Columbia acquires Lakeland, Fla. (LAL) FBO

 - October 18, 2006, 12:54 PM

The Columbia group of aviation companies announced last month it has acquired Lakeland Air Service at Lakeland (Fla.) Linder Municipal Airport (LAL). The acquisition marks the sixth facility for the Columbia FBO network and the first outside the Northeast. Columbia is based in Groton, Conn. The new FBO will be known as Columbia Air Services-LAL and competes with Landmark (formerly Piedmont Hawthorne), the other FBO at LAL. The existing business consisted of a flight school and charter service in addition to the line-service business. Columbia will continue to operate all existing elements of the business and will begin construction immediately on a 3,000- to 5,000-sq-ft terminal building and a hangar with 20,000 to 30,000 sq ft. Jack Williams, a general aviation industry veteran and former general manager of the facility, will resume the general manager duties for Columbia.