Dec. 19--The Salina Airport Authority Board on Wednesday approved leases of three buildings and a pumphouse to Saginaw, M_.-based AvFlight, which is bringing its growing network of aircraft refueling businesses to Salina. The airport authority projects that AvFlight's national and international connections will increase fuel revenue to $159,430 next year, or 20 percent more than is expected this year. The airport authority charges 7.45 cents for every gallon of fuel dispensed on the airfield.
Airfield fueling services offered by Flower Aviation, 2035 Beechcraft, for 40 years, and America Jet, 2010 Rogers, since 1984, are being replaced by AvFlight, an FBO chain.
Flower closed Tuesday night. The airport board accepted lease terminations Wednesday morning from those two businesses.
America Jet will retain its maintenance operation. Aircraft rentals and flight instruction will continue if there is business to support it, said Greg Lust, who owns America Jet with his wife, Tammie.
Airport Authority Executive Director Tim Rogers told the board he was "thoroughly impressed with the approach and hard work" from AvFlight officials as they have pursued the project.
"We have an excellent new partner who is going to revive services on the airfield," he said.
AvFlight president Carl Muhs and AvFuel director of business development C.R. Sincock (based in Ann Arbor, MI), spoke by speaker phone during the meeting. Salina will be AvFlight's ninth fixed-base operator. AvFuel counts 10,000 flight departments around the world that participate in its bulk fuel program.
"With our exposure, contract fuel programs and international recognition, it will have a real draw for the Salina airport," Muhs said. "We think there is great potential there."
AvFlight, which will begin operating in Salina on Jan. 1, is interviewing for those jobs, Muhs said. He declined to say how many jobs are available.
"We're reviewing manpower requirements right now," he said. "The response has been tremendous. We've gotten 30 to 40 applications."
In other business, the airport authority renewed its $15,000 contract with the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce to provide economic development services at the airport. The contract amount was the same as this year.
The board also approved the airport authority's 2014 budget report and operating plan. Total operating revenue is projected at $2.153 million, or 5 percent less that the 2013 budget, but 5 to 7 percent more than the projected actual 2013 budget.
"We're looking at keeping expenses down," Rogers said. "We've pulled close to $90,000 in operating expenses (since 2012-13), and we're not going to put those back in."
-- Reporter Tim Unruh can be reached at 822-1419 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2013 - The Salina Journal, Kan.
Flower Aviation of Salina shut down and America Jet sold its fueling division in December. The 106,917 gallons delivered on the airfield last month was a 50 percent decrease from the same month in...
Some or all of the fixed base operator business (FBO) of America Jet, 2010 Rogers, and Flower Aviation of Salina, 2035 Beechcraft, will be replaced by AvFlight