Midcoast to absorb Savannah Air Center

 - August 3, 2010, 6:45 AM

Midcoast Aviation is absorbing the operations of sister company Savannah Air Center to “consolidate our talents into a single center of excellence,” according to Midcoast president Donald Petersen.

The move will be a gradual process while the Savannah, Ga.-based center winds down its current workload and delivers aircraft already in its pipeline. “Other than tools and equipment, there will be little migration,” said Ann Hein, Midcoast Aviation director of marketing and communications. The Savannah operation encompasses 175,000 sq ft of hangar and production space, much of it constructed recently, including an exterior paint shop capable of accommodating aircraft the size of a Gulfstream G550.

The 360 employees at Savannah have the option of applying for other positions within the aviation services stable of parent company General Dynamics, which includes Jet Aviation and Gulfstream Aerospace, or making the move to
the Midcoast operation in East
Cahokia, Ill.
“We regret the impact this decision will have on the employees who will be affected, and are committed to providing assistance to them throughout the process,” said Petersen. Part of that assistance includes a job fair for those not willing to move to Midcoast or to another GD-owned facility.

Midcoast has 655,379 sq ft of hangar and production space, including two recently finished completion and refurbishment hangars sized for single-aisle bizliners at St. Louis Downtown Airport. The facility employs nearly 1,000.

Savannah Air Center, located on Savannah International Airport, across the field from Gulfstream Aerospace, was launched in 1999 with the opening of an exterior paint facility and hangar for minor refurbishment.

Over the past decade, both facilities have become major cabin completion and refurbishment centers and offer aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services. More recently, said Petersen, the focus at Midcoast has been the upgrade and expansion of its facilities, resulting in “gains in cycle time and quality,” that allowed for consolidation of the two operations.

Both Midcoast and Savannah Air Center have had a long-term agreement with Bombardier Aerospace to provide individualized green cabin completion work on the Canadian OEM’s Global 5000, Global Express XRS and Challenger 605. Midcoast is also doing standard interior cabin completion of green Challenger 850s.
According to Midcoast, General Dynamics is evaluating possible uses for the Savannah Air facility.