Berlin Airlift C-54 Aircraft to visit Concord Airport
Friday, September 22, 2017
The Berlin Airlift Veterans Association will conduct their 2017 reunion in Charlotte, NC Wednesday September 27 through Saturday September 30. The reunion headquarters is the Holiday Inn on Little Rock Road, Interstate 85 exit 33. The four day event will have these veterans visiting several venues in greater Charlotte.
Approximately 18 gentle-men veterans, average age 90, will attend accompanied by family members, German VIP's and survivors of the Berlin Airlift of 1948 & 1949. As young men they went to Germany to fly the Douglas C-54's aircraft carrying everything except water to the 2.4 million West Berliners land blockaded by the Russians. The Berlin Airlift involved over 50,000 American servicemen but time and health have diminished their ranks.
Berlin was divided by the WWII leadership in 1945 with the British, French, Russians and Americans each having a sector. It was located deep inside the Russian zone of Germany which was also divided. Because of Russian agreement difficulties the American, British and French combined their area in 1948 forming West Berlin. The Russians land blockaded the city in an effort to force these allies out. With an airplane landing every 3 minutes Berliners paid little attention to the never ending barrage of propaganda by the Russians telling them that the allies were going to quit the airlift. This was largest and most significant non-combat military operation of the twentieth century.
The public is invited to attend a welcome reception on Wednesday Sept 27th beginning at 6:30 PM in the Holiday Inn. A short program will allow time to and meet these veterans and the VIP’s from Washington and Germany. Their military service time ranges from WWII, Berlin Airlift, Korean War to Vietnam.
In Conjunction with the reunion the C-54 “Spirit of Freedom” will be at Concord Regional Airport and open to the public on Wednesday September 27 and Thursday the 28th, tour hours are 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM. This large four engine cargo aircraft was a Berlin Airlift participant, it’s now a flying museum to the airlift owned and flown by a volunteer crew of the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation.
There is free airport parking and no charge to go aboard the plane.
The veterans and the reunion group will visit the “Spirit of Freedom” on Thursday September 28th at approximately 2:30 PM. The public is invited to attend their arrival.
Concord Regional Airport Extends Agreement with World Fuel Services Network
Monday, July 24, 2017
World Fuel Services announced June 28, that Concord Regional Airport (KJQF), located in Concord, NC has extended their World Fuel Services Network contract by seven years for the FBO’s bulk fuel supply and branded programs. Concord Regional Airport, an Air Elite Diamond Service Location since 2013, has been served by World Fuel Services since 2007.
“We are honored for the opportunity to serve Concord Regional Airport with our bulk fuel and programs for another seven years,” said Steve Drzymalla, World Fuel Services’ Senior Vice President of Business Aviation Bulk Fuel. “We admire Concord Regional’s commitment to the business and general aviation industry in providing diamond-level service to their customers. We appreciate their continued support over the years and look forward to supporting their operation with the tools they need to best serve their customers and continue their success in the industry.”
Owned and operated by the City of Concord, Concord Regional Airport’s 24-hour, full service FBO is located just 15 minutes northeast of Charlotte’s central business district, in the heart of North Carolina’s highest growth corridor. Convenient to several local attractions including the Charlotte Motor speedway, Concord Regional Airport features 25 acres of ramp space, five large hangars, an FAA 139 certification, ATC services, and a 7,400 foot, full-instrument runway. Home of the "NASCAR Air Force,” Concord Regional takes the racing theme seriously and offers quick turns and efficient, friendly service.
“Concord Regional Airport is pleased to extend the current contract. This extension underlines WFS’ reputation as a leader in the industry and their strength and reliability in fueling capabilities. World Fuel Services has an experienced team and provides solutions we need to attract more business and conduct operations efficiently and effectively. It also allows our customers and staff access to reliable fuel supply, Safety 1st training, operational systems, marketing support, contract fuel and credit options,” said Susan Green, Airport Director for Concord Regional Airport. “We look forward to working with World Fuel Services for another seven years. We have no doubt that they will ensure the continued success of our airport.” read more ...
Dirk Vanderleest named new Concord Regional Airport Aviation Director
Friday, July 14, 2017
CONCORD – Following a nationwide search, City Manager Brian Hiatt announced that Dirk Vanderleest has been selected as Concord’s new Aviation Director. Vanderleest will oversee operations and development at Concord Regional Airport (FAA: JQF, IATA: USA). He will begin work in early September.
“We welcome Dirk to the City’s management team,” said Hiatt. “We believe his experience with over 30 years in airport leadership and business development will be vital to maintaining and growing general aviation and commercial services. Concord Regional Airport is a key economic cog for this region and Dirk's administrative and customer service skills will support its continued success.”
Vanderleest's appointment followed a national recruitment effort that attracted candidates locally and across the country. He brings extensive experience in aviation, management, and economic development. He retired in 2014 as the CEO of the Jackson (Mississippi) Municipal Airport Authority, responsible for the daily operations and management of both Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport (JAN) and Hawkins Field (HKS). Following his retirement, he has worked for Waggoner Engineering, Inc., focused on business development and strategic planning.
Concord Regional Airport has a strong general aviation focus that recently has been enhanced by the availability of low-cost scheduled passenger service to five destinations. Vanderleest will lead the over 40 Aviation Department coworkers who provide aircraft fueling, hangaring, tie-down, parking, and customer services. Other aeronautical services such as aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance, and flight instruction are offered through private operators leasing space on-site. CRA also has an on-site, staffed fire station operated by the Concord Fire Department and a control tower operated by contracted staff. The annual budget for the airport currently exceeds $9.3 million.
"Dirk will be taking over a department with outstanding coworkers," said Deputy City Manager Merl Hamilton. "In particular, he will be able to rely on Deputy Director Susan Green who has done a great job as Interim Aviation Director since April."
The position is also accountable to the City Manager for the management of the business functions of airport, the negotiation and supervision of all airport contracts authorized by the City, fiscal aspects including the development and recommendation of budgets, grant applications, and related financial reporting, the implementation of capital improvement projects, the management of real estate and lease interests, and compliance with Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations.
"It’s a real honor and privilege to have been chosen as the City of Concord's Aviation Director. I am looking forward to joining the City's staff leadership team and working with the airport's professional staff," said Vanderleest. "Though Concord Regional Airport has already grown successfully in the corporate and general aviation markets, I am excited to partner with others to take it to the next level."
CRA is one of the busiest airports in the Carolinas. Many of these operations are related to the motorsports industry as most NASCAR related teams are located in the Charlotte region, several with facilities adjacent to or near the airport. Allegiant Airlines also operates commercial flights out of CRA.
Concord’s previous Aviation Director, Rick Cloutier, resigned in March to become the assistant director of airports for Horry County, South Carolina.
Allegiant announces Allegiant Honors
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Allegiant announced Allegiant Honors - a special program to support and thank U.S. active duty and retired military for their service with select free services.
Under the Allegiant Honors program U.S. active duty military, retired military veterans, members of the National Guard, military reserve and their dependents are eligible for free services when they fly Allegiant. These include up to three pieces of checked baggage, one carry-on bag, one pet in cabin, courtesy boarding pass printing at the airport and free seat assignments, pending availability. In addition, active duty military may board flights with priority boarding at no charge, and will not be charged a change or cancelation fee due to a change in orders.