Boles named K-State Salina executive director for flight operations

SALINA — David Boles has been named the executive director for flight operations at Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus.

As the executive director, Boles will oversee all flight-related activities and strategic planning for the department. He will serve as the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, chief flight instructor and will be responsible for the safety and quality of all K-State flight training.

David Boles, an aviation professional with more than 40 years of experience, has been named the executive director for flight operations at K-State Salina.

Boles has more than 40 years of aviation experience, including 30 years of experience in the education of airline pilots under several federal and international authorities: the FAA, the Civil Aviation Authority-UK, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the General Civil Aviation Authority-UAE and the Department of Civil Aviation-Thailand.

Before coming to K-State, Boles was the department head of an aviation program in the Colorado community college district. He also worked for 20 years with Lufthansa as an instructor and manager of the Ab-Initio pilot training program and served as the director of training in the Middle East, educating future Afghanistan military pilots.

As the aviation industry has continued to change rapidly and significantly in recent years, Boles sees an opportunity for K-State Salina to be at the forefront of the industry.

“Requirements for airline pilots have changed overnight, and K-State Salina has recognized this opportunity early,” said Boles. “We are on an exciting path to become a key player in this quickly changing world of pilot education. My goal is to help mentor, educate and spotlight the students, flight instructors, dispatchers, line workers and mechanics during this transition. In my over 40 years in aviation, this is the most excited I have been.”

K-State Salina educates students in aviation-related associate and bachelor’s degrees, including the world-class professional pilot degree that has helped create pilots for more than 50 years and the aviation maintenance management degree that trains aircraft mechanics. Both programs are FAA-certified, meaning students are receiving elite training while completing their ratings quickly and moving on to their careers.

“David’s wealth of aviation experience and knowledge makes him the ideal fit to help lead our campus to becoming a world-aerospace leader,” said Alysia Starke, K-State Salina CEO and dean. “We serve many sectors within the aerospace industry and are working closely to identify the most significant needs. With our new strategic plan as our guiding light, we are prepared to help fulfill those industry needs and challenges.”

Boles earned a Bachelor of Science degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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