By Marie Fasano
Changes are on the horizon as commercial air service and a new FBO come to Prescott, Ariz. Additionally, more hangars will be available for both general aviation and corporate use.
On Sept. 8, Horizon Air will originate flights from Flagstaff to Ernest A. Love Field (PRC) in Prescott, then on to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California. Plans are for two round-trip flights per day, seven days a week.
Great Lakes Airlines has received an Essential Air Service subsidy from the U. S. Department of Transportation to provide flight services originating in Prescott to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). Additionally, flight service from Prescott to Ontario International Airport (ONT) will be offered. Great Lakes service from PRC to each airport will be for two round-trip flights per day, seven days a week. The DOT currently subsidizes commuter airlines serving approximately 140 rural communities across the country that otherwise wouldn’t receive scheduled air service.
To accommodate these new services, the city of Prescott has placed two large temporary trailers at the airport for a passenger waiting area, security check and baggage handling.
“For the commercial airline terminal, the plan is to have permanent structures in place in three to five years,” said Ben Vardiman, airport manager.
The city sold its Port-A-Port T hangars to a private investor. The new owner has relocated the hangars and is in the process of adding electricity and refurbishing them, then reselling the hangars to individuals. Once the hangars are sold, the new owners will form their own organization and take over the ground lease with the city.
On March 1, after more than a year of deliberation with public input, Chris and Leslie Woods, managing partners of Legend Aviation LLC, received a contract from the city of Prescott to take over operations, including fuel services, at the airport. Legend also has an agreement with Horizon Air to be responsible for customer service and ground handling for the new stop at PRC.
Since March, Legend Aviation has occupied the old city FBO trailer on the southwest side of runway 3R-21L—but not for long. The company is planning for growth, with a long-term lease of 7.1 acres of land from the city on the southeast side of the runway.
“The development will take place in phases,” said Mark Bates, manager for the FBO.
Within four months, Legend will house its FBO in temporary quarters in a remodeled building, near the control tower, which was once the old Flight Service Station. Long-term plans are for Legend to reside in the executive terminal building; a new ramp will be located in front of the FBO. The development plans include a passenger and pilots’ lounge, pilot supplies and a high-end deli.
Legend Aviation purchased Arizona Air-Craftsman Inc. from Jay Kerger, who will stay on to run the engine overhaul and airframe maintenance operation.
“Jay has a history of excellent service,” said Jerry Lawyer, general manager. “We want to continue that quality.”
Mile High Avionics, an FAA-certified avionics shop located at Arizona Air-Craftsman, remains on board. Both businesses will continue operating under the same names. Legend plans to build a large hangar in front of the current Arizona Aircraftsman location to accommodate overnight corporate jets. Permanent T hangars for GA aircraft will also be added to the existing Arizona Air-Craftsman site, followed by large box hangars able to accommodate aircraft as large as a Gulfstream.
“We think there’s a lot of potential at Prescott,” said Lawyer. “We envision more VLJ traffic at Prescott and want to be able to offer maintenance to these aircraft.”
The Prescott Valley is the fastest growing rural area outside the Phoenix metropolitan area, and the airport hopes to accommodate that growth with its plans for increased services.