- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Officials with the fixed-base operator at the Grand Island airport say it is planning a service and product expansion that could land business from the owners of thousands of planes.

Trego-Dugan Aviation at the Central Nebraska Regional Airport plans to boost the capability of its avionics division to sell and install a new tracking system that uses satellite data, The Grand Island Independent said (http://bit.ly/1lWIHJY ).

Trego-Dugan’s Aaron Hall told the Hall County Airport Authority board on Wednesday that the company is partnering with Garmin, Avidyne and FreeFlight to develop what will be called the Trego-Dugan Solution. The system would help the aircraft owners comply with the federal government’s mandate that planes upgrade by 2020 to what’s called an automatic dependent surveillance broadcast system.

The company has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for authorization to sell and install the units as soon as this summer.

Hall said about 220,000 planes in the U.S. will need the upgrade, and Trego-Dugan aims to capture a quarter of that market. Some owners will just buy the units from Trego-Dugan, but Hall estimated that 7,000 to 8,000 planes will be flown to Grand Island for the installations.

That new work could require his company to hire upward of 20 more people, said company owner Vince Dugan.

The Trego-Dugan Solution was recently shown at a Nashville air conference, and Trego-Dugan officials are preparing for a trip to Germany, where the system will be offered to an international market.

“This is bigger than anything we’ve done before,” Dugan said.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, http://www.theindependent.com