Martinsburg facility provides convenient alternative to D.C.

 - July 30, 2008, 6:35 AM

Rob Garrett is not out to take on the large FBOs that populate many of
the nation’s airports. Rather, the former housewares entrepreneur wants to entice corporate and Part 135 operators to base their airplanes at his Arcadia Aviation FBOs, now located at Martinsburg Eastern West Virginia/Shepherd Field (MRB) and Sullivan County International (MSV) Airport in Monticello, N.Y.

The Manhattan-headquartered company is currently focusing its attention on these two facilities and has recently added a new hangar at Martinsburg.

Hank Willard, v-p of business development for Arcadia Aviation, conceded that MRB suffers from “low identity. People are vaguely aware of Martinsburg,” he explained, pointing out that those who know about it appreciate the fact that it is only 37 nm from Washington Dulles International Airport and lies outside the ADIZ. “But they don’t understand what this airport is.”

What Martinsburg is is home to the West Virginia Air National Guard’s squadron of C-5As and a three-hangar complex to support the mammoth cargo haulers. The airport is guarded around the clock by the military, so security would never be a problem for a corporate operator. To handle the C-5s, the ILS Runway 8-26 was recently lengthened from 7,000 to 8,800 feet.

Arcadia Aviation’s 23,000-sq-ft hangar facility, which was completed last Sept-ember, sits on the same side of the airport. It includes offices and maintenance shop facilities. The doors are 28 feet high (to house aircraft as large as the Global Express and G550). The company has space available to build to suit, including facilities capable of accommodating a Boeing 757.

Arcadia began with the purchase of Aero-Smith, a full-service FBO located at MRB. Former owner George Smith remains with Arcadia Aviation as senior vice president and director of flight operations. Arcadia president Garrett said he got the idea for Arcadia while he was learning to fly in the early 1990s at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y. He describes his company as complementary to the large FBO chains. “We are not targeting transient aircraft,” he explained.

Arcadia Aviation is a full-service aircraft management company. It recently expanded its maintenance capabilities by adding the IAI Westwind 1124 and 1124A to its Part 145 repair station license.

Mike Harvey, a former IAI field service representative who currently sits on the manufacturer’s advisory panel, has joined Arcadia’s maintenance team as director of Westwind technical services at MRB.

Harvey, a 28-year veteran systems specialist for the IAI business jet line, has also been contracted by Worthington Aviation to provide technical assistance and consulting services for Westwinds. His career has included technical positions with AstraJet, Galaxy Aerospace and Gulfstream Aerospace.

More recently, Ken Sowa, who has 30 years as a corporate aviation executive, joined Arcadia as v-p of managed aircraft. He began his career with Learjet and has since held senior management positions with Flight Services Group, Piedmont Hawthorne and Bombardier.

Arcadia said Sowa’s many years of private aviation experience will be instrumental in enlarging the company’s  managed fleet, as evidenced by his success as regional director of business development for TAG Aviation. Recently he served as v-p of managed aircraft for Key Air, an aircraft management company based at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Oxford, Conn.

New York Facility
Earlier this year, Arcadia Aviation acquired the assets of Woodstock Aircraft Services, the only FBO at Sullivan County International Airport, located 61 miles north- west of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. The company will continue to provide ground-support services for aircraft owners while improving the airport’s capacity to cater to corporate and private aircraft.

The company is developing a $25 million, 200,000-sq-ft corporate hangar and office complex that ultimately will include eight 20,000-sq-ft hangars, each with 3,600 sq ft of attached offices. MSV has a 6,300-foot runway with an ILS approach.
Garrett said that acquisition fits well with the company’s objective of offering a more affordable hangar and fuel alternative to the congested metropolitan-area airports in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The company also has plans to continue expanding in the northeast and mid-Atlantic areas and is in active discussions with other airports.