Want to elevate a so-so event? Add a helicopter.
Located only 8 miles northwest of Anaheim, California, the site of HAI HELI‑EXPO 2020, Fullerton Municipal Airport (KFUL) is home to more than 300 aircraft operated by dozens of public, private, and commercial tenants—and , an HAI member operator with a unique mission.
Since opening in 2015 with a fleet of two Robinson R44 Raven IIs, Hangar 21 has introduced thousands to the thrill of rotary-wing aviation through Part 91 air tours and Part 135 charters. It also provides customers with a singular experience that integrates helicopter aviation with over-the-top events in its immaculate hangar facilities.
A small family-owned operation, Hangar 21 is headed by owner Rob Sims. His son, Michael, and niece, Samantha Jacobson, are also part of the team. “Our goal is to introduce aviation to as many people as we possibly can,” says Sims. “You would be amazed at the number of people who have never flown in any type of aircraft and are afraid of helicopters.”
Hangar 21 staff often take extra time to educate clients on helicopter fundamentals, safety features, and emergency procedures. “We love to demystify the art and science of helicopters, demonstrating how safe they are when flown and maintained by properly trained and disciplined professionals,” says Sims.
Hangar 21 also helps customers rediscover the Fullerton Municipal Airport, a local gem where some of Howard Hughes’s 1930 aviation movie classic, Hell’s Angels, was filmed. Many longtime Fullerton residents have no idea that their airport is still active until they receive an invitation to a Hangar 21 event.
“Hangar 21 has been a terrific partner to the airport,” says KFUL manager Brendan O’Reilly. “Everybody in the community now has a reason to come to the airport.”
Hangar 21 provides customers with rare opportunities: to take their first flight, to make a grand entrance at a wedding or other special event, or even discover a dream career. “After flying in one of our aircraft, we have referred several enthusiastic event guests to one of the local helicopter flight-training schools,” says Sims.
Hangar 21 provides 30-, 45-, and 60-minute round-trip air tours throughout Orange County and the L.A. Basin. It also offers charter flights that help clients escape the city’s sprawling traffic for a number of destinations throughout the region, including quick rides to KLAX or a fun weekend in Vegas.
A limited fixed-base operator, Hangar 21 does not offer fuel services. However, its newly renovated Hangar 21 South and pilot’s lounge provide a great place to relax and enjoy concierge service, secure transient aircraft parking, and await rental car or local shuttle service.
At KFUL, Hangar 21 enjoys the company of several other Fullerton-based helicopter operators, including the California Highway Patrol, Orange County Fire Authority, Anaheim Police Department, Mercy Air/Air Methods, South Coast Helicopters, and KNBC-TV News.
In late January 2020, KFUL will be a popular helicopter destination, as it will be the staging airport for dozens of helicopter owners and operators who plan to exhibit aircraft at the Anaheim Convention Center during HAI HELI‑EXPO 2020.
Airport manager O’Reilly is ready. “We hosted during HAI HELI‑EXPO 2014, and we are genuinely excited to welcome the helicopter community again. Our airport staff and other service providers are already at work to make sure that everyone staging out of Fullerton Airport for HAI HELI‑EXPO has a safe, friendly, and exciting experience.”
Visit bit.ly/KFULairport for more information about Fullerton Airport, Hangar 21, and other airport services.