Aviation

Stearman Field owner looks to Wichita’s Jabara airport to grow its business

Dwayne Clemens is the Benton Airport manager and owner. His company, Clemens Aviation, plans to open a fixed-base operation at Jabara Airport in east Wichita next year. (Aug. 16, 2012)
Dwayne Clemens is the Benton Airport manager and owner. His company, Clemens Aviation, plans to open a fixed-base operation at Jabara Airport in east Wichita next year. (Aug. 16, 2012) File photo

The owner of Stearman Field/Benton Airport said Monday he plans to open a fixed-base operation at Jabara Airport in east Wichita.

Dwayne Clemens said plans are underway for his company, Clemens Aviation, to build a 60,000-square-foot hangar with 8,000 square feet of offices at the south end of Jabara. In addition to providing hangar space the company would provide heavy maintenance and fuel.

“We’ve just outgrown our current airport,” Clemens said. “We need more space.”

He hopes to begin construction in the first quarter of 2019.

Clemens Aviation would be the second FBO at Jabara, which is a general aviation airport that serves a lot of business aviation customers and aircraft.

Midwest Corporate Aviation has been Jabara’s long-time FBO.

Clemens thinks two FBOs at Jabara can co-exist.

“I don’t think it’s a problem,” he said.

Clemens said his company doesn’t yet have a lease to build and operate at Jabara, but that it’s working with Baughman Co. to get one.

Victor White, the city’s director of airports, said he expects Clemens Aviation will seek a lease at Jabara soon.

“Lots of things have to happen,” White said. “It’s way early in the process.”

Besides owning and operating Stearman Field, about 20 miles northeast of Wichita, Clemens Aviation also offers aircraft charter with a fleet of 14 Beechjets as well as aircraft management.

Jerry Palyash lives in a hangar condo at Benton's Stearman Field. Tour his upscale party place in the first episode of a new Eagle original series, "My Home."

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark
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