• Get to Know Us: Part 135 Department

    January 23, 2018

    CSI Aviation offers a wide variety of services from private air charter and medical flight services to coordinating fuel services and responding to emergency situations and medical evacuations. It takes an impressive team of people that are constantly working behind-the-scenes to keep the gears moving seamlessly for all of the different day-to-day operations happening at CSI. This is the first part of a blog series that will highlight the various departments at CSI.IMG_0010-2 1 web

    This month, Senior Vice President – Flight Operations, Tommy Dunn, is giving you an inside look at what goes on in our Part 135 Department. This department has a critical job at CSI, as it is where we manage all flights executed with our own aircraft.


    Q: What does it mean to be a certified FAA Part 135 Air Carrier? 
    A: CSI provides air transportation of persons and property for compensation or hire, which requires a certificate from the FAA under the Part 135 Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). As a Part 135 Certificate holder, CSI complies with a number of FAA requirements regarding areas such as flight operations, maintenance, safety and training.

    Q: What is the role of the Part 135 Department at CSI Aviation? What does an average day look like? How many people are in the department?
    A: CSI has been in business for over 38 years as an aviation management company. Several years ago, CSI decided to expand the operation and begin conducting aviation missions organically (using our own aircraft) under our own Part 135 Certificate. CSI chose the Beechcraft King Air aircraft as its platform of choice due to the versatility and requirements needed to perform the variety of missions. CSI conducts Medical Flight Services, executive travel, cargo, and medical organ transplant movements. Due to this expanded scope of missions, every day gives CSI an opportunity to serve our customers across the country. With the growing mission requirements, our team of over 40 personnel within the Flight Operations department which consists of medical staff (nurses and paramedics), maintenance staff and our safety department, all work hand in hand every day to get the job done.

    Q: What kinds of problems can arise in your department and how can you solve them? 
    A: Every mission can present challenges, whether it is coordinating ground ambulances for patient pick up, deviating courses due to weather, or synchronizing all the flight logistics to perform a last-minute flight – identifying crews, ground handling coordination and fuel, to name a few.

    Q: How did obtaining the Part 135 certification change operations at CSI Aviation?
    A: CSI has a long-lasting relationship with hundreds of aviation companies and operations worldwide. When CSI obtained our Part 135 certificate and began conducting missions, it allowed us to use all or our relationships in order to support our organic flights. We have greatly expanded our scope of services by allowing CSI to provide a more cost-effective option at times using our own aircraft for our numerous air charter requirements.

    Q: What was it like to transition from managing flight programs to executing flight operations? 

    A: It was extremely natural to transition to performing our own flight operations due to the skill sets, experience, and relationships that existed between CSI and the aviation community. We have a great staff that made this a seamless process. Having managed many aviation programs in the past we knew what we had to do and the process was already in place.

    b40c4c44c22b534b8a8062e6053d40c2Q: Please share a recent achievement of the department – how was this accomplished?
    A: CSI is now the proud certificate holder and approved carrier for the Department of Defense after successfully passing the Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB) inspection.

    There you have it – a glimpse into one of the many hardworking and important departments that make up CSI Aviation. We’re incredibly proud of the hard work that the Part 135 Department does for us. For more information, click here.

    Stay tuned for future Q&A posts highlighting more departments at CSI Aviation.

  • Our 5 Favorite Moments of 2017

    December 21, 2017

    As 2017 winds down to its final days, it brings us great to joy to look back on what was an incredibly productive and successful year at CSI Aviation and Seeker Aircraft. Read along as we recap our favorite moments of this year!

    Freedom Award

    CSI Aviation staff at the 2017 Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

    CSI Aviation staff at the 2017 Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C

    Without a doubt, the highlight of our year was winning the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. This is the highest honor

    given to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve Employees by the Department of Defense and we are beyond honored to be one of only 15 winners out of more than 3,000 nominees.

    Freedom Award winners are required to demonstrate exceptional support for their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve through leadership and company practices. As a veteran-owned business, it has always been a top priority of ours to provide opportunities to military members and to support them as they work to protect our country. For that reason, winning this award was especially meaningful and an accomplishment we will not soon forget.

    NAAMTA Certification
    Last year, we recNAAMTA Logoeived full certification by the New Mexico Department of Health to fly critical and specialty care medical flight missions. This year, our medical flight services division received a key accreditation from the National Accreditation Alliance Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA) Accreditation program.

    In order to get this accreditation, we underwent a rigorous audit process that included a full review and assessment of company policies and procedures. It was a long process, but in the end, it was completely worth it. This third-party accreditation entity recognizing our commitment to quality and safety in our medical flight services division was very gratifying and we greatly look forward to the future of this part of our company.

    Expanding Into New Markets
    This year, we took a leap into offering our services to markets in new states and new countries. In August, our subsidiary, Seeker Aircraft added KAHA Aviation Solutions as an aircraft dealer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This partnership marks Seeker’s first expansion into South America and we are incredibly excited to see what’s in store for them in 2018!

    Also, this September, the Texas Department of State Health Services certified CSI to fly critical and specialty care medical flight missions in Texas! Our medical flight services division is very dedicated and hard working and we were thrilled to see the department grow so much this year.

    Aiding in Disaster Recovery
    In September, Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Texas, our neighbor to the east. Hearing about all of the devastation caused by such an uncontrollable disaster immediately got everyone at CSI and Seeker wondering what we could do to help. We jum21752847_1865652997083363_4819384585782888807_oped into action and deployed the Seeker SB7L-360 to Texas to assist local authorities with hurricane damage assessment.

    The Seeker was outfitted with HD sensors that allowed us to locate and identify structures partially obstructed by flood waters and debris, in addition to providing high definition video of impacted areas and damaged infrastructure to law enforcement and local authorities.

    Of all the missions the Seeker has flown, aiding in the Hurricane Harvey aftermath is one that will always mean a great deal to us. We’re very honored that we were able to play a part in the recovery efforts.

    Adding to the Fleet
    We are already the proud owners of a 200 and 300 King Air aircraft, and this year we added a King Air 350 to our fleet! The model accommodates two full stretchers and the most up-to-date medical transport equipment, which allowed us to complete our first, dual-patient medical flight. The flight moved two critically-ill patients from Louisiana to Florida and was conducted with only a 1-hour aircraft launch time!

    With so many advances in health care, we saw a real need among medical facilities for multiple patient transport and we were thrilled to obtain an aircraft that gave us the ability add this new capability to our long list of services.

    See You Next Year
    After 40 years in business, you may think things might start to get stagnant. But if 2017 showed us anything, it’s that there is always room to grow, goals to achieve and people to help. We owe all of our successes to our supporters and each and every employee that keeps CSI and Seeker going.

    We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us – stay tuned to find out!IMG_0010-2 1 web


  • Meet the King Air: An Aircraft Fit for Royalty

    July 27, 2017

    We’ve been in business for nearly 40 years now, and in that time, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a large variety of aircraft. It’s safe to say that all of that time has taught a great appreciation for one of our favorite aircrafts – the King Air. We operate a twin-turboprop that has the capability to serve all of CSI’s needs from business charter to medical flight services. In fact, we love the King Air so much that we are proud to own two of them, a King Air 200 and a King Air 300. Trust us when we say that flying on one of our King Airs is a high-quality experience.

    CSI Side View Tarmac 1An Interior Fit for a King

    If you’re expecting to walk onto one of our King Airs and find dozens of rows of tightly cramped seats, you will be pleasantly surprised. What you’ll find instead is a bright, cozy interior with seating for up to 11 people. And when we say “seating,” we mean large, comfortable leather chairs fit for a king –not the constrictive seats found on commercial aircrafts. If you’re looking for luxury, comfort, and safety – the King Air is the way to go.IMG_3986[1]

    Getting the Job Done
    Here at CSI, we pride ourselves on our ability to accomplish almost any aviation task that is asked of us. Lucky for us, owning both the King Air 200 and the King Air 300 means that we can accomplish most missions with our own airplanes. The 200 model is smaller and offers our pilots more maneuverability and our clients more flexibility in destination, while the 300 model can endure more weight and longer flights, giving CSI a reach that covers the entire United States. Whether the mission at hand is passenger transport, corporate and government missions or medical flight services, we trust our King Airs to get the job done.

    Putting the ‘Flight’ in Medical Flight Services
    One of CSI’s recent expansions includes the ability to perform medical flight services with our own aircraft. Luckily, our King Airs are ready and equipped to transport patients to their next-level-of-care facility safely, and with ease. Our King Air 300 is fully equipped with Spectrum Aeromed equipment and can fit two pilots, one flight nurse, one paramedic, the patient and up to two family members. Meanwhile, our King Air 200 operates weekly missions transporting local doctors and medical equipment.

    Tarmac Stretcher3

    Handling the Heat
    CSI Aviation is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our state has an interesting environment – unexpected weather conditions, mountainous terrain, remote airfields and short runways at many rural airports can be challenging for some aircraft. The King Air, however, is more than equipped to handle these hurdles and can perform well in hot and humid weather, as well as high elevations. We trust the King Air to get any job done in almost any condition.

    Ultimately, we take great pride in our King Airs. We believe that our customers deserve to be treated like royalty, and we are confident that the King Air is the best aircraft to make that happen. To read more about our King Air, check out our feature in King Air magazine here.



  • CSI Aviation Earns Prestigious Freedom Award by Department of Defense

    June 13, 2017


    2017 ESFA RecipientCSI Aviation is honored to receive the 2017 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. This is the highest honor given to employers for their support of National Guard and Reserve Employees by the Department of Defense.


    CSI Aviation is one of 15 recipients of the award and was selected from more than 3,000 nominees. Other winners of this year’s Freedom Award include multinational corporations, such as Comcast and Johnson & Johnson. Winners were required to demonstrate exceptional support for their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve through leadership and company practices, including the implementation of personnel policies that make juggling service and civilian work easier.


    IMG_0010-2 1 web

    CSI’s military-friendly practices, including paid military leave, a high percentage of recruiting budgets dedicated to recruiting military-connected employees, skills training for disabled veterans and paid time off before or after deployment, have earned the company more than the Freedom Award. They are the two-time recipient of the Pro Patria Award, the highest state-level honor given by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve State Committee, and were included in the annual Military Times “Best for Vets: Employers” list in 2014.


    “We understand the incredible value that the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve bring to our company and to our country.” said Allen Weh, CEO of CSI Aviation and one of the 19 vets on CSI’s 50-member team. “Their unique contributions are immensely valuable and important to the success of CSI, “he said. “Supporting these employees, as well as their families, while allowing them to continue to serve is a great honor.”


    Senior VP of Business Development and Marketing, who also serves in the New Mexico National Guard and had nominated CSI Aviation for the award said that since being employed with the company since 2001, he has served three deployments during that time and that CSI does a great job of taking care of him and his family. He adds, “I don’t think there’s another company out there as supportive of military members.”


    The Freedom Award was created to publicly recognize employers who provide exceptional support to their Guard and Reserve employees. It is the highest in a series of employer recognition awards given by the Department of Defense. For more information about the award, and for a list of recipients, visit:

  • CSI Air Charter: A Business Traveler’s Best Friend

    May 10, 2017

    Let’s face it – traveling for work always sounds like more fun that it ends up being. Between long airport lines, layovers, delayed flights and trying to get work done in small, cramped seats – business travel isn’t always the best experience. However, that is not the case when flying charter. Chartering a private aircraft for a business trip is perfect for business groups who want a safe, efficient and comfortable flight.


    Saving busy people valuable timeCSI is located on the Sunport in Albuquerque, New Mexico

    We know when you’re traveling for business, your time is precious. That’s why when you charter an aircraft with CSI, we do everything possible to make sure you get to your destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. Say goodbye to long lines and layovers and let CSI work on your schedule, rather than working around an airline’s. CSI is available 24/7/365 – so no matter the day or time, we will get you to your meeting.


    More options

    Multi-national corporations need alternatives to what commercial air travel offers these days – offerings that unfortunately include limited flights and destinations, overbooked flights and a lack of services promoting comfort or the ability to conduct business in-flight. CSI will get you to those hard to reach destinations that major airlines can’t.


    Comfort is key IMG_3986[1]

    Sometimes there just are not enough hours in a day and you find yourself working on a cramped plane with minimal leg room and constant distractions. However, chartering your own private plane comes with comfortable cabins, roomy seats and plenty of space to make it your in-the-air office. Catching up on sleep before a big meeting is never a bad idea, either – so dim the lights, draw the shades, recline your seat and rest easy knowing you are in good hands. When chartering a flight with CSI, luxury services or accommodations are available upon request to make your flight even more comfortable.


    Productivity, privacy and peace of mind

    One of the best things about chartering business flights is the ability to focus on work and conduct business in-flight. You can fly solo to concentrate on a big project or bring along team members to practice a presentation. Either way, you’re doing so in the privacy of your own aircraft around the people you know. The ability to be productive on the way to a big meeting is one of the most valuable aspects of air charter for business travelers – once you try it, you’ll never go back.


    Flying charter saves you valuable time and ensures you get where you need to be safely and efficiently. CSI has the capability to move a lot of people and provide flexible and customized flight schedules.  CSI is the perfect option for business flights.


  • The CSI Guide to Medical Flight Services

    March 29, 2017

    Tarmac Stretcher3Did you know Americans are far more likely than ever before to be transported by aircraft for a serious medical condition? According to the Association of Air Medical Services, around 550,000 patients a year are flown in fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft. CSI has been chartering and flying medical transport missions since 2009. We have coordinated more than 400 medical flight operations in that time. Many people simply do not know how the medical transport process works from beginning to end; below is our guide to medical flight services.

    Ground Logistics & Pre-Planning
    The entire process begins with a phone call from a hospital requiring air transportation services. Often times, a sending facility is a hospital in a small or rural area requiring patient transportation to the next higher level of care. A receiving facility is typically a larger, more specialized hospital located in a major city. The first step to the process requires gathering essential information such as who, what, when and where the patient is being transported. After collecting the initial information, the next step is to immediately identify an aircraft and flight crew. We also coordinate with hospital staff, set up the flight logistics, and identify the appropriate ground ambulance services to support the mission. We understand the timelines are critical, and can have an aircraft off the ground and en route within 20-30 minutes, depending on the distance to the final destination and weather conditions.

    Equipment and CrewInterior2
    Each aircraft is equipped with ventilators, heart monitors, pumps, oxygen and suction equipment, and a complete medication supply – similar to an Intensive Care Unit at a hospital. The equipment is operated by certified paramedics and registered flight nurses with a minimum of three years of critical care experience. In addition to certified personnel, we have a third-party accreditation from the National Accreditation Alliance of Medical Transport Applications.

    In the Air
    Our job in the air is to safely transport patients to where they need to go without incident. Many times, that includes rapidly assessing and intervening to improve patient outcomes, which ideally may reduce the overall hospital stay. It is also crucial that we maintain communication with both the sending and receiving hospitals and patient’s family.

    After the Flight
    Once the flight is over, we immediately notify the hospitals and family of the patient’s arrival. Upon arrival at the receiving facility the flight nurse gives a detailed patient report to the receiving charge nurse and the patient is turned over to their care.

    We’re Here for You
    With CSI Medical Flight Services, one call is all it takes for us to jump into action, ready to provide the highest level of safety and care for every person involved. Whether you’re a patient, family member or hospital staff, we are dedicated to delivering safe and quality medical transportation for every single flight.


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