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New Lamar Airport Managers Plan September 3rd Fly In

Tanya and Eric McSwan at Lamar Airport

 

Eric and Tanya McSwan have entered into a partnership with AirCare in Lamar to become the new Fixed Base Operators (FBO) at the Lamar Municipal Airport. The couple began their new career about a month ago.

Eric McSwan, who graduated from Wiley in 1988, used to work at the airport for the Lyddon family as a teenager and has followed that career path, working as an airplane mechanic at the Air Force Academy and serving as Afghanistan with a helicopter medivac crew. “I knew the Tinnes family and we’ve kept in touch and Danny knew we were ready for something new and different and took us on as a partner at the airport,” he explained.

Tanya McSwan had family in Lamar where she met Eric and has a background in business management. “I feel like our whole lives together, the past 18 years, have been preparing us to come back to this area,” she explained.  Tanya worked in the corporate world for Comcast, managing budgets and planning events.  Eric added, “We’ll be using all our learned skills at this airport.”  He has his FAA license for airframe and power-plant, as well as inspection authorization.  He manages the day-to-day operation at the airport while Tanya takes care of the logistics and finance side.

The couple is planning a September 3rd Fly In at the airport to honor First Responders.  “This is something we’d like to be able to tie-in with the annual 9/11 Tribute that will be held the week after,” Tanya explained.  Eric said he’s been in contact with some of the responders from a Blackhawk unit that will be at the airport for the event.  “They’ll demonstrate some hoist generations, extracting a person using a jungle penetrator and some other events that people around here will never get to witness,” he said.  The couple also contacted REACH, the helicopter firm that provides flight-for-life flights out of La Junta, and they will be available to the public.  Tanya said, “It will run from 9am to 3pm and it is completely family-oriented with some food and the kids can also play with some of the exhibits that will be on display.  We hit the ground running when we arrived, so we’re on a tight timetable and AirCare has provided us with some funding to help make this work.”

The McSwans are focusing their work on the local community. “People fly in, they’re asking about a place to stay overnight or a restaurant that’s in town.  We are looking for a van that can carry about a dozen people to bring them in to town.  We recently had a military flight stay overnight, but we had to shuttle them into Lamar over several trips,” Eric said.  People would really be surprised to learn just how busy we are.  A couple of hours ago, the tarmac was filled with planes.”  He said the airport could use some extra hangar space, but right now every plane that’s sheltered is airworthy, “We don’t have any hotdogs out here, but if someone lands and their plane needs repairs or service, we need to have a space for the plane.”

The airport is open seven days a week, from 8am to 6pm and the office is open from 9am to 5pm, “But it’s not uncommon for us to be out here at 11pm,” Tanya said. The couple is aware of the maintenance work scheduled on the runway by the City of Lamar and Jviation Engineers.  “We haven’t met with them yet, but they keep us up to date with their board minutes,” Eric explained, adding that they’ve started a petition among pilots to seek funding from the FAA to pay for the cost of runway upgrades.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEntertainmentEventsFeaturedPublic SafetyTourismTransportation

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