West Star Aviation Inc. Announces Facility in Lexington County

October 14, 2008

Investment expected to bring 105 new jobs to the area

COLUMBIA, SC – October 13, 2008 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce, Lexington County and the Central S.C. Alliance today announced that West Star Aviation Inc. will create a maintenance and refurbishment facility in Lexington County. The investment is expected to be approximately $9 million and create 105 new jobs.

“We are pleased to locate our operations in Lexington County. The facility in South Carolina fits into our strategic goals and allows us to extend our reach to customers on the East Coast. The highly-skilled workforce in the area will deliver the technical expertise on which our reputation is built and allow us to meet customer demands,” said Michael Durst, general manager of West Star Aviation.

The new facility will be located at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport and focus on providing maintenance and refurbishment services for corporate aircraft. Operations at the facility are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2009. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. on Friday, October 17, at the intersection of Air Commerce Drive and West Cargo Road, the future site of the facility.

“South Carolina’s aviation industry continues to grow and present new opportunities.  West Star Aviation is a leader in providing maintenance and refurbishment services for corporate aircraft to customers across the nation. Their decision to locate in South Carolina demonstrates the strength of the state’s business-friendly climate and the skill of our workforce. Thanks to the team effort of state a local officials, Lexington County will benefit from this investment now and in the future,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

“The Columbia Metropolitan Airport has been a tremendous asset for Lexington County and we are thrilled that it was instrumental in attracting West Star Aviation. We applaud the company’s decision to locate its most recent expansion to Lexington County and we look forward to working with the company in facilitating its growth and expansion in the Southeast,” said Billy Derrick, Chairman of Lexington County Council.

“West Star Aviation is a global leader in the maintenance and refurbishment of corporate aircraft and we are very pleased with their decision to locate this new facility in Lexington County. Our Alliance team was pleased to have recently been with the West Star senior management team during the National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting. They are focused on superior customer service and we are confident that our skilled workforce in Lexington County and the Central S.C. region will exceed their expectations. Our region is committed to working with aviation related companies that create economic growth and provide great employment opportunities for our residents,” said Jim Apple Central S.C. Alliance chairman. 

“We are very happy that West Star Aviation is bringing its service to Columbia Metropolitan Airport. They have a great reputation nationally and will be a great addition to the Riverbanks Region,” said Mike Flack, executive director of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

With locations in East Alton, Ill., Grand Junction, Colo., and Dallas, West Star Aviation Inc. specializes in airframe maintenance, engine repair and maintenance, interior, paint and avionics upgrades for a wide variety of today’s corporate and general aviation aircraft including Lear, Conquest, Citation, Hawker, Gulfstream, Challenger, Beechjets, King Airs and Falcon aircraft.

For more information, please visit www.weststaraviation.com.