Business Aircraft Owners Benefit from Clay Lacy Aviation’s Continued East Coast Growth

November 2021

Founded in 1968, having flown for six U.S. Presidents and the British Prime Minister, Clay Lacy Aviation has earned its reputation. The northeast wasn’t Clay Lacy’s first location, but private aviation users have reasons to be grateful the experienced operator has made Connecticut a home.

For the past six years, Clay Lacy has centered its East Coast operations around its Waterbury-Oxford (KOXC) operations and maintenance facility, providing aircraft management, jet charter and maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities. Now, it’s making an investment that will triple the available hangar space, adding over 120,000 square feet, answering the market demand for New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut users.

“We already offered turnkey solutions for clients here – from the first charter to professional aircraft management to heavy maintenance inspections and cabin upgrades. We offer all of it right here and by far it’s the best value, too,” said Chris Hand, Clay Lacy Aviation’s Senior Vice President of the Northeast Region.

“Our expansion offers a way to further increase the value proposition for our clients, because of the location and availability of hangar space.”

That’s because – as private jet owners already know – space is such a premium in the immediate vicinity of New York City. Facilities in Teterboro and Westchester County may be closer to residents in Manhattan, but they are also practically full for hangar space and come with a much higher price.

With that in mind, Clay Lacy clients see great savings by housing their aircraft at Oxford – up to 30% of what can be found at New York City facilities, in addition to a lower cost of living for their crews. 

Building on a great foundation

Clay Lacy’s roots were built on the legendary service it has provided for more than 50 years, beginning with operations on the West Coast. Starting in 1968, Clay Lacy has become the world’s most experienced operator of private jets, managing, flying and maintaining aircraft from every major manufacturer.

The Clay Lacy name is synonymous with the highest level of safety, service and value. But it still had to introduce itself to a somewhat unfamiliar audience when it entered the northeast market in 2015.

Owners and operators soon realized the benefits Clay Lacy had to offer. It experienced an 80% growth in the fleet over the first 18 months as word of mouth spread rapidly across the region. Now a third of the entire Clay Lacy fleet is based on the East Coast at airports from New Hampshire to Florida.

Clients receive a high level of personalized service throughout their interactions with Clay Lacy, whether they are individuals or as corporate flight departments. That includes everyone from dispatchers and support staff to maintenance technicians and flight crew.

“They know they can get ahold of a senior executive, who is right there, to express a concern or request something specific that will be acted upon in an extremely timely manner,” Hand said. “They are our No. 1 priority.”

Lower operating costs, Higher dispatch reliability

East Coast clients find the advantages of Clay Lacy management, in addition to personalized service. Its managers work proactively with financial planning, flight operations, maintenance and service teams to ensure they enjoy the aircraft ownership experience.

A data-driven approach to management regularly compares clients’ operating parameters with fleet and industry markers to ensure the asset is well-maintained and operating efficiently. Clay Lacy offers many ways to lower operational costs and get the greatest return on clients’ investments, including:

Dedicated financial analyst providing insight and perspective
Segregated accounting in FDIC insured interest bearing accounts
Fuel consumption and optimization strategies
Higher charter returns with more profitable hours
Trend identification and proactive logistics management
Fleet management and purchasing recommendations
Sustainable operating solutions

In the case of charter for Part 135 aircraft, Clay Lacy’s vast industry connections and analysis means operators receive consistent revenue for their aircraft, offsetting operating costs.

Clay Lacy’s resources means greater fuel discounts for its network aircraft. Its Connecticut location benefits operators with sales-tax exemptions on maintenance parts and labor, in addition to a sales-tax free transaction on aircraft larger than 6,000 pounds certified take-off weight. 

Location collects talent

Aviation is similar to other businesses in western Connecticut. Experienced pilots and staff enjoy living in the area, while serving greater New York. The result is that Clay Lacy’s Oxford base has developed and retained an extremely talented group of industry professionals for its clients.

People like Hand, who in more than two decades in aviation has served Fortune 500 flight departments and some of the world’s most prominent individuals. An accomplished pilot with more than 12,000 hours in more than 90 aircraft models, he graduated from the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota.

Clay Lacy is also helping to bring the next generation to aviation, getting on board early to help develop skilled aviation mechanics and working directly with Connecticut Aero Tech to offer scholarships for technicians. Clay Lacy also exposes students to real-life situations, with alumni often finding permanent positions at Clay Lacy’s Part 145 maintenance repair station. 

Bigger MRO, better capabilities

Clay Lacy’s Oxford base has grown from three mechanics to 25 technicians in the past five years, as operational capabilities expand. Already a FAA-certified repair station, Clay Lacy Oxford offers robust maintenance, repair and overhaul services, without the congestion and higher prices of other New York-adjacent facilities.

The site performs a wealth of services including yearly scheduled inspections of Dassault Falcon, Bombardier Global and Gulfstream aircraft. It also provides onsite aircraft operation tests and day-to-day line maintenance, as well as other Clay Lacy locations such as White Plains or Teterboro. It handles upgrades, add-ons, modifications and inspections, as well as providing a 24/7/365 mobile response team for AOG support.

Preliminary site work on the expanded hangar and other facilities has already begun, with major groundbreaking scheduled for early 2022. With the larger space, Clay Lacy is upgrading the region’s aviation infrastructure, expecting to be one of the only facilities in the northeast built specifically to accommodate larger aircraft such as Global 7500 and Gulfstream G700.

“We’re addressing the current and future needs of clients with this expansion,” Hand said. “We want to serve what’s coming, not just what is currently available.”

The expanded facilities should also offer the area greater charter availability for customers, who already enjoy the best service in the industry. The growth of Clay Lacy-operated aircraft at the complex will be a more convenient option over many competitors and locations.

Additional office space and ramp parking will be available, all while keeping a focus on sustainability that the facility has enjoyed. Clay Lacy facilities have been operating carbon-neutral since 2019, and aircraft management and FBO clients can offset 100 percent of their CO2 emissions for just pennies per gallon of fuel purchased.

With all of the expanded services and offerings, Oxford is the home Clay Lacy clients have needed.