Electrical accessory and instrument MRO provider Freedom Aero Service (Booth No. C11949) has relocated into a unique, historical building in the McClellan Business Park, formerly part of McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif. “The building we are in was built in 1898,” said Scott Durham, president of the company. “It’s historically protected on the outside, but it is 23,900 square feet of totally rebuilt and modernized facility for repairing and overhauling electronic accessories and instruments on the inside.”
Geography of California
BBA Aviation, the parent company of Signature Flight Support, acquired Maguire Aviation’s two FBOs at Van Nuys Airport for $69 million. The addition extends Signature’s footprint to nearly 1.2 million sq ft of hangar space, ramp, passenger terminals and office space at the airport. The purchase also includes the dedicated 10,000-sq-ft NetJets facility that opened last year and was operated by Maguire.
Business aircraft operators and pilots weary of the high cost of flying into Los Angeles International (LAX), noise restrictions and curfews at Van Nuys and Burbank, or the un-welcome mat represented by Santa Monica’s higher landing fees can find respite in a hidden gem in the Los Angeles metroplex, Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport and its FBO, Jet Center Los Angeles. The airport is located about two miles east of LAX.
The FBO community at California’s Van Nuys Airport, one of the most heavily used business aviation fields in the U.S., is seeing some upheaval with the announcement this morning that Signature Flight Support parent company BBA Aviation will acquire Maguire Aviation’s two FBOs at Van Nuys for $69 million. Subject to antitrust approvals, the deal is expected to be completed by year-end.
Sonoma Jet Center at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Calif., has joined Signature Flight Support’s affiliate FBO program, Signature Select. As such, Sonoma Jet Center will offer the benefits of the Signature Flight Support network, including Signature Status and Signature TailWins customer rewards programs. Sonoma Jet Center boasts an “elegant” passenger terminal and a newly constructed 22,000-sq-ft hangar built to house G650-size aircraft, as well as a smaller 12,000-sq-ft hangar.
Bob Trimborn, director of Santa Monica Airport in Southern California, retired on July 1 and has joined airport operations company American Airports, which is headquartered in Santa Monica, as director of business development. “Bob’s lasting legacy will be his impassioned advocacy, which made a real difference in the lives of airport neighbors and users,” said representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). “He worked tirelessly with elected officials, the commissioners and the surrounding community to promote transparency and seek solutions to the challenges facing the airport.”
Both Los Angeles County and the L.A. City fire departments took the unusual step of flying night helicopter water drops over the weekend on the fast-spreading “Powerhouse” fire, which so far has consumed more than 32,000 acres. As of this morning, the fire, just north of Los Angeles, was classified as 60-percent contained. L.A. County dropped water on the fire from its two specially modified Sikorsky S-70 Firehawks, while L.A. City flew a Bell 412.
Construction on the first section (north end) of the main runway at Van Nuys Airport is expected to be completed this month. The $20 million renovation project, which began in February, aims to rehabilitate and modernize the 8,000-foot Runway 16R/34L to meet current FAA design standards.
Charter/management firm Solairus Aviation is headquartered in the heart of downtown Petaluma, Calif., and not at an airport because employees prefer local amenities such as restaurants and shops to the relative remoteness of most airport general aviation facilities. Pilots who are visiting headquarters for training especially enjoy what downtown Petaluma has to offer, according to Solairus founder Dan Drohan.
The Aircraft Mechanics Program at Southern California’s Van Nuys Airport, a vital part of the local aviation community for more than 30 years, was almost forced to close its doors this year when its rent rose to $12,000 per month. Established by the Los Angeles Unified School District, and run by the district’s North Valley Occupational Center, the school trains nearly 200 students a year in airframe and powerplant maintenance.