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Ed Schlemko

Airco Aircraft Charters Turns 30 Wherever you need to go, Airco gets you there faster in comfort, convenience and style By Nerissa McNaughton with photos by Smiley Eyes Photography

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ou need to travel by air. Do you cringe at the mad dash to the airport followed by paid parking in a distant lot? How about long lines at the self-check in and even longer lines at the baggage drop? Or cramped seats with noisy chair mates that leave you arriving at your destination tired and disgruntled? There is a better way to fly, and today you can learn why individuals, corporations, celebrities, families, politicians and tour groups are taking advantage of how Airco Aircraft Charters gets them safely and calmly to their destination with plenty of time to chat or work comfortably on the plane. In addition to charter flights, Airco is a Transport Canada approved maintenance organization (AMO #225-92) with a dedicated group of licensed engineers and extensive experience in

working on private, corporate and commercial aircraft. Airco also provides professional aircraft management for the maintenance, tracking, crew hiring and scheduling, training, hangar storage and insurance requirements of other private aircraft. “I’ve always had a passion for aviation,” says Ed Schlemko, a pilot and one of Airco’s founders. He helped launch the company in 1987 after realizing there were no local aviation companies providing the level of service needed in the Edmonton area. “Things were quite different from what we have today,” he laughs. “We started with a single engine float plane and did aircraft recovery and repair.” Now, Airco has a high-tech fleet for business charters, direct flights, access to remote areas, cargo, sightseeing tours and hot shot service. AIRCO || 30 Years || 1 59


Beechcraft 1900D

“Airco is one of the largest aircraft charter companies in the Edmonton area,” says Schlemko. “Other companies are headquartered out of the city or out of the province.” “In 1991, we had a big turning point when we bought our first Piper Navajo Chieftain,” says Mary Anne Stanway, managing director. “With that, we went from a small single engine operating company to the charter operation we are today.”

“After we bought our first Navajo, we increased the fleet with several more. We could see the market was moving towards turbines,” Schlemko adds. “In 1995, we bought our first pressurized turbine airplane, the Beechcraft King Air, which is larger, faster, flies higher and carries a larger payload than the Navajo.” In 1998, Airco was pleased to purchase their first hangar at the City Centre Airport, and in 2004, they expanded the fleet again with their first 19-seater, the Beechcraft 1900D. However in 2013 things would change for Airco. Edmonton City Council decided to close the Edmonton City Centre Airport completely on November 30 of that year, so the company needed a new home. Kingston RossPasnak Pasnak LLP Kingston Ross LLP

CHARTERED PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS

CHARTERED PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS

ENTREPRENEURIAL.

ENTREPRENEURIAL. INNOVATIVE.

INNOVATIVE.

TRUSTED.

TRUSTED.

Congratulations to

Ed Schlemko & 1500, 9888 Jasper Avenue | Edmonton AircoSuite Aircraft Charters Ltd.AB | T5J 5C6 P | 780 424 3000 F | 780 429 4817 W | www.krpgroup.com E | info@krpgroup.com on 30 years of success. Suite 1500, 9888 Jasper Avenue | Edmonton AB | T5J 5C6 P | 780 424 3000 F | 780 429 4817 KRP has the privilege of working with W | www.krpgroup.com E | info@krpgroup.com

Airco and we look forward to continuing our association for many more years.

Suite 1500, 9888 Jasper Avenue | Edmonton, AB | T5J 5C6 P | 780 424 3000 F | 780 429 4817 W | www.krpgroup.com E | info@krpgroup.com

AIRCO || 30 Years || 2

congratulates congratulates Now, Airco operates out of a new facility at the Edmonton International Airport. Leonard TraubThis & location includes a stylish passenger Leonard Traub & lounge, large,Wilbert bright hangar Alberta Sales and plenty of parking surrounding Alberta Sales on 50 Wilbert years success. the building. No ofdetail is overlooked. Clean washrooms, a wellon 50 years of success. stocked refreshment area, comfortable seating, and boarding KRP has had the privilege of working with the aircraft is as simple as walking out the lobby door. Alberta Wilbert Sales since 1978. We are

KRP has had the privilege of working with proud to be associated with a business that Alberta Wilbert Sales since 1978. We are mirrors our core values; a commitment to Stanway with pride. “There “It’s that personalised service,” says proud to be associated with a business that excellence, top quality client service provided is so much flexibility. You pick when you want to depart. On mirrors core values; a commitment to by a our knowledgeable team, and treating both the flight, communication with your excellence, top quality serviceand provided team or family is easy. The clients and staffclient with integrity seats are comfortable, and there are snacks and a bar.” by a knowledgeable respect. team, and treating both clients and staff with integrity and We look forward to continuing our Airco enjoys getting business people quickly to their respect. association with Alberta Wilbert Sales and

destinations, and business clients greatly enjoy the efficient, wish them continued success for the

Wehassle-free look forward to years! continuing our that the privacy of charter service and the fact next 50 association Alberta Wilbert their Salesbusiness and allowswith them to continue discussions while wishenroute them continued success for the to their destinations. next 50 years!

For emergencies, such as flying a part to an oilfield camp or quickly transporting personnel, Airco can (under ideal conditions) be airborne within 90 minutes of getting the call. Airco is also a huge boon for remote areas. Fort Chipewyan, for example, is just one location where access is primarily by barge or, in the winter, by an ice road. For many places in Canada like this, flight is the best, and often the safest, option. “There


CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR

30Th ANNIveRSARY

AIRCRAFT CHARTERS

FROm YOUR CONSTRUCTION PARTNeRS www.scottbuilders.com

CONGRATULATIONS TO AIRCO ON 30 YEARS IN BUSINESS!

We focus on what we know, and in those areas, we are leaders.

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AIRCO || 30 Years || 3


are probably a dozen airports that have scheduled service in Alberta, but there are still over 100 communities without any scheduled services,” Schlemko points out. With a 30-year reputation to fly on, an expertly managed company, and top-of-the-line aircraft that has flown some very famous characters (confidentiality is assured, so don’t ask whom!) Airco now turns its focus to educating companies on the value of chartering fights. “Charter provides you with the best service if you are a group of people trying to be efficient,” says Stanway. Instead of waiting for flights, you just show up. You do not need to be here two hours in advance like you would for a commercial flight. You can work or hold meetings on the plane, or relax and let your busy day wash away as Canada’s magnificent landscape unfolds beneath you.”

Airco thanks their loyal clients for making them their trusted charter company for 30 years. Many have flown with Airco since the early 1990s. The company also thanks their staff, expressing pride and appreciation for each team member’s hard work and dedication. “Our future involves growing the fleet,” concludes Schlemko. “We will have larger aircraft, but the same commitment to service, all while being agile to the changing needs of our customer base and industry. We are happy here in Edmonton. This is where our roots are.” Roots in Edmonton and planes in the sky – the next time you need to get to where you have to be, consider a charter flight. It’s the affordable, convenient, safe, efficient and reliable transportation solution you may be overlooking.

“For someone who hasn’t chartered before, they will find it’s more convenient and cost effective than they think,” says Schlemko. “A lot of customers are paying employees by the hour or by the day. You waste money sitting on the road driving, or in terminal buildings, or sitting in hotel rooms waiting on scheduled flights. For example, High Level is a ninehour drive! How much is your time worth?” “The feedback we get from our clients is that they like Airco’s reliability,” adds Stanway. “They can depend on us. If we say we can do a flight, they know they are going to get to where they need to go. We are straightforward and honest.”

Congratulations Airco on your 30 year anniversary from everyone at EFC!

3620 – 60 Avenue East Edmonton International Airport Alberta T9E 0V4 1-800-724-7261 www.aircocharters.com

Congratulations Airco!

Fuel supply, storage and delivery.

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Congratulations to Airco on 30 years!

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Av i a t i o n S p e c i a l t y G r o u p www.aon.com/canada AIRCO || 30 Years || 4

Congratulations to Airco on 30 years! We are proud to be a part of your success.

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