As it marks 75 years in business, Yingling Aviation is growing by another 50,000 sq ft following the acquisition of three hangars and office space near its existing 200,000 sq ft of facilities on the east side of Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT). Yingling president Andrew Nichols told AIN that half of the new space will accommodate a growing MRO business, while the other half will serve corporate operators that base their aircraft at Yingling’s FBO.
Nichols explained that at the beginning and “worst stages” of the Covid-19 pandemic, Yingling’s MRO operations stayed “fairly” busy. But that left him uncertain about how demand would be for his company’s maintenance, avionics, interiors, and paint business post-pandemic. As it is, “we just simply don’t have the space right now to take on the customers that are calling us, looking for us to provide them with these services,” he said. “So, these facilities that we’ve acquired will allow us to support the demands that we are seeing on the MRO side.”
Additionally, ICT’s largest FBO is looking to hire additional airframe and powerplant and avionics technicians to support the MRO demand, Nichols noted. Even with 145 employees, he hopes to add about 25 more by year-end. “That is our biggest challenge right now—finding the talent and getting them here,” Nichols said.