News & Views
TAC Air — AMA FBO Expands and Improves in Amarillo
TAC Air Expands and Improves in Amarillo
Aug 19th, 2021
AMA is opening its “new” doors to the FBO's first major renovation since 1993, growing their footprint and improving their operations to meet the needs of Amarillo's growing market.
Located at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (KAMA) in Amarillo, TX, TAC Air — AMA is in summer shape and showing off extensive upgrades to the FBO. The formerly 4,500 sq. ft. terminal and ground services facility has expanded into an 8,500 sq. ft. executive terminal and business center. And the FBO’s hangar grew to 102,700 sq. ft. of hangar space, 17,300 sq. ft. of office and 4,875 sq. ft. of shop space.
Tad Perryman, VP of Marketing, TAC - The Arnold Companies, said TAC Air has been at KAMA since 1993 and is excited for this major upgrade to the FBO and refresh to the whole campus. Perryman explained the upgrades have been driven, in part, to meet the growing market in Amarillo.
“We've taken care of the facility, but it clearly has been outgrown and advanced from the time it was originally built, as the city has been going through a lot of changes from an economic development standpoint, one of their areas of focus was the airport,” said Perryman. “We chose to come in and do a complete rebuild of the existing FBO structure. And with that, we grazed the land putting temporary buildings up to the side and then we started a complete rebuild of the executive terminal.”
Initial conversations and development on the upgrades began in 2019, with work then beginning the next year. Construction finished earlier in the year and the first passengers traveled through the renovated FBO in early August.
Perryman said the rebuild gave them the opportunity to really go “state-of-the-art” with what they incorporated into the FBO.
“We feature technology from an entertainment stand point, from a capability to charge your phone, charge your computer, have some workstations for those people that are traveling and spending time in the terminal, and actually for our employees and the crew as well,” Perryman said, highlighting some of the technologic upgrades. “Back in the line room, we've got new technology to run all of our systems and looks at all of the maps of incoming and outgoing flights and manage our internal communications from the line to the front counter as well.”
Some state-of-the-art features extended past the mere technological and into safety. Amarillo is located in the middle of the US’s Tornado Alley and the extreme weather that can befall the FBO was factored into the design.
“We designed and built into the center of the facility an extreme weather safe room. It's a 12' by 12' reinforced concrete cinder block room, all four walls, floor, and ceiling are built to withstand high winds and tornadoes. So if there is extreme weather, we have the ability to move quite a few people into a safe place. That's one of the key designs going on around the whole area as new facilities are being built. We want to take care of our customers and our crew, and we're providing a safe room in the center of the facility,” detailed Jeremy Vandyke, General Manager of TAC Air — AMA.
One of the questions people usually have when they come into TAC Air — AMA is the possibility of extreme weather and where they can store their aircraft in the event of some.
“We have a lot of a hangar space available for those flying through, because if it is inclement weather, if it is hailing, you want to have this option available to you. We have that available at the facility and we've actually redone the whole campus, so we've reskinned, repainted, remodeled. I like to call it refresh and regreen, the hangar facilities and made sure those are all up to par right along with the new executive terminal, the whole campus actually has a new look and feel to it,” Vandyke said.
TAC Air — AMA is also a high traffic area for military aircraft, so they’ve included a dedicated military situation room in the FBO.
“It actually is set up so visiting military can do training scenarios in the room, one-on-one between the two pilots that are in each aircraft. Or if they have a larger group and want to be able to do some additional training in the room, we can hold pilots from 12 aircraft, that'd be 24 pilots, through a training situation, separate from the regular pilots' lounge or regular meeting conference room available from a business standpoint. We really are catering to the military traffic that comes in. We know they like this airport in this part of the country, and we want to make sure they know they are very welcome to visit for fueling or a training stop,” said Vandyke.
He added that during the design phase, they asked military personnel passing through the FBO what would help them the most. One was to have space where crews could sit down and have a conversation, specifically between trainers and trainees. And two, was to have a location where they could store their gear and other items.
"It has an extra open locker storage area for military pilots to store their gear, their flight suits, their helmets," Vandyke said. “When they come in, they're getting in or out of flight suits, carrying helmets, gear and flight books with them, and having a place to put all these items and know it's properly taken care of is important.”
Constructing the New
What TAC Air — AMA has done is more than mere upgrades or facelifts, but a complete redo of the entire FBO and a rethinking of what a space like it should offer and be. Comparing the old TAC Air — AMA to the new, Perryman said the prior facility had everything it needed when it was built, but it was time for a new facility.
“The Amarillo TAC Air facility was very consolidated. Space-wise, we had all of the room required at the time,” he said. “What we've done is we've expanded. We really are providing more space for people, more opportunities to be able to relax or spend time if they have to, on the ground there, in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Perryman continued that some areas that were smaller have been enlarged and areas that before may have been more simple now pop. There are now specific areas, such as those for military personnel and general aviation operators, which are divided and identified.
“There's some separation for those folks to be able to do what they need to do when they're in the facility,” Perryman said.
To accomplish this, the old FBO building was torn down to the ground. To keep operations moving during the construction, temporary facilities were brought in.
“They're set up next door to where the old facility was and where the new facility is. We repositioned everything to go through those temporary buildings, a temporary line room, set next to temporary facilities of the executive terminal, where we receive people. And we've been running operations out of there for a year. It's worked great. People have been very kind and understanding it is a temporary facility, but it actually has worked very well out there for us to be able to take the building all the way to the ground and start over,” said Vandyke.
The design of the new TAC Air — AMA facility borrowed design ideas from other TAC Air locations. Chiefly, the suspension of an aircraft from the facility’s ceiling. The aircraft at TAC Air locations hold significance to the region’s location. For example, at TAC Air — RDU in Raleigh, NC, a Wright Flyer hangs in the facility and at TAC Air — DAL in Dallas, TX, a 1:5 scale model 727 of the Braniff Airways, Dallas Cowboys' aircraft that was first logoed for the NFL team hangs in the main lobby.
“In Amarillo, we really wanted to be specific to that airfield and what it was historically known for. It was one of the first MRO stations for the B-17 bomber and the facility and whole airport was designed around that aircraft,” Perryman said.
Perryman added that the Amarillo Airport runway’s length was tailored to accommodate the B-17 and there’s current construction going into the runway to keep it fully updated.
“I think we chose the B-17 as the featured aircraft because of the heritage there at English Field and the Amarillo International Airport. And so we will have a 1:5th scale B-17G bomber hanging from the ceiling inside the facility. It's going to follow a paint scheme, similar to the famous B-17, the Memphis Belle, making it exciting for both civilian and military pilots and travelers coming through to the facility,” he continued.
TAC Air Safety: Active FOD Prevention
As a part of our ongoing safety efforts, a story in a series of many to come, we wanted to share more details around FOD.
Foreign Object Debris (FOD) is a term heard often around airport ramps. The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) defines FOD as: Any object that does not belong on the airport runway, taxiway or ramp. Items considered FOD include aircraft parts, mechanics’ tools, nails, luggage parts, stones, shrubbery, personal belongings, and other objects which may cause costly damage to an aircraft, or even lead to an accident or cause harm to those present when left on the ramp.
This debris, called FOD in and around airport ramps, has the potential to cause damage to an aircraft and its passengers and crew if it makes direct contact with the aircraft, for example if ingested into the engine or cutting up tires. According to Boeing, the resulting damage is estimated to cost the aerospace industry $4 billion each year.
While certain external FOD hazards such as hail, bird strikes or an animal wandering onto a runway cannot always be controlled, this safety hazard can be managed by active measures such as conducting daily FOD walks around the airport ramp space to seek out and dispose of any found debris, or FOD.
Committed to keeping all customers, employees and aircraft safe, TAC Air has implemented FOD walks as part of its Safety Management System (SMS). NATA explains, “An SMS defines how operational safety should be managed and integrated into an organization’s business activities. A well-developed and implemented SMS keeps the safety message consistent, interesting and always out front. An SMS can help identify risks inherent within your business.” Armed with this knowledge, the TAC Air SMS enables frequent assessments of potential safety hazards and provides the chance to correct them to keep associates, customers and their aircraft safe from harm.
“We believe one of the most important things we can do is protect our customers, both physically and financially. By conducting FOD walks, we meet 3rd party requirements for safety compliance certifications,” stated Bob Schick, TAC Air Director of Operations Support. “By conducting regular FOD walks and following the other safety protocols as outlined in our SMS, we are providing customers an important safety service as well as a financial management service to protect their investment.”
The Salt Lake City International Airport Authority has a concerted effort to collect FOD every quarter. As a part of this, the airport created a sculpture from found debris turned in. Every quarter the airport tenant who turns in the most FOD is awarded the statue, called the “FOD Trooper.” TAC Air — SLC has won this award several times. Reference photo of statue below. Notice in the photo the zipper pull fingers, bag tags, luggage hardware arms, fuel caps, knee pads and seat legs that comprise the figure.
All TAC Air associates have a role when on a ramp or around an airport: to keep it clean and safe. “If you see it, pick it up,” said Schick. “Prevention is key to proper safety.”
TAC Air has earned 3rd party safety certifications from key industry organizations, including NATA and the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO). Certifications include: NATA Safety 1st, NATA Safety 1st Clean and IS-BAH Stage 2 Registration. These safety seals of approval confirm TAC Air is compliant with required safety standards and the FBO locations incorporate the global industry code of best practices.
These leading industry safety certifications require SMS program implementation, ongoing training to reinforce key safety messages and educating employees of the proper safety protocols and procedures TAC Air has established, including conducting FOD walks for FOD prevention.
FOD prevention is only one aspect of the comprehensive TAC Air SMS. Associates are required to perform regular ramp inspections and conduct formal FOD walks to reinforce the importance of this responsibility to all team members. TAC Air defines FOD as Found Object Debris, as it is no longer foreign since we remove it from the ramp, which keeps everyone safer.
Bob Schick of TAC Air Continues to Serve as Member of IS-BAH Standards Board for 2021/2022
by Kerry Lynch
May 28, 2021, 11:16 AM
The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) recently appointed the 2021/2022 International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) Standards Board, welcoming three new members. They are Kevin Donnelly from Jet Aviation, Dawit Lemma from Krimson Aviation, and Benjamin Hammond from Duncan Aviation.
According to IBAC, the IS-BAH Standards Board oversees content of the IS-BAH standard and suggests improvements or identifies other changes. A voluntary program, IS-BAH serves to establish best practices and enable FBOs/handlers to conform to those, in addition to the ICAO SMS framework. The program has registered more than 246 locations worldwide since its inception in 2014.
“The Standards Board consists of active professionals from around the world in the ground-handling service provider sector, demonstrating these are truly industry-driven standards,” said Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH program director. “The ongoing support of these leaders is promoting safer operations for us all. “
The new members join a board that also includes chair Allison Markey, of Wyvern; vice-chair Marc Pieters, of Jet Aviation EuMEA; Joseph Azzaz, of Sky Valet Golf de St-Tropez Airport; Chris Barrow, of Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre; Jennifer Bartenstein, of Signature Flight Support; Alain Champannois, representing his own business; Gary Dietz, of AT&T Flight Operations; Dr. Benjamin Goodheart, of Magpie|Human Safety Systems; Paula Kraft, of Da Vinci/Tastefully Yours; Bob Schick, of TAC Air; Lou Sorrentino, of AvMASSi; and Kyle Quinn, of Modern Aviation.
KRLD CEO Spotlight on Greg Arnold and the Braniff Centre
AviationPros.com: Keystone Aviation Private Jet Charter, Aircraft Management and Aircraft Maintenance Expands to SDL
Keystone Aviation announced the expansion of aircraft management, private air charter and aircraft maintenance services at Scottsdale Airport (KSDL), establishing the market as a secondary hub in the western desert to mountain corridor for aircraft management, charter and maintenance.
A division of The Arnold Companies (TAC), Keystone Aviation will be based at the newly formed TAC Private Hangars facility at Scottsdale Airport, which at the same time acquired the assets of the 24-year-old Scottsdale aviation company, Gemini Air Group.
Sharing his excitement of the acquisition through TAC Private Hangars, TAC Chairman and CEO, Greg Arnold said, “The TAC family is proud to be adding a new airport hub to the Keystone Aviation network as we expand the TAC brand to include KSDL. We welcome the newest team members to our aviation family and look forward to sharing our passion for aviation with Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area.”
On May 1, TAC picked up the former Gemini Air Group operations in Scottsdale and will continue to provide great service to tenants and charter customers who utilize Keystone Aviation from the same address on the west side of Scottsdale Airport.
Keystone Aviation is establishing a second hub for its fleet based in Scottsdale, AZ. Offering a large collection of on-demand charter aircraft from single engine PC 12’s to large cabin Gulfstream jets, the SDL base establishes an additional point of service to existing Keystone Aviation customers and pilots as we expand into the robust SDL charter and management market. Keystone Aviation is factory authorized for Twin Commander, Cirrus aircraft and Garmin, Airtext and Aspen Avionics. Keystone Aviation is a certified Part 145 maintenance repair station with authorizations for Cirrus SR 22 & SF50, Twin Commander, Hawker, Beechjet, King Air, Citation / Citation Jet and Cessna 441 / Caravan.
“Since Keystone Aviation was founded over 25 years ago, we have prided ourselves on the focus, training and attention to detail for all parts of the aircraft management, private jet charter and maintenance businesses,” stated Keystone Aviation Chief Operating Officer, Aaron Fish. “By establishing a second hub in Arizona our regional footprint connects the desert to mountain corridor with a fleet based at both ends to better serve the private flying customers living in the region. With the addition of the KSDL location, we now offer a greater selection of aircraft to get customers where they want, when they want.”
“As the number of customers traveling for leisure continues to rise and business travel returns over the next year, we look forward to the possibilities of being in Scottsdale and the surrounding Phoenix area,” said Fish.
TAC Creates Hangar Management Business with Acquisition
by Jerry Siebenmark / May 18, 2021, 6:01 PM
TAC Private Hangars will manage 60,000 sq ft of hangar space and 5,000 sq ft of office space at Scottsdale Airport in Arizona following parent company The Arnold Companies' acquisition of the assets of Gemini Air Group.
Following its May 1 acquisition of the assets of Gemini Air Group at Arizona's Scottsdale Airport (KSDL), Arizona, Dallas-based The Arnold Companies (TAC) has established a Keystone Aviation operation there. Additionally, it created TAC Private Hangars, which will manage more than 65,000 sq ft of upscale private hangar and office space at KSDL.
Keystone, which was acquired by TAC in 2012, will provide its full range of charter, aircraft management, and Part 145 repair station services at SDL that will serve as a second hub to Keystone’s primary hub at Salt Lake City International Airport. The Keystone charter fleet comprises 13 business aircraft and includes Pilatus PC-12 turboprop singles, an Embraer Phenom 100, and a Gulfstream G550.
“Picking up a second hub in Scottsdale expands our regional footprint south from Salt Lake City in the desert to mountain corridors we fly regularly,” said Keystone COO Aaron Fish. “With the addition of Scottsdale, we can now offer a greater selection of aircraft to get customers where they want, when they want.”
Meanwhile, "the brand extension under TAC is a strategic opportunity for development as we continue to diversify our services and expand into new [business aviation] markets," said TAC Private Hangars COO Joe Gibney. In addition to providing customers with hangar space and tenant office space, TAC Private Hangars will offer dedicated handling services at KSDL.