The public airport serving Salina, Saline County and the surrounding 22 Kansas counties will now be known as the Salina Regional Airport.
The Salina Airport Authority renamed the airport, formerly known as Salina Municipal Airport, to reflect the airport’s growing influence on business and commerce in North Central Kansas.
Airport Authority Executive Director Tim Rogers (shown at right) said the Federal Aviation Administration encourages airport owners to use new categories of airport designations that fit appropriate business and activity profiles to help guide future system and airport planning decisions. "The regional airport designation perfectly fits the new guidelines and accurately portrays the Salina Regional Airport’s growing contributions to economic development and critical access to the national air transportation system."
The FAA categorizes airports that support regional economies by connecting communities to statewide and national markets as "regional airports," Rogers said. The 467 regional airports identified by the FAA in its recent study are located in metropolitan areas and support multiple, critical aeronautical functions.
As "America’s Fuel Stop" the Salina Regional Airport annually supports approximately 6,000 business jets that use Salina as a refueling stop on cross-country trips. In addition, the airport also serves as a forward operating location for military aviation units that deploy to Saline County and the Great Plains Joint Training Center operated by the Kansas National Guard.
A recent study by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University found that the total economic impact of over 10,000 jobs and more than $323 million in payroll were due to business activity at the Salina Regional Airport and Airport Industrial Center. As a result of this business activity, Salina gained nearly $2 million, Saline County gained close to $1.5 million, and the State of Kansas over $12.1 million in net tax impact during 2010.