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Thursday, May 16, 2013

West Star Aviation Expanding Three U.S. Facilities

West Star Aviation is investing $15 million in three of its U.S. facilities this year, as it looks to capitalize on increased demand for its business aviation products.

In a statement on Thursday, West Star said it has "outperformed the industry," which is still rebounding from the economic downturn. Plans call for adding about 160,000 square feet at West Star’s two largest locations (in Grand Junction, Colo., and East Alton, Ill.) and at its location in Columbia, S.C. All facilities will be new with the exception of the maintenance facility in Grand Junction. That facility will be housed in a hangar that previously belonged to Mesa Airlines.

“At West Star Aviation, we believe in doing the right thing, whatever the cost,” says CEO Robert Rasberry. “We’re essentially investing in our customers, growing strategically in those areas that allow us to do more for them in an extremely efficient manner.”

In Grand Junction, CO, a new 150-foot by 300-foot downdraft paint facility will be added, opening in summer 2014. A maintenance facility and shop will also be added by July 2013, bringing West Star Grand Junction’s total square feet under roof from 280,000 to more than 360,000 with service provided by about 400 employees.

In East Alton, ground will be broken in the third quarter of 2013 on a new maintenance facility totaling 47,000 square feet in addition to opening a 14,000-square-foot wood shop and a 6,000-square-foot accessory repairs shop third quarter 2013. This will bring the Alton facilities from 250,000 to 317,300 square feet with approximately 300 employees.

The facility in Columbia, SC, is poised for added capabilities with the addition of 10,000 square feet of maintenance facilities.

“We are excited about the future of aviation and are fully committed to providing these facility enhancements to streamline services for our customers,” says Rasberry. “2013 promises to be a very busy year for us.”

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