First Flight, a fully licensed air ambulance company that provides around-the-clock medical air transport for emergency and non-emergency patients from rural area hospitals, has selected McKinney National Airport (TKI) as its new headquarters.
First Flight will lease a 12,000-square-foot hangar and offices at the airport. The space will serve as the base for supporting operations in East Texas. First Flight will be headquartered at the new facility as well as operate an aircraft maintenance operation for its aircraft and other aircraft.
“We are thrilled to move into our new facility at McKinney National Airport,” said Denny O’Hara, First Flight president, in a city release. “This facility will allow us to continue to grow our business of supporting hospitals in smaller communities with state-of-the art aircraft to transport patients to larger medical facilities for specialized care.”
First Flight’s eight aircraft include specially equipped Cessna 421s and King Airs. The pressurized planes are quiet, fast and provide room for state-of-the-art technology to provide an exceptional level of care, according to the release. Each plane is equipped with highly trained flight paramedics and nurses that have earned critical care certification. First Flight will add 36 employees within three years, the release stated.
“We know First Flight will have a positive impact on the community and the airport,” said McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller in the release. “McKinney National Airport is an ideal place for First Flight to continue to grow their business with access to all the resources of a major urban area without the congestion we see around other local airports.”
O’Hara said the company was impressed with the airport’s staff and facilities, including its Federal Aviation Administration control tower.
McKinney National Airport is on the extreme edge of Dallas-Fort Worth Class-B airspace, simplifying and shortening aircraft arrival and departure times. While emergency medical flights receive priority clearance, other flights coming into TKI avoid having to be sequenced along with more than 3,800 daily aircraft operations to and from larger commercial airports and other general aviation airports that are deep within the tightly controlled Class-B space, according to the release.
“In aviation time, whether it is on the ground taxiing, waiting for clearance to land or take off or circling the airport in a holding pattern, is real money,” said Ken Wiegand, airport executive director, in the release. ”Operations at McKinney National Airport do not have to deal with that issue.”
Among businesses that call the airport home are Fortune 500 and other companies that recognize TKI’s growing standard of excellence and strategic location. The airport’s fixed-based, McKinney Air Center, and its control tower were recently named No. 1 in the nation in the 2014 Pilots’ Choice Awards by FltPlan.com, an online general aviation service company.