NBAA Convention News

West Star Plans Chattanooga Expansion

 - November 1, 2016, 9:30 AM
With an award-winning environmental record in Colorado, West Star Aviation is expanding its Chattanooga, Tenn. facility. A new maintenance hangar and a 41,500-sq-ft paint shop are part of the $20 million expansion.

MRO provider West Star Aviation is highlighting details of the upcoming expansion of its Chattanooga, Tenn. location here at NBAA’s annual convention.  The $20 million project slated for completion by the end of 2017, includes a new, more than 65,000-sq-ft maintenance hangar including 25,300 sq ft of office space, as well as a modern 41,500-sq-ft paint facility consisting of a crossdraft prep bay, downdraft paint bay. It can accommodate any business aircraft up to a Gulfstream 650.

“This expansion is going to give us the chance to offer one-stop maintenance, paint, avionics and interior refurbishment conveniently to our eastern territory clients,” noted Tom Hilboldt, the location’s general manager.

Similar to the company’s recently completed facility at Grand Junction, Colo., the Chattanooga location upgrade will feature environmentally friendly technology and engineering. For the third consecutive year, West Star was recently recognized as a gold leader from Colorado’s Governor’s Environmental Leadership Program, which offers reward benefits and incentives to members that go above and beyond compliance with state and federal regulations and are committed to continual environmental improvements. Since 2010 West Star has racked up several notable eco-friendly achievements including recycling 4,000 pounds of old electronic equipment, 31,550 pounds of lead acid and NiCad aircraft batteries, 31,831 gallons of lacquer thinner, 39,185 pounds of aircraft and automobile tires, 18,950 gallons of used oil, 13,262 gallons of cold solvent, 355 gallons of antifreeze, numerous light bulbs and lamps as well as recovering 37.8 poounds of silver from its X-ray process. West Star also reduced its electricity usage by enough to power 37 homes for a year, eliminated methylene chloride from its aircraft stripping operations, and reduced VOC contaminants by 1,862 pounds. “We take pride on our ongoing efforts to reduce our environmental footprint at West Star Aviation,” said Dave Krogman, general manager of the Grand Junction. “Continual emphasis on growing a green company helps us to keep our employees safe, as well as our environment.”

The Illinois-based company also announced that it has entered into an agreement with Embraer to provide 96-month landing gear overhauls for the Phenom 100 and 300 light jets, dedicating its Grand Junction and Chattanooga locations to the task. At Grand Junction, that calls for an expansion of its current landing gear shop to include chemical processing, plating capabilities, machining and additional painting operations. Chattanooga will handle the work from its existing facility.

“Expanding our facilities to support Embraer 96-month landing gear overhauls on Phenom 100/300 takes us one step closer to being able to complement all customer expectations,” said West Star president and COO Rodger Renaud. “We pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop and look forward to expanding our aircraft services.”

In addition to the Embraer agreement, West Star conducts gear overhauls on Hawkers, Challengers, Learjets and King Airs at the two locations.

At its booth (2207), the company will discuss the new STC it has received for a baggage compartment modification on the Dassault Falcon 2000 series. The STC, suitable for more than 500 Falcon 2000 twinjets, will allow West Star to create usable baggage space in the aircraft’s unpressurized aft area. According to the company, the forward servicing compartment panel enclosure will feature a 21.75-sq-ft footprint and 73.5 cu ft of usable baggage storage space. Installation weight of the modification is 115 pounds and it can accommodate up to 275 pounds of baggage, while still allowing access to all common service and maintenance items with no additional fire detection required.

“This installation provides FAA-approved stowage provisions as it converts existing space into usable and much needed baggage and storage space,” noted Renaud. “It will provide structural restraint for security, while still retaining existing aircraft equipment stowage provisions including tow bar, ladder, engine inlet cover tool and the fly away kit.”

West Star Aviation has named Steve Goede as director of its landing gear and accessory programs. He started with the company nine years ago as manager of accessory parts sales, and his responsibilities included providing support of landing gear accessory shops at all of West Star’s full-service locations as well as adding new capabilities to fuel the continued growth of the accessory and parts department. “As director, Steve will continue to maintain strong relationships with OEMs as well as leading the landing gear and accessory team,” said company president and COO Rodger Renaud. “He will oversee any expansion in these departments including our recent agreement with Embraer to overhaul Phenom 100 and 300 [landing gear].”