Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Grand Opening of FBO Chain’s Flagship Facility.
TAC Air, a division of Truman Arnold Companies cut the ribbon this morning on a new 12,000 sq. ft. executive terminal at Blue Grass Airport (LEX). The event was held outside the terminal as miniature jockeys representing local tenants’ horse farms “held” the ribbon as it was being cut. The event began at 10:30 a.m. with TAC Air VP and COO Christian Sasfai recognizing local business, government and airport officials from Lexington. ”Everything is optimized for a world-
class customer experience for pilots and passengers. Building this facility from the ground up allowed us to design it around the needs of today’s general aviation customer.” stated Sasfai, who went on to explain this executive terminal is the first the 13 location FBO chain has built from the ground up.
Blue Grass Airport director Bobby Owens took the podium, as well as Lexington mayor Jim Newberry. Both stressed the importance of general aviation to the local economy, as well as TAC Air’s vital services to the airport as a whole such as providing the fueling services for all scheduled airline flights at Blue Grass Airport. Greg Arnold, President and CEO of TAC Air’s parent Truman Arnold Companies thanked all those in attendance who made this terminal a reality, including Blue Grass Airport officials.
According to Arnold, “Working with airport officials who understand the importance of a proper and healthy partnership between private business general aviation and public airports creates a TAC Air Opens Terminal û page 2 winning scenario for everyone involved. The terms of the lease agreement between TAC Air and Blue Grass Airport provide that all of TAC Air’s $11 million investment in terminal and hangar improvements will be turned over to the airport at the end of the 20 year lease – not costing taxpayers a dime.”
Arnold stated from the podium that after operating at LEX for 13 years, TAC Air was “giving back to the local aviation community.” A $50,000 contribution in cash and services to The Aviation Museum of Kentucky was presented by Greg Arnold to Dr. Ray Garman, chair of the museum.
Additionally, preliminary plans are coming together for a fundraising event benefiting the museum to be held at the new TAC Air terminal. Inside the new TAC Air executive terminal you are immediately greeted by a bright red replica of a Beechcraft Staggerwing suspended from the atrium ceiling. First used in the dawn of general aviation back in the 1930s, the plane was considered heresy being introduced during the Great Depression – which is why it was chosen for to represent TAC Air. “When we made the decision to make an $11 million investment here at Blue Grass Airport, like when Beechcraft introduced the Staggerwing, it was during a tough time in general aviation. But here we are today at our newest flagship executive terminal completed and ready to go for the World Equestrian Games.” stated Greg Arnold.
TAC Air is the “preferred provider of fixed base operations” for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Kip Simanek, TAC Air LEX general manager, detailed more of the amenities. “We have every service you would expect in a world-class FBO executive terminal – and then some. A high definition movie theater, exercise facilities, wireless printing from laptops & smart phones, showers and pilot lounge with private sleep rooms.”
In addition to pilot amenities, the passenger waiting lounge is flanked with high-definition television programming and can be partitioned for VIP privacy. The terminal also features two conference rooms and an art gallery featuring works by local artisans.
TAC Air has also opened 45,000 sq. ft. of new hangar space in time for the equestrian games. Even after the games are completed, the hangar space is expected to be a draw to LEX when it competes with other airports for spillover traffic from regional events such as the Kentucky Derby. TAC Air originally announced a redevelopment package for their LEX operations in August 2009. These plans included the building of the new executive terminal; the purchase of Air51, an FBO facility that opened at Blue Grass Airport in early 2008; and construction of new hangar space. Upgrades to TAC Air’s FBOs are not limited to LEX. The chain is currently implementing the new facilities standards of LEX to several of its 13 locations, including a recently completed remodeling at RDU, upgrades at APA and CHA, plus a major remodel at scheduled for SUS.
For more information on TAC Air, log on to www.tacair.com.