By KIRK BOXLEITNER 
Arlington Times Reporter 
JUNE 26, 2012 · 

ARLINGTON — In spite of a steady downpour that kept much of their festivities confined to the interior of their hangar, Arlington Flight Services still celebrated its official grand opening at the Arlington Municipal Airport on Saturday, June 23.


As of April of this year, Arlington Flight Services is a new fixed-base operator that supports general and business aviation with a variety of services, including flight training and aircraft rental, maintenance and management. At the grand opening and open house, the company's employees pledged to provide the highest level of service to their customers, as well as memorable experiences in aviation, and noted how much they look forward to bringing in new aviators and corporate clientele to the Arlington Municipal Airport.


"We're already growing by leaps and bounds," said Lucas Smith, flight operations manager and director for AFS. "We expect to see some additions in the future."


AFS President Kevin Duncan touted the versatility of AFS as a full-service flight center, and estimated that his three flight instructors possess a combined total of more than 16,000 flight hours between them.


"The two types of people we tend to see most of here are the very young, who are just getting started in aviation, and those who are older and already successful in other areas, and are now looking to fill a void in their lives. Aviation is on a lot of folks' bucket lists," he laughed.


Years ago, a majority of commercial pilots came into the field through military experience, but with measures such as stop-loss retentions having kept many of those pilots in uniform, Duncan sees general aviation as the future for replenishing the ranks of civilian pilots.


"Aviation is definitely something different to do," Smith said. "There's no other way you can just wake up in the morning and travel halfway across the country in the same day. You don't get the experiences while driving or riding a train, or even as a passenger on a larger plane, that you do as the pilot of your own plane."


As a flight instructor, Smith described the enjoyment he gets from helping prospective plots achieve their goals, while Vicki Duncan, Kevin's wife and vice president of AFS, echoed her husband and Smith's sentiments that helping to grow the aerospace and business communities around the Arlington Municipal Airport is one of their own goals with the company.


Arlington Flight Services is following its grand opening with a pancake breakfast from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 30.