The Wellington Airport is going through some major renovations that will extend the runway by 1,000 feet in the next year to 18 months.
They received an FAA grant in 2013 to update the runway safety area, which will raise the airport from a C2 to a B2 classification.

By James Jordan
The Wellington Daily News

The Wellington Airport is going through some major renovations that will extend the runway by 1,000 feet in the next year to 18 months.

They received an FAA grant in 2013 to update the runway safety area, which will raise the airport from a C2 to a B2 classification.

That will give the runway more size and make the local facility eligible for pavement extension.

The runway is now 4,200 feet long, and after the extension goes in next year, it will be 5,200 feet.
That will allow the airport to service larger jets and planes of various types.

The local airport gets a lot of people passing through. Director Patrick Hamlin said the Wellington airport is “essentially a gas station for airplanes.”

They offer lower prices than many airports for fuel, so that is a consideration when you are loading 600-800 gallons of fuel in an aircraft.


Hamlin said celebrities also like to use smaller airports to fill up because they can do so without getting a lot of attention.

Actors, NASCAR personalities and musicians are just some of the people who have stopped at the airport to get their private jet fueled.

Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, is just one that has passed through, Hamlin said.
Crop duster operations also use the Wellington airport.

A company from Pond Creek, Okla., wants to build a building here and house its operation at the airport. They have a deal worked out with the city, and they are currently going through state requirements.

“If it were just a hangar, it would not be an issue. Since it is a business, there are a lot of state rules involved,” he said.

Another crop dusting operation out of Anthony also uses the Wellington Airport often.
Hamlin has been at the Airport for almost seven years.

They were still doing an air festival then. They stopped when the economy went bad and the idea has not been resurrected. Airshows cost a lot to put on.

But the Kansas Aviation Association did put on the statewide tour last week,
Hamlin flew the entire route.

Hamlin is a certified flight instructor. He teaches on weekends and evenings to help people get their pilots license. He currently has four students, three from Wellington and one from Amarillo, Texas, is a person who works for the railroad.
The day to day operation involves running the fuel facility.

The airport is “uncontrolled,” meaning there is not a control tower. Pilots use radio communication to confirm landing, and then land by sight.
He can coordinate landings with the radio. He said he has had as many as 12 planes waiting to land before.


Recently a pilot set a state record with a glider with a trip that started in Wellington. The glider was towed into the sky by another plane, to a high elevation, and then let go. The glider made it all the way to Louisiana, which set a state record for Kansas.
Hamlin also helps some with economic development. If he sees a company is looking for a new location, he may contact them to see if there is a good fit.