections to 99 cities across the country and the world, said Gary Foss, managing partner of the ArkStar Group, air service consultant to Salina.

The new schedule helps to meld the two flights, allowing travelers the option of using both hubs for the same fare; providing the option of flying out through one and returning through another.

“The nonstop flight to the west (Denver) makes flying east easier, as a customer can fly out using the Chicago O’Hare departure and can return to Salina connecting from Denver without stopping in Hays,” Foss said.

Thursday’s other significant change signals the beginning of daily flights (7 days per week) to Denver and Chicago, eliminating a Saturday gap in the previous schedule.

The flying public is already responding to the changes as more than 43 passengers are booked to board the CRJ-200 regional jets Thursday. More than double that are booked on Friday and Saturday flights.

“The bookings are very strong under the new schedule,” Foss said, “and they’re increasing sharply. Bookings are up significantly every day of the week. That’s very encouraging.”
As projected months ago by ArkStar advisers, the market is responding.

“Advance bookings validate the fact that the schedule change will result in continued double passenger growth,” said Tim Rogers, executive director of the Salina Airport Authority.
“The new schedule enables Salina and area travelers to take full advantage of nonstop flights to Chicago and Denver to make connections for travel throughout the United States and beyond,” he said.

Adding to the time and driving distance advantage for folks in north-central Kansas are competitive air fares.

“There is little reason to drive to another airport,” Foss said. “Air fares from Salina are very competitive with those out of Wichita and Kansas City.”

As always, parking at the Salina Airport is free.

“So whether connecting to Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco or New York, Boston or Washington, D.C.,” Foss said, “Salina Regional Airport has the flight for you at affordable air fares.”

 Did You Know?

Nonstop flights to and from Salina:

  • Salina to Denver, daily: departs 6:10 a.m, arriving at 6:50 a.m. (mountain time).

  • Denver to Salina, daily: departs 8:30 p.m. (mountain time) arriving at 10:55 p.m.

  • Salina to Chicago, daily: departs 12:35 p.m., arriving 2:39 p.m.

  • Chicago to Salina, daily: departs 10 a.m., arriving 12:05 p.m.

(all times are subject to change)
Tower Update

Scott Hillegeist will be returning to SLN to fill the controller position left vacant earlier this month. Scott is a retired Navy controller from central Kansas. He left us last January for one of Midwest ATC’s middle east contracts. He will start on 3/9 and should be re-certified in the tower within a couple weeks.

The FAA issued a memo regarding UAS pilots communicating on ATC frequencies. In short, this method of communication is not authorized. Apparently, there are still instances of pilots asking or being required to respond to ATC instructions on these frequencies.

My son and I are scheduled to visit Advanced ATC in Valdosta, GA near the end of March (SLN-ORD-ATL). The school may become a pipeline for new controllers to help meet the staffing needs of FCTs, and he’s decided that’s what he wants to do! We currently have one of their graduates working here now, and a few others at different towers operated by Midwest ATC Service. 

Happy Flying!

Jay Hatchett
Air Traffic Manager
Salina (SLN) FCT
United Airlines Connects Salina to the World
Improving Salina’s scheduled air service has intensified the relevance of this growing city, as evidenced by this summer’s Brethren in Christ U.S. General Assembly and International Global Retreat.
Streamlining travel into Salina from virtually anywhere in the world, is a big part of what made the event possible in the regional center of north-central Kansas.
And tweaking continues in Salina.
United will celebrate nonstop daily flights to Denver International Airport, starting March 5. That’s in addition to already offered nonstop flights to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

“Those in Salina can get to a multitude of destinations on a one-stop and two-stop basis,” said Jay Brame, of Kansas City, United Airlines sales manager.
“Starting in March folks in Salina or traveling to Salina can access not only to the east or the west,” he said, “but they can utilize both hubs.”
More than 600 flights leave Chicago a day, he said, and Denver has more than 500, he said, and that number should grow to more than 700 a day by 2025.
For example, flying out of Denver on United provides access to all four of the Hawaiian islands, Brame said, and the entire West Coast and Mexico “United is one of the largest airlines in the world,” he said. “It’s not just singularly United. You have access to all of our Star Line partners (among them Swiss Air and Air Canada).”
Connected to all of those options is Salina Regional Airport.
With new hotels opening or under construction, the massive downtown Salina revitalization and new businesses coming in, this small city is a destination, said Jo Ann McClure, conventional sales manager of Visit Salina.
The Brethren in Christ U.S. events shows this place in the nation’s middle, can handle the load.
“Bridging that global and national event in our community was a win for me,” she said.
“Opening that dialogue helped them make the decision to do it all here.”
United couldn’t be more pleased to accommodate the church’s travel needs, United’s Brame said.
“We’re pretty flattered that Salina is the best destination,” he said. “United prides itself on being able to solve problems. We want to be the solution for everybody’s travel needs as it relates to air.”
United Meetings
Feature Facility
New to the Market!

Building 394
2941 Centennial Road

Located at the intersection of two arterial streets (Schilling & Centennial) at the Salina Airport Industrial Center, this office facility will be come available on June 1, 2020.  

With nearly 4,000 SF of professional office space, Bldg. 394 includes
4 large private offices, a reception area and space for a large conference area or cubicles.   Large windows offer ample daylight throughout the building. 

Call the Salina Airport Authority today at 785-827-3914 to schedule a tour or email
shellis@salair.org for more information. 
Upcoming Events
Come Celebrate Aviation at our State Capitol! You are cordially invited to Kansas Aviation Day on March 12 from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. Aviation Day showcases aviation businesses that contribute greatly to Kansas. Come network with legislators and aviation leaders across the state and stay for a free lunch. Also, KCAE will present awards to our 2020 scholarship recipients!
Support the Kansas State University AAAE student chapter at Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers on Wednesday, March 25th from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Be sure to tell the cashier you're part of this group. The KSU AAAE student chapter will receive a percentage of all sales from this event.
On the Flightline at America's Fuel Stop
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