When Gordon D.
Kauffman, chief pilot for Buffalo Aero* nautical Corp., filed a flight
plan to New York City Tuesday, he set • milestone for the Buffalo
Flight Service Station of the Federal Aviation Administration'! Dept.
of Transportation at Greater Buffalo International Airport.
He was the 400,000th
pilot to receive service at the station In the previous 13 months.
By reaching and
surpassing the 400,000 total flight services within the 12 months, the
Buffalo Station automatically reached the elite Level III status of the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As of the end of 1968, only 18 of
the 332 flight service station in the United States had reached Level
James C Locurto, chief
of the Buffalo Station, said flight services at the station have
increased approximately 600 per cent since 1958 and increased 280 per
cent since July 1964. The local station, which is open 24 hours a day,
was commissioned July l, 1930 and has never been closed since.
Flight services are
increasing in traffic with the general increase in aviation, said
Locurto. General aviation, military pilots and some scheduled airlines
also utilize the service.
"We handle about 99
per cent of general aviation air traffic coming out of Toronto into the
U.S. through Buffalo," said Locurto. "In addition, we have direct-line
flight information service to Niagara Falls International Airport, and
the Rochester and Dunkirk-Fredonia areas."
Locurto said that by
reaching the Level III facility rating, he and most of the 23 staff
employees at the station become eligible for wage increases. Level III
is the highest rating such facilities can get.
Robert I. Kemna of 222
Strasmer Rd., Depew, is the staff member with the longest government
employee longevity. The air traffic specialist has had 35 years in
Locurto said he
expects the station will reach 500,000 flight services
services in a 12-month period by 1970. The station currently handles
approximately 1,400 services daily, with the peak activity reached in
July and August and the lowest activity in January and February.
"We hope to add
direct-line flight service to Genesee County Airport in Batavia and the
Bickford-Le Roy Airport in Le Roy," said Locurto. "We also hope to be
able to increase our staff to 32, now that we have reached Level III."
Pilot Kauffman of 90
Hartford Rd., Amherst, utilizes the station's services quite
frequently. Buffalo Aeronautical supplies the crew for Marine Midland
Trust Co.'s Aero Commander turbo prop aircraft which shuttles bank
material between Buffalo and New York City twice every night.
Kauffman has been
flying as a general aviation pilot for the past 25 years. He was a
fighter pilot during World War II.