Love for Industry and Working Together Inspires Dreiling Aviation Duo

Photo above – the Dreiling family.

For Kenton and Lindsey Dreiling, starting their own aviation business in Salina, Kansas didn’t take much deliberation. It was more of a feeling of “we cannot miss this opportunity,” said Kenton. “This is something we have always wanted to do, and the timing just felt right.”

Lindsey and Kenton Dreiling

Lindsey agreed, sharing that the most unexpected and wonderful thing that has happened since they launched their business was the feeling of being in the exact right place at the right time. “As I sat in my first consult meeting it was as if every experience I had in my career prior, was meant for this moment. That feeling that you are where you are supposed to be,” said Lindsey. “These are the moments you only get to see looking back and realizing you are meant to be where you are. No doubts, just possibilities.”

The couple, using their education, skill, and passion, started Dreiling Aviation in 2022 and offer aviation business consulting services as well as operational services for small UAS. The duo is currently partnering with the Salina Airport Authority (SAA) to support aviation operations in Salina. This includes business case proposals, investor pitch decks, and strategic planning.

Tim Rogers, SAA Executive Director told the SAJ that Lindsey is uniquely qualified to provide airport operators and aviation business owners high level, strategic planning support. “Together, Lindsey and Kenton offer their clients an array of consulting services that very few in the nation can provide,” said Rogers.

Looking back, even with no history of aviation in her family, Lindsey wanted to fly for as long as she could remember. “It is difficult to know where and when the seed was planted,” said Lindsey, a Certified Flight Instructor for Airplane Single & Multiengine Land (CFI, CFII, MEI), “but this is what I remember. My dad was always interested in flying and we grew up watching what I call yellow eagles (aerial applicators), fly over our family farm. Each time a plane would fly over the whole family would run outside and wave to the yellow bird above.”

For Kenton, it was attending air shows as a kid. “I remember being in awe of the huge aircraft on display; this really sparked my interest in aviation. I was building rockets and balsa planes and built my first remote control plane at age 12,” said Kenton. “From then on remote aircraft have been in my life. My passions for electronics and aviation lead me to build my first drone in college while I was working on my degree as an electronic and computer engineer, and it has been with me ever since.”

Kenton, who continues to work full-time as Enel North America’s Robotics and Technology Manager, has years of experience flying UAS, analyzing data, and supporting farmers using UAS for agriculture mapping. He is Part 107 sUAS certified and is a UAS Flight Instructor. Kenton also has developed a UAS curriculum at Kansas State University focused on fire and hazmat training for public safety officials.

UAS is growing quickly, but at this point according to Lindsey, the primary focus for the business is for aviation consulting with a few short-term weekend UAS flights. “However, as the need for sUAS operations grow we have a team ready,” said Lindsey. “We love supporting aviation companies in their vision and mission and seek to aid in strategic planning, leadership development, business operations, and market intelligence.”

The couple brings a wealth of knowledge from multiple sectors of the industry including Advanced Air Mobility, Uncrewed Aircraft Systems, and aviation business. “Our goal is to support activities that need that extra surge of support to grow business or solve a complex challenge,” said Lindsey. One specific gap they are seeing in the industry right now is the need for intentional aviation leadership programs designed to equip a diverse workforce advancement in aviation fields.

“Another goal is to continue to grow our business in the public safety sector and use drones to help first responders in their mission,” said Kenton. “Drones can help in a multitude of industries. The idea of helping people by using tools that they might not have thought of or using them in a new way gets me excited.”

When asked if running a business as husband and wife was easier or more difficult, Kenton suggested having a family business is an advantage. “We are always bouncing ideas off each other – It could be 10 p.m. and one of us thinks of something.”

Lindsey said one of the keys to a successful business whether it’s family run or otherwise, is to lead with curiosity and hope. “We approach each challenge by listening, asking questions, and being open to new understandings. We truly believe better opportunities for growth and achievement are attainable.”

To that end, Lindsey each morning takes a deep breath giving thanks for another day to build the life of their dreams. “It is an amazing time. We are experiencing an evolution of aviation and transportation with a generation full of people that truly believe they can make the world a better place,” said Lindsey. “With that mindset and motivation, anything is possible.”   

For the Dreiling family including the children, the biggest reward of launching their own business has been finding a way to work and spend more time together. “I get to work with my best friend and to see a project that we completed, succeed,” said Kenton. For Lindsey, it’s working with her favorite person and taking another adventure together. “Put simply, it’s fun doing something you love with the person you love.”