Local News

May 30, 2009

New Dalton Airport managers show off facilities

Brandon Roberts didn’t have to talk his 6-year-old son into taking his first plane ride. Ryker Roberts was ready for the adventure.

“He liked it,” his father, Brandon Roberts said, moments after touching down at Dalton Municipal Airport. “He was a little speechless and didn’t know what to do with the headset on and everything, but he thought it was pretty cool.”

Crystal Air, the new airport management company, held an open house Saturday to show off the facility and introduce the company to Dalton. Employees and other airport officials offered 15-minute plane rides to the public for $10 and answered questions about aviation. A steady stream of flying enthusiasts attended the day-long event.

“We just wanted to show folks what’s available at the Dalton airport, some of the airplanes we have available for charter, let everyone have a tour and a quick little flyover the city of Dalton,” said Taylor Newman, director of operations for Crystal Air.

The company offers hangar space, aircraft maintenance, aircraft rental, charter flights and flight instruction. Crystal Air also has aircraft bases in Tennessee in Chattanooga, Cleveland, Collegedale, Knoxville and Sewanee.

Dalton residents Julio Salinas and Miguel Trivino had been to the airport before, but decided to take advantage of the plane rides.

“I’ve been up in regular commercial flights, but I think it looked different since we were only up 800 feet,” Salinas said. “It was real nice today. The sun’s out. It looks beautiful up there. It’s a beautiful day to come out and do something like this.”

Trivino said becoming a pilot “has always been a dream of mine,” but that would have to happen later in life. He enjoyed interacting with the Crystal Air staff.

“It’s great for the Dalton airport to put something like this together and let people come out and actually see the planes,” Trivino said. “We got to meet and greet the pilots, the director and got to talk to him about flight classes and availability of charter flights. It’s nice to see Dalton growing and offering such programs for us.”

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