By Gary Vacin, Publicity Director
SLAC members visit
Thirteen Sun Lakes Aero Club (SLAC) members and guests participated in a field
The airport opened in 1994 at the location previously occupied by Williams Air Force Base, which closed the previous year. Ground was broken for the base in 1941, and Williams AFB became the U. S. Air Forceís foremost pilot training facility. More than 26,500 men and women earned their wings during the next 52 years. The base graduated more student pilots and instructors than any other base in the country and supplied 25 percent of the Air Forceís pilots annually.
Allegiant Air is one of the airportís primary tenants. The airline has
expanded rapidly, and Gateway completed construction of a 10,000 square-foot
annex facility and adjacent outdoor courtyard. Future plans call for a
new terminal to be completed east of the runway. The airline now
provides service from
Other airport tenants include three flight schools, two air ambulance services and major maintenance facilities for Cessna and Hawker-Beechcraft.
The visitors then boarded a shuttle and took toured the airport, viewing many private and military aircraft, including perhaps the only F-104 fighter jet still in flying condition. SLAC members and guests participating in the trip included Gary West, Bill Johnson, Al Galvi, Guy Parker, Ray Malgradi, Harold Thomas, Bob Walch, Gary Vacin, Bob Delong, Earl Cuyler, Jim Space, Richard Simmons and Ray Winenger. .†
Sun Lakes Aero Club members are shown in front of the only
F-104 fighter jet still in flying condition during a field trip to
Al Galvi, Guy Parker, Gateway community relations director
Patrick Oakley, Ray Malgradi, Harold Thomas, Bob Walch,
Gary Vacin, Bob DeLong, Earl Cuyler, Jim Space,
Richard Simmons, Ray Winenger.
Now in its 15th year, SLAC sponsors numerous field trips and fly-ins each year. The club meets the third Monday of each month from October through May at the Sun Lakes Country Club. Additional information is available from the SLAC website, www.sunlakesaeroclub.org, or by calling Bob Walch at 480-895-8869 or Al Galvi at 480-802-0104