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Office Hours

Posts tagged: Felts Field

Spokane International Airport traffic increases

Spokane International Airport handled almost 3.2 million passengers last year, an increase of 4 percent from 2009, which had the lowest total since 2004.

December traffic also rose about 4 percent, to 137,820.

Freight and mail rose more than 10 percent for the month, to 5.4 million tons, and 1.76 percent for the year, to 46,863 tons.

At Felts Field, operations fell 5 percent for the year, to 63,496, and 38.3 percent for December, to 2,372. But freight tonnage was up for the month, to 36.6 percent to 3.6 tons, and for the year, 8.1 percent to 44.7 tons.

Felts Field to get more services

A long-time tenant of Felts Field will take over responsibility for fueling planes, and plans to add other services under a contract approved today by the Spokane International Airport board of directors.

The five-year agreement with Western Avionics Inc., doing business as Western Aviation, will bring continuity to Felts operations, which have been hampered by inconsistent service, said Interim airport Director Skp Davis.

Owner Tim Gump said Western has been located at Felts for 35 years. He bought the company  after moving his aircraft electronics business to Spokane from California in 1997, he said.

Besides fueling, Gump said he will provide maintenance, tie-down and other pilot services, possibly including the construction of a new building if another agreeement can be negotiated.

“He’s adamant about customer service,” Davis said, who added that visiting pilots have been put off by the lack of a fixed-base operator at Felts they can turn to for help.

    

A lot of people helped start the Spokane Turbine Center

A few bits of information left out of a Wednesday SR story about the Spokane Turbine Center deserve some mention in the Office Hours blog.  (To see a short video about the three-week course offered by the STC, it’s here.  The full story is here.)

For one, the building the STC has moved into, at the intersection of Rutter Parkway and Fancher, is the renovated former home of the 116th Observation Squadron, which was created and first stationed at Felts Field in 1924. STC Executive Director Jeff Turcotte noted that an anonymous benefactor covered the cost of renovating the stately brick building that is the STC offices.

The 116th eventually evolved into the 142nd Air Defense Group, which became the Air Force refueling wing based at Fairchild Air Force Base.

Second, the training offered by STC is focused on the Kodiak, a small, powerful turboprop aircraft designed by Quest Aircraft Co., in Sandpoint.

The Kodiak was designed by Tom Hamilton, who resides in the Newport area. Paul Schaller, CEO of Quest, said the initial capital to launch the company came from about a dozen U.S. mission aviation groups.


 

Airport traffic off slightly in February

Boardings at Spokane International Airport declined slightly in February, but numbers for the first two months of 2010 remain above 2009 totals.

In February, 106,314 passengers embarked at SIA, off 2.71 percent from February 2009. The total for January and February was 441,092, up less than 1,000 from 2009.

Freight tonnage at SIA and Felts Field decreased for the month, and the year so far.

Other Felts Field operatons increased more than 16 percent for February, and so far in 2010

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