Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport/Shepherd Field (MRB), the state's oldest airport and largest general aviation gateway, has acquired the Aero-Smith FBO, the field's lone service provider. The purchase makes MRB one of the last airports in the state to bring FBO services inhouse. Concurrently, the airport has purchased a 23,000-sq-ft hangar on its south side, giving it the capacity to shelter large business jets. Overall, the two transactions bring 83,000 sq ft of hangar space under airport control.
Airport manager Neil Doran told AIN that the move gives MRB—which normally sees about 30,000 operations a year—more control over the fuel revenue stream.
In 2014, Aero-Smith relocated the FBO from the airport’s main terminal to a 4,320-sq-ft building on the southwest side of the field. It will be moved back into the original 12,500-sq-ft, two-story brick building on the southeast side, which also houses airport offices, a small aviation museum, and a restaurant on the second floor. That structure will undergo a renovation, while the former FBO terminal and a nearby hangar will be used to house an aeromedical/ambulance operator. Amenities will include a pilot lounge, snooze room, TV room, shower facilities, flight planning area, 35-seat A/V-equipped conference room, refreshment bar, and crew car. The airport will retain most of the FBO's staff.
As part of the $4 million overall expenditure, which also includes the installation of a self-serve 100LL pump and new ground service equipment, the airport acquired Aero-Smith’s Part 135 charter certificate and flight school along with a King Air B200 and a pair of Cessna 172s, all of which will be operated under the new name of MRB Aviation.
Located 90 minutes from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., MRB has an 8,815-foot runway and is home to a squadron of eight C-17 Globemasters belonging to the state’s national guard.