Global Aviation Company to Build State-of-the-Art 31,000 Square Foot Facility
SAN MARCOS - (May 22, 2017) Berry Aviation, Inc. (Berry) expands its operations at San Marcos Regional Airport with the signing of a 40-year ground lease with the City of San Marcos. Texas Aviation Partners, the company contracted to manage the airport on behalf of the City, worked with Berry to secure the ground lease, on which Berry plans to construct a more than 31,000 square foot facility. The approximately $3.2 million investment will allow Berry to better accommodate their growing airline fleet and staff.
"San Marcos has been an excellent location for us to conduct business from for the past 25 years," Sonny Berry, founder of Berry Aviation, Inc. explained. "We looked at several potential airports for this project and when we engaged with the leadership at the City of San Marcos and Texas Aviation Partners, we determined the best place for our company and team to expand was right here at home."
The new facility will house Berry's maintenance and supply-chain headquarters, and will include a 20,000 square foot maintenance hangar, machine shop, non-destructive testing lab, state-of-the-art parts retrieval system, and more than 10,000 square feet of office space. The facility will allow Berry to work on larger aircraft in a controlled environment and perform component overhaul for third party air carriers. Berry anticipates adding an additional 20 to 30 high-skilled employees as part of the expansion.
"The San Marcos Airport, coupled with the City's location in this growing, thriving corridor makes our community ripe for economic development," said city of San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides. "We are very pleased with Berry Aviation's success in San Marcos, their position as a beacon of economic growth in the greater San Marcos region, and we look forward to 40 more years as a partner and home to the company."
"After outgrowing our current space, we are excited about the new opportunities this expansion project presents and thankful for the ability to provide our employees with a  world-class facility near their homes in the San Marcos area," Berry said.
With more than 30 years in service, Berry provides innovative airlift and aviation support services to government and industry customers. For more information about Berry Aviation, please visit www.berryaviation.com.

Story originally published by KXAN on May 19, 2017.

Military helicopter pilots who have a desire to enter into a commercial airline career now have the chance through training done in San Marcos.  A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Friday, May 23 with a great turn out from the city and Coast Flight.   

Coast Flight Training recruits and trains veteran and civilian talent to fly commercial airlines, began operating at San Marcos Regional Airport in January 2017 and has currently enrolled 200 students for training this year.

The Rotary Transition Program (RTP) in San Marcos is designed to train experienced helicopter pilots to meet the FAA requirements for fixed-wing pilots going into an airline career. As a partner with Envoy and American Airlines Group, Coast Flight Training offers pilot candidates a direct connection to transition directly into the cockpit with a conditional job offer once the program is completed.

Officials hope it helps meet a growing pilot shortage nationwide because many veterans already have their license with the FAA.

"Most of these guys have an excess of 1,500 flight hours so they automatically qualify in terms of experience," said Dan Verda, director of operations for Coast Flight. "They're already getting a qualified capable pilot, the minute they walk through the door. They are taking that wealth of knowledge and experience that they've built over 10, 15, 20 years in the military and they are going to capitalize that to get mature seasoned aviators."

Boeing estimates more than 500,000 new pilots will be needed globally over the next 20 years. In the U.S., the four largest airlines plan to retire a minimum of 18,000 pilots by 2022 due to a mandatory retirement age of 65, creating an expected shortfall of 35,000 pilots.

Coast Flight Training maintains an aircraft fleet of 25 in San Marcos with an additional 10 being added by early fall. Monthly traffic counts for San Marcos Regional Airport have doubled since training began. Coast Flight Training maintains a student count of 65 at any given time and expects to grow from 10 to 15 employees by late summer with plans to ultimately employ 40.

We are pleased to announce that the friction issues associated with the overlay on Runway 13/31 have been resolved.

Upon reports of diminished breaking action on Runway 13/31 when the surface was wet, Airport Management and the City of San Marcos began working closely with TxDOT Aviation and the engineering firm for the project to determine a solution.

In an effort to resolve the loss of surface friction, TxDOT proposed a shotblasting technique to abrade the surface which had been successfully performed at other airports and on highway surfaces.

A shotblasting contractor, Skidabrader, mobilized to the airport on Tuesday morning to abrade a test area. This area was used to support making a decision to complete the entire runway to improve friction sufficiently to the point that aircraft can land safely in wet weather.

After the test area was abraded, several tests were performed which indicated a significant improvement in friction.

To confirm the test results, McCoy's Building Supply volunteered to accelerate to approximately 90 knots in their Cessna Citation and apply their brakes over the abraded surface and continue onto the original surface. The pilot reported excellent braking action on the abraded surface compared to significantly diminished breaking action on the original surface.

As a result of these engineering and pilot tests, Skidabrader was given the green light to complete the shotblasting technique on the entire length of the runway.

We'd like to thank McCoy's Building Supply for volunteering their time and aircraft to provide real-world confirmation of the fix to the friction issue.

Thank you to our tenants and visitors for their patience during this process. We're confident that during the next rain event, our ILS runway can now safely remain open.

Please give our office a call at (512) 216-6039 if we can answer questions.


The City has completed the waterline project.  As outlined in previous newsletters, we will be turning on the new security gates soon. Additional information regarding gate codes and procedures will be provided in short order.

The KHYI Instrument Meteorological Club (IMC) meets every third Thursday at Redbird Skyport at 6:30 P.M.
Their next meeting will be Thursday, July 20. Topics of discussion will include: new ICAO flight plan, different methods to open and close IFR flight plan, weather - blocks and caps, EAA IMC scenario, and IFR question of the month.
Complimentary pizza and soft drinks will be provided. 

To learn more, or be added to the newsletter list, email Gary White

Our next Airport Advisory Board Meeting will be held Monday, September 11 at 10:00 am.

The meetings are held at the Airport Management offices at 4400 Highway 21.
Come by to learn more about what's happening at your airport, meet the board, and enjoy a free cup of coffee and donuts! 
Local pilot Greg Hughes is restoring a Cessna 150 in an effort to give back to the community and introduce and inspire kids in the world of aviation.  

Once restored, Greg will use the plane to offer free and low-cost flights to children as part of the EAA Young Eagles program, Flying Vikings, Make-A-Wish, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and other deserving organizations. 

For more information about the project or to donate visit,  https://www.gofundme.com/help-us-restore-this-little-bird.

Story originally published by Spectrum News on May 12, 2017.

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Municipal Airport in San Marcos is home to an aircraft museum with some fascinating old airplanes and one of those is a special visitor in town for the weekend.

When people see a 1928 Ford Tri-Motor on the ground, they might think it's an antique airplane, but the people who fly the "Tin Goose" see it more like a time travel machine.

"We get to get in it and pinch ourselves and we really get to go for a ride and experience 1928 aviation," said pilot Todd Mather.

It's noisy and there is no air conditioning, restroom or auto pilot functions. In the roaring 20's this was considered luxury travel. Sally Swiegart, 86, got her ticket to ride as a Mother's Day present. It is one that brings back memories of the first time she got off the ground.

"Very early planes, like when I was a kid, this reminded me of that but I knew it would fly well I wasn't afraid, it was great," said Swiegart.

Looking out the broad windows gives close to a bird's eye view over I-35 and the Texas State University campus. The speed barely cracks 80 mph and the plane only goes about 1,000 feet off the ground. This ride wasn't built for getting through the sky in a hurry.

"It was essentially made to make people feel at home even though at the time it was a new style of transportation," said Russell Ross, who volunteers for the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Ford only made the Tri-Motors for a short time. This version heavily influenced the industry as the first mass produced commercial airplane.

For the dozen people who can fit inside, the thrill of lifting off and touching down hasn't gone out style.

"That's All, Brother" - the historic aircraft that led the D-Day invasion in Normandy - will soon call San Marcos Regional Airport home.  The Commemorative Air Force has made significant progress on the restoration but there is still more work to be done.   

For information on the restoration or to find out how you can help, visit  www.thatsallbrother.org. Click the image to the left to watch a short video. 

We had a great response from airport users regarding our free San Marcos Airport polos. If you haven't had a chance to pick yours up, don't fret! We recently received a new order so we're stocked up.

Pictured is the men's polo which we have in large, x-large, and xx-large. We also have a women's version in small, medium, large, and x-large.

Swing by 4400 Highway 21 Monday-Friday between 8:00am and 5:00pm.