First U.S. built aircraft to be exported through VIA's newly expanded customs facility leaves Tuesda
The efforts of the Harlingen Board to make Harlingen a gateway for corporate and private aircraft and a significant point of entry for business travelers will bear fruit tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22, at approximately 11 a.m., when Pat Kornegay of Sun Valley Dusting Co. flies out of VIA to deliver the first U.S. built aircraft to be exported from Valley International Airport. Kornegay will deliver the aircraft, the sixth of such deliveries in three years to El Colono Agropecuario, a company that provides aerial application services to banana and rice growers in Costa Rica and is located in Guapiles, Costa Rica.
Sun Valley Dusting Company is based in San Benito, Texas. There have been 14 exports by Sun Valley Dusting Company to Latin America in the past three years. These exports have previously gone through McAllen, Brownsville, and Miami.
The Air Tractor, AT-502B, is a single seat, 500 gallon capacity turbine agricultural aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turbine engine that develops 750 horsepower on take-off. The aircraft was built by Harlingen native Leland Snow, owner of Air Tractor Inc., a US aircraft manufacturer based in Olney, Texas, who built his first aircraft in his home town of Harlingen in the mid 1950â€™s. Since that time, Snow has built over 4,000 agricultural aircraft and has become the largest manufacturer of agricultural aircraft in the world. Air Tractor currently builds about 120 aircraft a year at the Olney plant.
Pat Kornegay and Grant Lane of Lane Aviation in Rosenberg, Texas have been working together since the early 80â€™s and, as a team, have exported over 100 aircraft into Mexico, Central, and South America over the last twenty five years. They provide sales of new and used aircraft, parts and technical support, maintenance, and export/delivery services throughout Latin America and the southern United States.
VIAâ€™s renovated U.S. Customs facilities are located on the northeast corner of the international arrivals building and are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 4:00pm.
Valley International Airport serves over 800,000 passengers a year and is the home to Southwest Airlines, Continental Express, Sun Country Airlines, DHL, Federal Express, UPS, BAX Global and UPS Supply Chain Solutions.