(This is the fourth in a series showcasing the Ada Municipal Airport and its impact on Ada and southeast Oklahoma. Today’s article deals with Performance Aircraft Services).



ADA – When Ben Franklin had a major decision to make, he would take a long sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle, dividing it into two parts. On the left, he would list reasons for a particular project. On the right he would list reasons against that project.

When both lists were completed, he would add up each side and base his decision on the longest list.

If he were weighing the pros and cons of Ada’s local airport, he would have no trouble filling up the left side, and would probably have to reach for more paper.

Just ask Mike Halverson, owner of Halverson Management, Inc., doing business as Performance Aircraft Services, what the local airport means to his hometown.

“We provide services through a contract with the city of Ada and operate an FBO (fixed base operation),” Halverson said in a recent interview. “We service general aviation, corporate aviation and military aviation.

“We handle basically anyone who comes to Ada and needs services ranging from fuel to aircraft handling, rental cars, courtesy transportation, in-flight catering, hangar for airplanes, conference rooms to live satellite weather services. We also do corporate aircraft and helicopter management, sales and maintenance.”

Performance Aircraft Services is open seven days a week and available 24 hours a day. The company sells Phillips-Conoco Aviation fuels and oils.

Halverson, who was born and raised in Ada, has been in aviation since 1989. Although he had been away from Ada for a while, he returned here in 1995 and started a business at the airport. He has been a fuel provider for the city of Ada since 1998.

His grandfather, Edward Halverson Sr, was one of the founders of Citizens Bank and served on the bank board of directors until he retired at the age of 100. He is now 105 and still owns property in Ada.

Mike’s parents, Edward and Billye Halverson, owned and operated Overhead Door Company of Ada, Inc. until his father’s death a couple of years ago. His mother still operates the business with Mike’s two brothers. The Halversons also have ranch holdings.

“I believe the airport is truly the front door to the community,” Halverson said.

“That’s why we provide the best services we can for people using the airport facilities. When a company comes to look at Ada to bring in new businesses, the first its representatives see is our airport. Their first impression of Ada depends on what they see when the get out of that plane. It’s also the last thing they see when they leave town.

“We provide services that enhance the entire community for economic development,” Halverson said.

“I travel all over the world and fly professionally. I try to always bring back to Ada what I have experienced in other places.

“I think we’ve seen tremendous growth in our entire airport. It has been a team effort of everyone who has a business at the airport and worked hard together. We really have a tremendous airport community. With all the jobs located on the airport and with all the aviation companies, we have a tremendous impact on the city of Ada.”

Halverson emphasizes that the various businesses at the airport bring in people from all over the United States and the World.

“Some come here just as a fuel stop. Others conduct business here. We have a very long runway suitable to handle about any size airplane. Our north-south runway is 6,203 feet long.

“A lot of people land here, fuel up, and say, ‘Do you have a car we can use?’ We get them one.”

“Big planes can actually save hundreds and thousands of dollars on fuel by using our fast services and not having to deal with larger airports,” Halverson says. “They don’t have to deal with congested air space and spend a lot of time taxiing on the runways of larger airports.

“GAMI and Tornado Alley, also based at the airport, are a big part of our business. It’s the same way with The Chickasaw Nation and Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., both headquartered in Ada. There are 35 to 50 companies who own and operate airplanes out of Ada that are our customers. There are also companies who use the Ada airport, but don’t keep their aircraft here. We call these transient aircraft. They fly in here to check on projects, stay three or four days, and leave. Several companies with businesses in Ada bring corporate planes to Ada. We have many companies that use Ada’s airport facilities that have their own airplanes.”

Halverson employs seven people at the Ada Airport. He has other employees that work in other cities.

He called attention to another service that many people don’t often think about.

“Ada Airport is heavily used for air ambulance service. Both helicopters and airplanes stop here for fuel and other services in transporting patients to larger cities,” he said.

Television news stations also use the Ada airport a lot.

“We get a lot of news choppers that come to the Ada Airport,” Halverson said. “The airport is also utilized by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which uses both airplanes and helicopters. Dignitaries from various fields often use the local airport.

“We also prepare catered meals for people using the airport. When business representatives fly in here and only have a few hours to complete their business, they call us and request catered meals. We provide what they request and have the meal ready for them to eat on their plane enroute to another city.

“We also involve local companies who help supply the food.”

Halverson can be contacted on the Internet at www.performanceaircraftservices.com or by phoning 580-310-6062.

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