70 Years on a Wing and a Prayer


Barbara Tomalino has a strict code of ethics for her family business, Paramount Air Service.

Realizing the beach front is a captive and diverse audience, she will not fly any offensive or negative advertising. She and I discussed this one summer after a another company, invaded the Cape May airspace. The other company, (not Barbara’s Paramount) was towing banners for a suntan lotion company, with revealing images. Calls poured into the Chamber of Commerce of which I was President at the time.

Barbara’s Paramount Air pilots would rather tip their wings–waving to people like Matt McDonough as they fly over the Cape May beaches.

An invitation to the 70th anniversary celebration of Paramount Air Service arrived this week. Cape May County boasts a lot of old identities. Oldest Seashore resort. Oldest Tavern in Cape May and apparently the oldest aerial advertising service too. The oldest aerial ad service in the United States that is.

Andre Tomalino and his brother-in-law Grover Kauffman were GI’s home from WWII ready to make their mark on the world. They were both from the Philadelphia area and had family homes at the Jersey Shore so that was the area they wanted to live and work in. Andre had been a glider pilot during the war and had an insatiable love of flying. They bought a surplus war plane for $650 and set up business.

That was 70 years ago in 1945, the same year World War II ended. They started in Cape May County, New Jersey flying along the beach fronts of Cape May, Wildwood, Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City and Ocean City. They have gone as far north as Sandy Hook.

In 1966 Andre Tomalino expanded the business into Atlantic County by buying Atlantic City Aerial Service, based at Bader field in Atlantic City. This added territory as well as five bi-planes to the five Piper cubs which Paramount owned. Today, Paramount Air Service has 12 Piper Cub airplanes, all reminiscent of 1940s-style planes.

Barbara Tomalino, bought the family business in 1985, when her parents were planning to retire. She operates Paramount on a daily, hands on basis, not only overseeing the company but filling in wherever needed. Barbara takes care of all of the sales and administrative duties, making sure that the flights are scheduled in accordance with the client’s wishes, schedules all of the employees time and work assignments, and makes banners and/or sets them up if an employee does not show up for work.

Paramount will celebrate their anniversary on August 4th at their airfield off Route 47.




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  1. Ben Miller
    July 26, 2015 / 11:28 am

    Great blog and it’s true! I wanted to fly a banner that was wildly offensive and filled with profanity. They refused and suggested I try Seaside Heights. (I kid, I kid…. I love their business. It’s hewn into my childhood and adult memories. The sounds of those planes always grabs my attention)

  2. scott benoit
    July 26, 2015 / 12:50 pm

    We were in cape may last week. i read every single message from the plane as it flew by the beach!

  3. Larry Staudt
    July 26, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    Wish I could be there on Aug. 4. I’ll be looking to the sky over Hurricane Bay and imagining you flying over with a banner reading “WE’RE ALMOST AS OLD AS LARRY STAUDT”

    Congratulations on the amazing 70th and I know you and Jim will celebrate BIG TIME!

  4. Charlie "Doc" Ford
    July 27, 2015 / 8:13 am

    Worked for Andre and Lois at Atlantic City Aerial Service @ Bader Field as a kid growing up; even worked for them in the winter for banners at the football games in Phila. Had to be the most fun and interesting job I ever had. Still miss it at times. Happy anniversary Barbara-best wishes as you continue on!!!