Clay Lacy, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, city councilwoman Nury Martinez, San Fernando Valley officials, local students and company employees gathered at Van Nuys airport on February 12 to celebrate the groundbreaking on construction of a $10 million, six-acre expansion of Clay Lacy Aviation’s headquarters facility.
The new Clay Lacy South Campus will add a modern FBO terminal to the company’s flagship location, two new hangars, office space and training facilities. Also on display at the groundbreaking was the first business jet to land at the storied Southern California airport, a Lear 23–N1965L (S/N 12)–which arrived for the first time in 1964. The Lear Jet will be displayed inside the new facility, which adds 62,900 sq ft of hangar space that can fit large-cabin jets and 20,526 sq ft of office, training and meeting space with a kitchen and conference rooms. Aircraft parking will also expand with the South Campus, adding 137,900 sq ft of ramp space. All of the new facility’s public spaces will be protected from view of the surrounding street and ramp areas, according to the company.
Construction of the South Campus is due for completion by year-end. Clay Lacy Aviation secured a 30-year lease on the South Campus property, which is expected to generate more than $31 million in lease payments and $2.5 million in property tax revenues over the 30-year period.
“Van Nuys Airport has been good to me,” said Lacy, recalling his long history at the airport, where he learned to fly in 1952. “This is our first new building since 1986, which we need immediately.”
“Clay Lacy is an American icon,” said Garcetti, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley where Van Nuys Airport is located. “I’ve always been excited about this airport. This is a first-class general aviation airport, and we can create lots of jobs here.” The company projects that 25 new mechanic, line service and ground support jobs will result from construction of the new facility.
At the groundbreaking, Clay Lacy Aviation also announced a new scholarship program for students from the local Van Nuys A&P mechanic school, North Valley Occupational Center-Aviation, which sent more than 100 students to the groundbreaking ceremony. Clay Lacy Aviation has a long history of hiring graduates from the school, and Garcetti and Martinez played a large role in helping preserve the school - which is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District - from threatened budget cuts in 2013. “Clay always steps up to make charitable contributions,” said councilwoman Martinez. “We’re so proud that this expansion is coming to fruition after so many years of bureaucracy.”
Lacy founded his company in 1968, and from a single Lear Jet, built Clay Lacy Aviation into a charter/management, maintenance, avionics and FBO service provider with a fleet of 75 aircraft.