The Kansas University men's basketball team took a slightly unusual way of getting to Ames for today's 3 p.m. game against Iowa State -- a chartered flight out of Lawrence Municipal Airport.
Team members, a few coaches and trainers planned to take a 19-passenger, twin-engine turbo-prop Air Midwest flight Friday night from the Lawrence airport, said Richard Konzem, assistant athletic director.
A decision was made to charter the flight to the game to make sure the team gets enough rest over the weekend for Monday's 8:35 p.m. home game against Nebraska, Konzem said. The drive is about 4 1/2 hours, compared to the 70-minute flight.
Coaches and team personnel who didn't fly on the plane traveled by van and car to Ames, Konzem said.
Larger planes and jets often use the Lawrence airport, said Lloyd Hetrick, the airport's fixed-based operator.
However, because of Federal Aviation Administration rules for chartered passenger flights, Air Midwest had to bring in a licensed meteorologist to sit in the tower and give weather information for the KU flight, Hetrick said. The local airport isn't yet certificated for such flights, Hetrick said.
Konzem said the team traveled directly to and from the Lawrence airport two to three times a year. For example, the team will travel to the Oklahoma University game this year out of Lawrence Municipal, he said.
For most games the team relies on commercial airline flights out of Kansas City International Airport or it charters larger planes that will seat all team personnel out of Forbes Field in Topeka, he said.