After years under the management of Soo Air and its owner Larry Putnam, Sanderson Field Municipal Airport (ANJ) of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan has a new fixed-base operator, Great Circle Aviation Services, LLC. (GCAS) — a company founded, owned and operated by the brothers Dave and Ted Waite of Brimley, Michigan. The two share a passion for aviation and
between them have served in all aspects of the field from pilot to mechanic to instructor. Decades of work with the Army, Navy, and Department of State Air Wing took them to countries all over the globe before retirement allowed them to return to the Sault in 2015. The specialty of their business is aircraft maintenance and repair, and the shared expertise they bring provide new opportunities to the airport and the community.
A fixed-base operator, or FBO, sees to the operation of an airfield, from managing fuel sales and hangar rentals to mowing grass, plowing snow, etc. In addition to these operations, Dave Waite says that GCAS is set to “enhance the aviation aspect of Sault Ste. Marie” by expanding the airport’s current offerings to include airplane repair, aircraft charters/rentals, and notably, opportunities for aviation education.
Waite’s passion for sharing his love of aviation began during his work in Columbia (one of the 42 countries he has visited on business), where he served as an advisor to the Colombian military teaching aircraft maintenance.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “And want to continue doing that here.”
Another goal of GCAS is to expand the maintenance profile of the airport and eventually obtain a Part 145 Certification from the FAA that would make Sanderson Field a recognized aircraft repair station.
“We are keeping the current maintenance staff and adding to it,” said Waite. “We’re going to bring in more tooling so we can provide a wider range of maintenance services.”
GCAS has also expanded the concierge services offered by the airport. Office manager and concierge Dolly Waite coordinates accommodations for incoming pilots and passengers, helping to arrange their stay in the Sault from hotels and transportation to stops at local attractions.
GCAS is a 100% veteran-owned company and was founded in 2015. Sanderson Field is the second of the company’s locations. The first is an aircraft repair base at the Chippewa County International Airport (CIU) located in Kincheloe, Michigan.
Sanderson Field Municipal Airport (ANJ) will continue to host annual events such as the summertime Young Eagles Day.
Next on the calendar is the Airport Movie Night & Open House, set to take place on Friday, September 27 at 6:00 p.m., and the Fall Aerial Color Tours which will take place on Saturday, September 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit SandersonField.com for more information about the airport, and follow them on Facebook @sandersonfield for updates on upcoming events.