Here at the Marion Municipal Airport we have a great variety of aircraft and pilots. We have local pilots that play in the clouds for some good ole weekend flying all the way to corporate pilots that travel the globe to implement strategic business. In the midst of this huge window of aviation, we have pilots few and far between that routinely stop at Marion for business but still make it a point to catch up with their friends and share their stories. In this special crowd of aviators, there is a unique pilot that has seen much in the field of aviation. Needless to say, Kent Mesman was eager to share some of his personal experiences with the airport.
Kent Mesman started flying in 1979. Soon after, he created an aviation career that would continue to grow for the following 26 years. Today, Kent is still flying for a career and is currently employed by POET Biorefining. This is Kent’s sixth year flying for POET. He is one of five pilots that man four different Jets. Based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Kent and his fellow pilots fly to and from all corners of the United States, including Marion Indiana.
When asked about the importance of air travel, Kent stressed how vital their fleet of jets were to the company. He compared their ways of travel to commercial flying and explained how POET has the upper hand. “Airplanes are essential, but how do you do that with airlines? Airlines could end up being a two to four day trip”, says Mesman. With twenty-seven ethanol plants nationwide, the company can’t afford to waste any time in regards to traveling. Kent does his best to have the workers, managers and executives at two places at once.
In addition to his discussion about the company, Kent spoke of all the changes he’s witnessed in aviation. “In 2008, the economy took a dive again and I saw aviation take a big hit. But for POET, it didn’t really affect us” says Kent. While aviation dropped in unison with the economy, the Biorefining company seemed to stay fairly steady. “We were even able to upgrade our fleet. We did have King Airs, but then we transitioned to a fleet of Jets” said Kent. Kent also spoke of his flying experiences before all the technology pilots have available today. He compared it to all of Marion’s modern technology and spoke of how several other airports can’t compete with this kind of equipment. In his discussion, Mesman stated, "Marion offers competitive fuel prices, an ILS approach and better facilities. There’s a reason why we come here, it’s a better airport”.
Marion strives to accommodate the needs of pilots like Kent Mesman. We love to have pilots like Kent come in routinely. Because of people like Kent and companies like POET, the Marion Municipal Airport is able to connect with some very interesting people and hear stories and experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.