News Columns & Blogs

Cessna airlift for Special Olympics to start Saturday

Cessna business jet operators will spend the next two Saturdays transporting 800 athletes competing in the Special Olympics USA National Games in Lincoln, Neb.

For 10 hours of those two days, a Cessna Citation will take off or land every two minutes in Lincoln or at the athletes’ home airport.

"For these world-class athletes, the airlift is their only means of transportation and the only way for them to have the opportunity to compete as world-class athletes," Charles Cooper, president and CEO of the 2010 Special Olympics games, said in a statement.

It's the sixth time Cessna has sponsored the airlift, and it's taken a year of planning.

Flight controllers have given the flights a special call sign of “Dove.” And they’re giving them priority attention, the company said.

The jets will pick up athletes from around the U.S. and fly them to Lincoln Saturday, then fly them home July 24.