Jet Aviation Ponders Change at West Palm Beach
Last summer Jet Aviation moved its international headquarters from West Palm Beach, Fla., back to its original Basel, Switzerland base and relocated its marketing division to Teterboro Airport, N.J. Now the company appears to be increasingly uncomfortable with its position at the West Palm Beach property, where it still operates an FBO, as well as maintenance, avionics installation, interior completions, exterior paint and aircraft sales and charter services. Lately, said a spokesman, the company has found it increasingly difficult to hire new employees and retain those it has in the face of skyrocketing housing costs in this upscale and rapidly growing Florida community just north of Fort Lauderdale. “We can’t be competitive if the average worker can’t afford housing in the area,” said Heinz Aebi, senior v-p of marketing and communications at corporate headquarters in Switzerland. Jet Aviation employs approximately 150 at West Palm Beach and is currently hiring as part of an expansion of its aircraft maintenance capacity. While denying any intention of moving the remaining Jet Aviation assets from West Palm Beach, Aebi conceded that the company might consider relocating some of those assets to the new Jet Aviation complex at Teterboro. The facility at West Palm Beach was opened in 1984 and the international headquarters relocated there in 1991.