Sky’s the Limit for Service and Success

What began in 1986 as a local business , has rapidly expanded into an aerospace industry leader. Starting out of Texarkana, AR, and originally called Road Runner Aviation, the single-location fixed base operation (FBO) was rebranded as TAC Air in 1991. Its mission was to consider what other companies were providing, then turn around and do those things like none other.

TAC Air currently employs over 400 associates at 14 FBO locations throughout the nation, and with a unyielding pledge to provide first-rate customer service, and fair and competitive pricing. Minding their efforts to continuously improve their services, TAC Air is set to continue its steady growth through the aerospace industry. They conduct everything from ground handling and aircraft refueling, to hangar development for all divisions of aviation.

What are their keys to success? What is the driving force behind their exemplary service? Kip Simanek, general manager for TAC Air in Little Rock, says it’s more than keeping a focus on service, “it’s creating a culture of service.” He spoke on how TAC Air recognizes their role as caretakers of their customers, as well as their employees. When a company has well-trained and well-taken-care of employees that understand the clients their company services, the employees in turn can deliver the quality service TAC Air promises.

According to Kip, it’s also about keeping the work environment open, communication channels open, and the operations themselves natural. He comments, “we take our jobs [quite] seriously, but we don’t take ourselves as seriously.” Though not quite the small scale business it used to be, TAC Air prides itself on keeping a family-like atmosphere for everybody. Even within a heavily growth-conscious ecosystem, TAC Air works hard to carry on the “tight-knit family” feeling it started off with.

Beginning in 2006, while finalizing as an alliance in 2012, TAC Air was a founding member of the Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance (AADA). Expecting to remain a “hotbed of growth” in the aerospace industry, TAC Air felt its duty to the Alliance lay within becoming the gateway of aviation throughout all of Arkansas. Being a part of the Alliance is more to TAC Air than expanding contracts, it’s about being the foundational support of Arkansas aerospace and aviation industries as they continue to thrive.

Kip proudly stated that AADA’s relationship with TAC Air has brought the benefit of attracting more personnel into the aviation and aerospace industries in general, let alone their personal ranks. As their relationship has developed through the years, Kip explained that with the reputation of AADA growing, companies and tech schools alike have begun to increasingly move into Arkansas, bringing students and those interested in aerospace into the state and eventually into the industry itself. He adds, “you can mine resources, utilize computer programs, but in order to get the products produced and keep the businesses running we have to have the people who are interested in running the jobs.” Kip also spoke to the importance of personnel: it isn’t simply for filling positions, but stimulating the aviation market, and even the national economy, as a whole. It is through growth in people and markets that grows the industry and the fields connected to it.

Aerospace and aviation industries are not without their struggles, however the AADA’s resources have helped create more opportunities and work through legal barriers that TAC Air simply couldn’t on their own. Kip noted that the AADA is what provides the chance for members like TAC Air to connect with the lawmakers responsible for enacting modifications for current aviation and aerospace, laws that “could be friendlier to those in this industry.” Not strangers to innovation, TAC Air recognizes that as technologies change, and as global business relationships continue to form, the importance of adapting current laws and taxes is crucial to a thriving market.

Keeping their eyes on skies of progress, TAC Air will continue its efforts to seek advancements in aviation and aerospace technology and continuing to excel in first-class customer service. The original article is found here.

TAC Air Becomes First IS-BAH Registered FBO Chain

Leadership team demonstrates commitment to best in class safety standards

DALLAS, Texas (November 16, 2016) – TAC Air, a fixed-base operator (FBO) with 14 locations across the country, today became the first FBO Chain to be issued the rigorous safety and ground handling accreditation from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). The International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) is a set of global industry’s best practices for business aviation ground handlers.

“The International Business Aviation Council congratulates the entire TAC Air team in demonstrating such a strong commitment to building and maintaining a culture based on safety management and risk mitigation,” said Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH Program Director for the IBAC.

IS-BAH accreditation involves a complete audit of an FBO’s safety management systems, emergency procedures, organizational structure, administrative elements, security procedures, training protocols, and operating procedure.

“We’d rather be better than lucky,” says Christian Sasfai, TAC Air VP and COO. “As we continue to grow our network, it becomes increasingly important to formalize our process for continuous improvement and build upon the safety culture already in place.” Sasfai adds, “We continue to make investments in building a strong customer service experience and one aspect of that is our commitment to a higher level of safety and risk management.“

Certificates of registration are issued by IBAC to FBOs that have successfully demonstrated conformity to the industry’s best practice standards through completion of a three-stage external audit by an IBAC accredited auditor.

TAC Air Becomes First FBO Chain to Complete the Audit Process for IS-BAH Registration

Leadership team demonstrates commitment to best in class safety standards

 DALLAS, Texas (November 8, 2016) – TAC Air has completed the audit process to become the first FBO Chain to be issued the rigorous safety and ground handling accreditation from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). The International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) is a set of global industry’s best practices for business aviation ground handlers.

“The International Business Aviation Council congratulates the entire TAC Air team in demonstrating such a strong commitment to building and maintaining a culture based on safety management and risk mitigation,” said Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH Program Director for the IBAC.

IS-BAH accreditation involves a complete audit of an FBO’s safety management systems, emergency procedures, organizational structure, administrative elements, security procedures, training protocols, and operating procedure.

“We’d rather be better than lucky,” says Christian Sasfai, TAC Air VP and COO.  “As we continue to grow our network, it becomes increasingly important to formalize our process for continuous improvement and build upon the safety culture already in place.”  Sasfai adds, “We continue to make investments in building a strong customer service experience and one aspect of that is our commitment to a higher level of safety and risk management.“

Certificates of registration are issued by IBAC to FBOs that have successfully demonstrated conformity to the industry’s best practice standards through completion of a three-stage external audit by an IBAC accredited auditor.

TAC Air Ramps Up Wi-Fi

Ramp coverage completed across network with improved service in executive terminals

A commercial grade outdoor wi-fi antenna system recently installed at one of the TAC Air locations

A commercial grade outdoor wi-fi antenna system recently installed at one of the TAC Air locations

DALLAS, Texas (November 17, 2015) – TAC Air has completed installation of new equipment and now provides broadband Wi-Fi Internet coverage on the ramp of each of the network’s 14 FBO locations. In addition, connection speeds have been increased at several key locations, as well as equipment upgrades at all locations.

Christian Sasfai, TAC Air VP & COO, stated the new ramp service will provide “a higher level of customer service, especially for flight crews during a quick turn”.  The service is free and covers the primary ramp areas at all locations.

Inside all executive terminals, customers and flight crews alike will enjoy the benefits of improved Wi-Fi connectivity. All access points have been replaced and upgraded to heavy duty commercial grade

hardware. The new equipment provides improved security to users by further isolating each customer’s device from other signal users in the area, as well as remote administrative access from TAC’s IT support center for instant tech support. Returning customers will still be able to access Wi-Fi service through the same “TAC Air” SSID at all locations.

The new Wi-Fi standard is a part of the major customer service investment program currently underway across the TAC Air network. An $11 million redevelopment and expansion project is currently underway at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, AR (LIT) including the construction of a new TAC Air world-class executive terminal. Additional hangar space has just been completed at TAC Air’s Texarkana, AR (TXK) FBO and is under development at its Hartford, CT (BDL) location. TAC Air has engaged ServiceElements International, Inc. to develop and implement an extensive customer service training initiative for all TAC Air associates. And finally, more executive terminal facility renovations are slated in the near future for TAC Air’s Amarillo, TX (AMA) and Knoxville, TN (TYS) locations.

On-Site Customs and Border Protection Facility Open at TAC Air OMA

New facility ties directly into executive terminal

The new Customs and Border Protection facility ties directly into TAC Air OMA's executive terminal

The new Customs and Border Protection facility ties directly into TAC Air OMA’s executive terminal

DALLAS, Texas (November 17, 2015) – Working in conjunction with the Omaha Airport Authority, a new 2,000 square foot purpose built US Customs and Border Protection facility has opened at the TAC Air FBO. The new facility ties directly into the TAC Air OMA executive terminal, and will provide a “seamless experience for all general aviation aircraft arriving OMA from outside the U.S.,” according to Matt Davis, TAC Air Director of Business Development.

The new customs clearance facility is a part of the major customer service initiative currently underway across the TAC Air network. A major equipment and coverage area improvement has been made as Wi-Fi is now available on all ramps with improved service in all executive terminals. An $11 million redevelopment and expansion project is currently underway at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, AR (LIT) including the construction of a new TAC Air world-class executive terminal.

Additional hangar space has just been completed at TAC Air’s Texarkana, AR (TXK) FBO and is under development at its Hartford, CT (BDL) location. TAC Air has engaged ServiceElements International, Inc. to develop and implement an extensive customer service training initiative for all TAC Air associates. And finally, more executive terminal facility renovations are slated in the near future for TAC Air’s Amarillo, TX (AMA) and Knoxville, TN (TYS) locations

TAC Air Expands Senior Management Staff

Tracy Hykes promoted to Manager of Administrative Services

 

Tracy Hykes, TAC Air Manager of Administrative Services

Tracy Hykes, TAC Air Manager of Administrative Services

DALLAS, Texas (November 17, 2015) – TAC Air has expanded its senior management personnel by promoting Tracy Hykes to Manager of Administrative Services. Tracy will be based with the TAC Air management team in Dallas, TX, and will work closely with Carol McNally, TAC Air Director of Administrative Services, to empower the FBO network’s customer service programs and training. Christian Sasfai, TAC Air VP & COO, stated, “Tracy’s knowledge of our point of sale system, TAC Air policies and procedures, plus her general knowledge of an FBO will be a great asset as we roll out our customer service program.” TAC Air has commissioned ServiceElements International, Inc. to develop an extensive customer service training program for all TAC Air associates.

Tracy started her aviation career in the Navy as an Aviation Machinist Mate and Plane Captain. For the past 15 years, she has been with TAC Air, starting in line service, working behind the front counter and most recently as Customer Service Supervisor at the network’s Lexington, KY, (LEX) location. She commented, “Continually striving to provide the best possible customer service from behind the counter has always been my passion. I’m incredibly excited to now have the opportunity to participate in taking our new customer service program to every counter in the TAC Air network.”

The customer service training is one component of a major customer service initiative currently underway across the TAC Air network. A major equipment and coverage area improvement has been made as Wi-Fi is now available on all FBO ramps with improved service in all executive terminals. An $11 million redevelopment and expansion project is currently underway at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, AR (LIT) including the construction of a new TAC Air world-class executive terminal.  Additional hangar space has just been completed at TAC Air’s Texarkana, AR (TXK) FBO and is under development at its Hartford, CT (BDL) location. TAC Air has engaged ServiceElements International, Inc. to develop and implement an extensive customer service training initiative for all TAC Air associates. And finally, more executive terminal facility renovations are slated in the near future for TAC Air’s Amarillo, TX (AMA) and Knoxville, TN (TYS) locations.

TAC Air Commissions ServiceElements International, Inc.

FBO network focuses on elevating customer service standards

A view of activity from inside TAC Air's SUS executive terminal

A view of activity from inside TAC Air’s SUS executive terminal

 DALLAS, Texas (November 17, 2015) – TAC Air has entered into a long-term agreement with ServiceElements International, Inc. to develop and implement a customized customer service program. The program, entitled “CuSP”, will be integrated at every customer touch point across the entire FBO network. To ensure optimal results from the program, TAC Air has expanded its senior management staff with the addition of Tracy Hykes, in the new position of Manager of Administrative Services.

Christian Sasfai, TAC Air VP and COO, said, “We are continually looking for ways to improve the customer experience at TAC Air. From safety and technical training on the ramp, to our administrative offices, to the front counter, we are leaving no stone unturned in a major commitment to a continual elevation of the TAC Air customer experience.”  Sasfai went on to say, “We’re very proud of how hard our associates work to deliver exceptional customer service to our customers. But we want to make sure we give them every tool available to help them be the very best at what they do.”

The ServiceElements initiative is a component of the major customer service program currently underway across the TAC Air network. A major equipment and coverage area improvement has been made as Wi-Fi is now available on all ramps with improved service in all executive terminals. An $11 million redevelopment and expansion project is currently underway at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, AR (LIT) including the construction of a new TAC Air world-class executive terminal. And finally, more executive terminal facility renovations are slated in the near future for TAC Air’s Amarillo, TX (AMA) and Knoxville, TN (TYS) locations.

TAC Air to Construct New Executive Terminal

FBO Chain to Break Ground at Clinton National Airport in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (April 20, 2015) – TAC Air will soon break ground on a new world-class executive terminal at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, Arkansas. The well-appointed facility will feature amenities such as a conference room, pilot lounge, flight planning area, and passenger waiting. In addition, there will be a theater room, outdoor patio and pilot rest areas. Completion of the project is expected by spring 2016.

TAC Air LIT Executive Terminal

Conceptual drawing of the street entrance of the new TAC Air LIT executive terminal.

The new executive terminal will be located next to the North Terminal at LIT, where TAC Air consolidated operations after the acquisition of FBO services from Central Flying Service February 1, 2015.  Approximately six months prior, in August 2014, TAC Air entered the Little Rock market with the purchase of the assets of  fixed base operator Supermarine, expanding the TAC Air FBO network to 14 locations.

TAC Air is drawing inspiration for the LIT executive terminal from its facility in Lexington, Kentucky (LEX). Kip Simanek, who was the general manager for TAC Air LEX during its new executive terminal design and construction project, transferred to TAC Air LIT in January of this year. According to TAC Air VP & COO Christian Sasfai, “Kip successfully led the operation during not only extensive redevelopment of the leasehold, but also through a consolidation of FBOs at LEX when TAC Air acquired the assets of Air 51. His specific experience with such undertakings will be a valuable asset at LIT.” Christian Sasfai and Kip Simanek are both working on the LIT redevelopment project with architect Jerry Herndon, who designed TAC Air’s executive terminal at LEX.

The executive terminal construction is just one component of an $11 million redevelopment and expansion project TAC Air committed to under its lease terms with the Clinton National Airport. Once the new terminal is operational, plans are for the North Terminal to be demolished to make way for additional hangar space.

Operating since 1986, TAC Air has won numerous awards for safety and customer service, including being named “#1 FBO Chain” twice in recent years by the readers of Professional Pilot magazine.

TAC AIR ACQUIRES CENTRAL FLYING SERVICE FACILITIES

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (January 30th, 2015) – TAC Air has purchased the facilities of Central Flying Service at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, and will operate its fueling, ground handling, hangar operations and other related services as part of the TAC Air network. Also included is the purchase of Airport Services Inc., which provides airline fueling services at LIT. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

“The move makes sense for everyone,” said Christian Sasfai, Vice President & COO for TAC Air. He added, “The TAC Air network brings added value to customers.  Through our volume buying capability, fuel supply and other services will be improved at LIT”. TAC Air’s handling of line and fueling services will allow Central Flying Service to focus on their core business. Under the terms of the purchase, Central Flying Service operates as a tenant of TAC Air, while continuing to provide their full range of aviation services including aircraft sales, charter, flight training and a complete range of maintenance offerings.

Dick Holbert, President of Central Flying Service, added “We will continue offering services which provide Central Arkansas with unmatched aviation options.” Both Sasfai and Holbert agreed that the move allows each service provider to focus on what they do best.

New ground handling equipment has already arrived, with major improvements in general aviation facilities already in the planning stages. Sasfai stated that TAC Air has committed to investing “several million dollars” of private capital in the west side of the airport. “We started working with architects even before closing the transaction,” said Sasfai, who added that a major announcement including news on an executive terminal will be made as soon as plans are finalized.

In the meantime, all airport fixed base operator (FBO) services will be provided from the far north executive terminal on the west side of the airport. Historic “Hangar 1,” the other former Central Flying Service executive terminal, will no longer host FBO services, but will continue to be the facility from which The Flight Deck Restaurant and Catering and Central Flying Service’s Aircraft Sales, Charter and Flight Training will operate.

The transaction closed on January 30th, with all LIT line services operating February 1st under the TAC Air brand. In August 2014, TAC Air purchased the assets of fixed base operator  Supermarine at LIT, which expanded the TAC Air network to a total of 14 locations. TAC Air’s other Arkansas FBOs are located in Fort Smith and Texarkana.

Operating since 1986, TAC Air has won numerous awards for safety and customer service, including being named “#1 FBO Chain” twice in recent years by the readers of Professional Pilot magazine.

Central Flying Service was founded in 1939 as a Civilian Pilot Training Center and is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year as one of the nation’s largest full service private aviation companies.

TAC Air Expanding Large Cabin Hangar Capacity in Northeast

Plans on the drawing board for Hartford, CT facility

Artist's rendering of TAC Air hangar at BDL

Artist’s rendering of TAC Air hangar at BDL

DALLAS, Texas (January 29, 2015) – TAC Air is in the development stages of increasing hangar capacity at the chain’s Fixed Base Operation (FBO) located at Bradley International Airport (KBDL) in Windsor Locks, CT. The FBO operator has entered into an agreement in principal with the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) for the development.

The development will include hangar space capable of accommodating the latest generation of large cabin business jets, including the Gulfstream G650 and Bombardier Global 7000. Plans also allow for “build to suit” office space for the first tenant commitments.

Like TAC Air BDL, the hangar will be located on the preferred side of the airport for easiest access to the Hartford business district and other ground transportation.  According to TAC Air VP & COO Christian Sasfai, “When you look at the footprint of the next generation of large cabin business jets, where they are being based, then combine that data with the current available hangar inventory in the region, there will be a shortage of space. We are acting now in order to meet the coming demand.”

In addition to the planned BDL developments, TAC Air has just completed renovations of their executive terminals at Salt Lake City International (SLC) and Provo Municipal (PVU) airports in Utah, and has several “major announcements” to make in the coming weeks regarding more capital improvements across the network.

Comprised of a network of 14 FBOs from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Intermountain Rockies, TAC Air has won numerous awards for safety and customer service, including being named “#1 FBO Chain” twice in recent years by the readers of Professional Pilot magazine.

For leasing information on the new hangar, contact Ed Malec, TAC Air BDL General Manager at 860.627.3300 or emalec@tacair.com.

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