OLNEY, TEXAS — Air Tractor, Inc. President Jim Hirsch announced today the addition of a new Air Tractor® dealership for Canada. Portage Aircraft Specialties, located in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, will serve agricultural aerial applicators across Canada as the authorized dealer for Air Tractor aircraft sales, repairs, maintenance and parts. “We are excited and pleased to have Portage Aircraft Specialties join the Air Tractor family of dealers,” said Hirsch. “I am confident they will provide the kind of exceptional service and support that Air Tractor owners have come to expect.”
Queen Bee Air Specialties President Chip Kemper, the Air Tractor dealer for the Northwest United States and Canada, and Portage Aircraft Specialties President Dave Frisch, brought the idea to Air Tractor for transitioning the Canadian retail distribution rights for Air Tractor ag aircraft to Portage Aircraft Specialties. After a long process of discovery by all parties the transition has moved forward.
The agreement fulfills the goals of all parties involved, remarked Chip Kemper. “Dave and I have had a long and productive relationship for many years. I think it's going to be terrific for Air Tractor and the Canadian aerial application industry. There will be a service center and large parts stock in Canada, operated by a dealer that is a Canadian. I believe it will be fantastic for Portage Aircraft Specialties and all the Air Tractor customers in Canada. I wish Dave and their staff every success.”
Dave Frisch is a long-time Air Tractor aircraft owner. He grew up on a mixed grain and livestock farm in the Manitou area and began his ag flying career in 1999. Frisch serves on the Canadian Aerial Applicators Association Board and is currently the Manitoba Aerial Applicators Association President. He owns and manages an aerial application business as well as Portage Aircraft Maintenance, which opened its doors in 2004 to answer the need for a maintenance facility specializing in the growing numbers of turbine Air Tractor aircraft entering Canada.
“We are proud and delighted to represent Air Tractor agricultural aircraft in Canada. Air Tractor produces a great airplane,” Frisch said. “I have flown them for many years. Our maintenance facility has kept Air Tractor customers flying for thousands of trouble-free hours.” Portage Aircraft Specialties has an 8,400 square foot, climate-controlled, state-of-the-art maintenance facility in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. “We provide a comprehensive range of maintenance and repair services. We are expanding our inventory of Air Tractor parts to provide overnight parts delivery to aerial application operators across Canada,” Frisch added.
Air Tractor President Jim Hirsch noted that Canadian aerial applicators are using Air Tractor turbine powered airplanes for fast, efficient applications of crop protection and nutrient products. “Canada has been and remains a key market for Air Tractor. Dave’s leadership in the Canadian Aerial Applicators Association and the strong, steady reputation he’s earned among his fellow aerial applicators makes me believe that Portage Aircraft Specialties will be an outstanding representative for Air Tractor products.”
About Air Tractor
At its Olney Texas manufacturing facilities, Air Tractor produces a line of aircraft that includes 400, 500, 600 and 800-gallon capacity airplanes powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engines. The airplanes are used for agricultural aerial application, fire fighting, narcotic crop eradication, fuel hauling, fighting locust plagues, and cleaning oil spills in coastal waters. From North, South and Central America, to Australia, Indonesia and China to Spain, Italy, Croatia and Africa, Air Tractor aircraft can be found working in more than 30 countries around the world and are supported by a global network of Air Tractor dealers. More information can be found at airtractor.com.