TAC Air Gets Feds' OK to Fly Directly Into Reagan Airport

TAC Air, a division of Truman Arnold Cos. of Texarkana, Texas, has received approval from the Transportation Security Administration to serve as a gateway for aircraft headed to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.

The announcement comes 10 days after TAC Air, a fix-based operator, announced that it had bought the assets of Executive Beechcraft Inc. Executive Beechcraft operated as Signature Flight Support at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. With the acquisition of Executive Beechcraft's two hangars, TAC Air now has more than 150,000 SF of hangar space at the St. Louis airport.

TAC Air also is working with West Star Aviation to expand the company's St. Louis-area aircraft maintenance services into part of the space previously occupied by Executive Beechcraft.

Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Concerning Monday's announcement of TSA approval of "gateway status," David Edwards, a spokesman for TAC Air, said that it was a matter of security.

"What it amounts to, in essence, is that security screening is set up for private flights similar to flights that a passenger would experience going through a commercial flight," Edwards said.

After 9/11, the federal government increased security for flights into the Washington area. The TSA is a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"This is yet another improvement and added service we bring to our customers at Spirit of St. Louis," Greg Arnold, president and CEO of Truman Arnold Cos., said in TAC Air's statement Monday about TSA approval.

TAC Air last week unveiled the completion of more than $1 million in improvements to its executive terminal at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport. TAC Air also operates as a gateway location to Reagan National Airport from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, KY.

TAC Air said in its July 1 statement regarding the Executive Beechcraft acquisition that it expects to announce more acquisitions this year.