Sunday, June 24, 2012

Prior Aviation Service at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (KBUF), New York: Keeping local aviation aloft for more than 50 years

By Emma Sapong 

Across the runways from the new terminal at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is a long-standing, local aviation business that has played a vital role in airport operations.

Prior Aviation Service has been a profitable business, serving as the private-sector arm of airline operations at the airport for 51 years, while operating its own separate charter flight service, flight school and numerous other services for the local aviation industry.

"Western New York is very much a good market," said David E. Mittlefehldt, the company's president and CEO, said of the charter business. "In fact a lot of companies depend on it exclusively to transport their employees around the country. There's definitely a huge need here."

Prior also handles other general aviation needs as a full-service, fixed-based operator. The company provides services to private and commercial aircraft, such as maintenance, hangaring and de-icing for major carriers.

Prior's hangars house corporate jets and other planes of several area companies; its own fleet transports business executives, celebrities and other private citizens, and its nationally accredited school trains about 50 pilots each year.

Such a broad-based approach to serving the aviation industry is almost a throwback in the evolving airport business.

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