Entities unite under West Star banner

 - September 26, 2007, 8:04 AM

What’s in a name?

If it’s West Star Aviation, it includes the former Premier Air Center at St. Louis Regional Airport (ALN) in East Alton, Ill., and West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., along with its surplus avionics division in Hiawatha, Iowa. Those entities have been operating as Premier/West Star since December 2004 when Premier Air Center acquired West Star Aviation.

Effective this week, they and all their affiliated locations carry the name West Star Aviation, it was announced at a Monday press conference in the Georgia World Congress Center. In accordance with its strategic growth plan, Premier/West Star acquired the Jet Aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Dallas Love Field last November. Listed in the NBAA 2007 directory as Premier/West Star, the newly renamed company is showcasing its programs and services this week at Booth No. 7039.

Earlier this year, Premier/West Star, in conjunction with Yankee Pacific, completed an STC program for Falcon 50 re-engining with Honeywell TFE731-4 turbofans. Results, said a West Star Aviation spokesman, “far exceeded our preliminary performance estimates.”

Before joining forces, Premier Air Center and West Star Aviation had rich heritages. Premier Air Center, founded in 1947, was originally Walston Aviation. The company was renamed after a 1986 ownership change. West Star Aviation dates to 1952, as Monarch Aviation at Walker Field in Grand Junction. In 1987, the Buescher family acquired it and changed the name.

The former Premier Air Center is a factory-authorized Cessna Service Center for all Citation 500 and 650 series, and is FAA-certified on all Dassault Falcon aircraft. It also specializes in interior, avionics, paint and engine/airframe maintenance. The facility is factory authorized on Honeywell TFE731 and Pratt & Whitney Canada JT-15 engines. This January it completed an STC for the TFE731-4 performance upgrade on the Falcon 50, and in August was awarded the STC for a complete Collins Pro Line 21 installation in a Falcon 50. The Grand Junction site, with similar capabilities, is an authorized service center for Hawker, Cessna Citation 500/650 and Mustang jets, and will be the same for the Embraer Phenom VLJ.

The former Jet Aviation’s Dallas site concentrates on Citations, Hawkers, Beechjets, King Airs and Learjets. It will likewise be authorized to service the Phenom along with Citation 500 series and Mustang Cessnas.

Goldsmith said that the first six delivery positions for the CJ series and Falcon 50 autothrottle programs respectively are being made available here at NBAA 2007 at special introductory prices of $149,000 for the CJ and  $245,000 for the Falcon 50. To secure these positions will require a letter of intent and deposit of $25,000 for the Falcon 50 and $15,000 for the CJ. They may be exercised in the first 90 days following award of the STCs for each program. Interested parties may make arrangements at the Premier/West Star or Safe Flight (Booth No. 2239) exhibits during the show.