FBO strives to increase activity at airport

Friday, June 3, 2011
Andrew Burr

In December of 2010, Andrew Burr, owner of Vertical Performance, LLC, began serving as the fixed based operator (FBO) at the Cassville Municipal Airport.

In addition to relocating his business to Barry County from Rogers, Ark., Burr has networked with many pilots that regularly use the local airport.

"I wanted to build a new hangar to bring my business here," said Burr. "When I approached the city, I discovered that Eugene (Dilbeck, city administrator) has the same vision for the airport that I do.

"My goal is for the community to see this airport as an asset," said Burr. "There is a lot of traffic at this airport, and there is a lot of business coming into this area through this airport."

Over the last few months, Burr has had the opportunity to meet pilots and business persons from Kansas City, Wichita, Kan., and Texas, who regularly visit the Cassville Airport.

"This airport wasn't being utilized to its full potential," said Burr. "I wanted to move in and bring it back to life. There are so many cars out here for the people who do business here, but we could bring even more people here."

In an effort to promote the Cassville Airport, Burr has registered the location at fltplan.com. He has also added the airport to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) website. Burr's contact information can be found on both websites.

"I know what a pilot does when planning a trip," said Burr. "They look at the facility and the services available. They want a point of contact, gas and maintenance and repair services."

Through his business, Burr will provide maintenance and repair services, as well as builder assist services and some flight instruction.

"I would like to offer other information online," said Burr. "Pilots are interested in weather, car rental, hotel and restaurant information. I'm working toward keeping flight plan records and other information for pilots.

"So far, they act like they are happy I am here," said Burr. "I've been monitoring the fuel better and making sure it is kept at a competitive price. I have gone out to meet a lot of the pilots that use the airport, and I think they appreciate that too."

Burr plans to host barbecue events at the Cassville Municipal Airport periodically through the spring and summer months. He is also working to add the local airport to the Sport Class Air Racing Association's racing circuit.

"When you host races, pilots fly a course, like to Joplin and back, one at a time and are timed," said Burr. "A lot of people enjoy coming out to the airport just to watch the planes take off and land and see them lined up on the runway. They are fun events."

Burr's background includes over 30 years of flying experience and airplane mechanics training. He founded his business, which also produces high performance airplane and Rotorway helicopter parts and offers restoration services, in 2007.

In addition to owning and operating Vertical Performance in Cassville, Burr serves as a commercial pilot for Aero Med Express in Rogers, Ark.

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