Michelle Duregger — Staff Writer
RATON — Raton’s Municipal airport has seen major improvements since Robert Funk and Steve Boyce, with Express Aviation Service (EAS), took over Fixed Base Operations (FBO) in October. Funk owns EAS along with the Express UU Bar Ranch, Express Staffing Services and the St. James Hotel in Cimarron. Boyce is the company president.
With the addition of a rental fleet of six new Suburbans ready for service, the airport is poised to be a major asset for Raton. The vehicles are available for anyone in the area to rent.
The motto “Fly Safe, Fly Raton,” is being supported by EAS’s cooperation with the New Mexico State Aviation Division as well as the FAA to improve and rebuild runways. The lighting in the airport has been upgraded with lighted wind socks, LED lights on the runway, etc. With a flight path from Oklahoma and Texas that doesn’t require crossing any major mountain ranges, the Raton Airport is ideal for those who want a more mellow route in and out of Colfax County.
Since taking over the FBO, the EAS has spent over $500,000 on airport improvements that include a comfortable lounge for customers complete with vibrating, heated recliners.
“We are constantly trying to improve the airport,” said Boyce.
There are plans for a large hangar to house larger jets and they also hope to court other companies to bring more traffic.
“Service is a big part of it,” said Boyce. “We have a ground crew that will meet them when they land and get them parked, etc.” There are also vehicles available for pilots to use free of charge as well as plans to build a carport for pilots who leave their personal vehicles at the airport. EAS’s fuel prices continue to be competitive and constantly adjusted to be fair with the fluctuations in fuel costs to the airport.
“We are excited to be in the area,” Boyce said. “Hopefully we can hire more people over time and provide more jobs. We want to do what we can to support Raton.”