Final Signoff for “Airport One”

Colleagues, family, and friends gathered Thursday to celebrate the career of long-time Salina Airport Authority Executive Director Tim Rogers, call sign “Airport One”.  A gathering was held, appropriately enough, in a hangar at the Salina Regional Airport.

After 39-years, Rogers is retiring effective July 1st.

Among those who spoke was Greg Bengtson,  the airport’s legal counsel and friend of Rogers. He said he first encountered a young Tim Rogers working at an airport in the Denver area, a rookie doing any task that was asked of him and driving the “coolest vehicles”.  After a stop in Greeley, Rogers came to the Salina airport in 1985.

Salina Mayor Bill Longbine spoke, and also awarded Rogers a “Key to the City”. Longbine’s history at the airport predates even Rogers. As a teenager he mowed grass at buildings left when Schilling Air Force Base closed.

Among his many accomplishments , Rogers oversaw great expansion at the airport and airport industrial area.

Senator Roger Marshall spoke about how under the leadership of Rogers the airport is flourishing. When the military abandoned it in 1967 and turned it over to the city its future looked bleak. Marshall said it’s the most successful airport industrial park in Kansas with 8,000 jobs, and noted that within the next two years over a billion dollars in new projects will be built.

Senator Jerry Moran spoke, reminiscing on how he was first introduced to Tim Rogers in the 1980s by the late Ben Vidricksen. Moran has worked in partnership with Rogers on multiple projects over the years.

Along the way Rogers worked with aviator and adventurer Steve Fossett, whose record setting around-the-world, solo, nonstop flight in the Global Flyer in 2005 originated from Salina. The historic 22,936-mile, 67-hour flight started and ended at the Salina Regional Airport.

Rogers, who started at the airport in January of 1985, was inducted into the Salina Business Hall of Fame in 2017. This fall he will be inducted into the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame.  Kansas Aviation Museum President / CEO Ben Sauceda surprised Rogers with the announcement.

Rogers spoke, saying he wouldn’t have accomplished so much without a great team around him.

The event ended with Air Traffic Control Manager Brandon Walker signing off Rogers, “Airport One”, one final time.


Deputy Executive Director Pieter Miller will take over for Rogers, and is now “Airport One”.


Tim Rogers was presented the Key to the City.