Aviation

Former EagleMed owners plan new business

Jim and Iva Ballard sold EagleMed, their emergency air transportation service, in August, but they aren't ready to retire completely.

They want to build a large hangar and open an aircraft sales business where he would renovate and sell aircraft, Jim Ballard said.

"I want to be involved in something. I'm not a rocking-chair-type person.... I can't just see me quitting aviation completely."

While it's still in the preliminary stages, Ballard said he's narrowed down a place for the hangar to Wichita Mid-Continent, Jabara and Newton airports.

Several contractors are bidding on the work. It will be three or four weeks before the bids will be in and a decision made, Ballard said.

The hangar likely won't be ready until this winter or early spring, he said.

The Ballards sold EagleMed, which Jim Ballard founded in 1977, to Air Medical Group Holdings, a holding company controlled by Brockway Moran & Partners and MVP Capital Partners.

The Ballards will stay on with the company for the next two years. They'll run the business and work full time for the first six months, then work part time for the next year and a half, Ballard said.

Jim Ballard is 68; Iva Ballard is 71.

To Jim Ballard, semi-retiring means not working more than 40 hours a week, he said.

Ballard still owns a King Air 200 and continues to fly and travel.

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