More opportunity has touched down at the Salina Regional Airport since SkyWest Airlines, operator of United Airlines flights from Salina to Chicago and Denver, awarded a maintenance contract to 1 Vision Aviation Salina.
The aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) company at the Salina Airport, specializes in regional jet MRO and is eager to serve the needs of the St. George, Utah based airline.
Maintenance work in Salina could grow by 50 percent, said Jeremy Bailey, 1 Vision director of maintenance, and will further diversify the company’s customer list.
SkyWest will initially send regional jets to 1 Vision for conformity checks, in other words, making sure that the jets conform to SkyWest’s operating specifications.
“They’re sending us these planes to test us out,” said Jim Sponder 1 Vision president and CEO.
“We’ll absolutely do well,” he said, “so more will come.”
The contract is a big step for 1 Vision, Sponder said, and will allow 1 Vision Salina to grow its workforce.
The SkyWest contract continues Salina’s momentum, said Eric Brown, president and CEO of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce.
“1 Vision entered the Salina market with a great reputation of executing high quality work and excellent service,” he said. “This new contract with Skywest Airlines is a testament of the expertise and trust the 1 Vision team has garnered in the airline industry. This contract also signals growth by this local business and new opportunities for job seekers to expand their careers here in Salina.”
Housed in a huge Salina Airport hangar, 1 Vision has operated at Salina since Sept. 1, 2019. Since 2020 the company has provided line maintenance for SkyWest’s United Express flights at the airport. The company’s line maintenance work has enabled SkyWest to consistently operated scheduled flights on time.
The goal at 1 Vision is to become SkyWest’s essential maintenance provider doing detailed inspections known as “checks” on the airline’s fleet of regional jets, Merritt said.
SkyWest sent officials to Salina for a pair of audits in the past month to evaluate 1 Vision’s ability to perform necessary maintenance and inspections, and 1 Vision scored high marks.
“With a fleet of over 450 aircraft flying to 241 destinations throughout North America our maintenance needs are great” said Greg Atkin, SkyWest’s Managing Director, Business Development. “We are pleased to be working with 1Vision, a maintenance provider with a great reputation and an operation in the center of the country that can serve our needs from multiple hubs.”
Developments at 1 Vision provide even more real-world examples and opportunity for the nationally known aerospace training program at the adjacent Kansas State University Salina campus.
“The addition of 1 Vision Aviation into the Salina workforce has already had a positive impact on the quality of our student experience,” said Alysia Starkey, CEO and dean of the college.
“Having a respected and growing MRO in our local community affords students a unique opportunity to gain relevant work experience while working toward their career goals,” she said.
“The leadership at 1 Vision is incredibly supportive and understanding of the need for students to balance coursework with part-time employment. Just having them in Salina has brought additional attention to our aviation maintenance management program which has now grown beyond capacity.”
K-State is reciprocating by providing “additional pathways that we can assist 1 Vision in meeting their employment needs,” Starkey said. “It is an exciting challenge for universities to think outside of the traditional approach to education and we are fortunate to have a dedicated partner in 1 Vision Aviation.”