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Its first day to fly was Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.

Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy

Several membersof the team were at the airport for its first flights on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. Founder and president of Advanced Air, Levi Stockton, piloted the first flight to Albuquerque and back, as well as the first flight to Phoenix and back. Co-piloting with him was Donny Sandusky, executive vice president and pilot.

At the terminal at Grant County Airport were Aaron Krieger, managing director, and Andy Jacobs, marketing consultant.

The King Air 350 they were flying is a 1992 model, remodeled in 2016, according to Stockton. "It is only minimally different from the newest versions of the aircraft."

Stockton said they left on the first flight out of Grant County Airport on time at 6:30 a.m. to Albuquerque. On their return flight, they arrived back in Grant County a bit early before the scheduled arrival at 9 a.m.

At 9:30 a.m., Stockton and Sandusky took off for the initial flight to Phoenix and its return by 1 p.m.

Reportedly, the 1:30 flight to Albuquerque was fully booked with 9 passengers.

It was scheduled to return to Grant County at 4 p.m., with the last departure at 5 p.m. to Albuquerque and arriving back in Grant County at 7:30 p.m.

Sandusky said pilots would be rotating in and out.

Stockton said the airline is looking to have a flight from Albuquerque to Burbank, Calif., for those who do not want to have to go through Los Angeles International Airport. The company is also investigating a potential application for the Carlsbad essential air service.

"We want to stay in the Southwest," he said.

Advanced Air has eight King Airs, and 22 total aircraft, including Pilatus PC-12s, Lear Jets, and Intercontinental Challenger 604s. The company is a full-service charter and aircraft management company located in Hawthorne, Calif., three miles from LAX.

For more information, visit www.advancedairlines.com .

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