January 3, 2011

A business aviation services company in the St. Louis area broke ground in early December for a new, larger hangar, additional shop area and additional ramp area – a sign that even in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, companies still look to business aviation to give them a competitive advantage.

“Newly lean companies continue to discover that efficiency is their key measuring stick, and that’s what business aviation is all about,” said John Morgenthaler Jr., partner and president of Aero Charter, Inc., www.aerocharter.com based at Spirit of St Louis airport (KSUS). “We’re expanding to meet the need companies have for increased the efficiency and flexibility that can be acquired through business aviation.”

This is the second major expansion in 12 years for the NBAA Member company, which has outgrown the space available in its current location. Aero Charter’s new construction is expected to be complete by summer 2011. The existing office, hangar and shop space will be retained.

Business aviation serves more than 5,000 airports nationwide, ten times the number of airports served by commercial airlines, allowing companies with their own aircraft or using charter flights to locate plants or facilities in small towns or rural communities.

“It’s also a productivity issue for businesses,” said Morgenthaler. “Instead of scheduling a single out-of-town meeting which may take multiple days, our business travelers can make it to several different cities in the same day and return the same day.”

Aero Charter is one of thousands of aviation service companies nationwide that offer services for business flight customers. Those businesses employ workers who provide fuel and maintenance to business aircraft, as well as aircraft management, avionics support, aviation-related parts manufacturing and sales, and other services. Aero Charter flies St Louis-area businesspeople worldwide, although most of the firm’s charter destinations are in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America.