By Patty Kovacevich
Ten years is a long time. Ten years of success is outstanding. Ten years of serving on aviation industry boards while also operating a full-service aviation business is how Jet Source puts its management team firmly in the pilot’s seat of accomplishment.
Located at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, Calif., Jet Source began with only two airplanes for charter. The business quickly grossed about $1 million, expanding into a full-service aviation company in little time. The decision to go full service with fractional ownership, aircraft maintenance, avionics and fixed base operation was born of necessity. Today, Jet Source remains the only full-service aviation company at McClellan-Palomar. Its avionics department is capable of servicing any type of aircraft and has repeatedly received top awards from the very people who utilize its services: business aviation professionals.
Jet Source’s platinum rating from Aviation Research Group/U.S. proves the company exceeds all criteria for quality and safety with its charter operation. The company topped two industry magazine surveys in 2006: Aviation International News listed Jet Source in its annual America’s Top 40 FBOs and Professional Pilot ranked the company’s avionics center eighth in the nation.
“We operate to a much higher standard,” boasts Frank Milian, Jet Source president and COO. “Safety is our first priority. Our philosophy of offering nothing less than exceptional customer service, along with the culture within our organization that honors every employee, keeps us committed to being the best. We’ll always meet regulation, but our aim is pointed far higher than that.”
All Jet Source pilots are fulltime employees of the company, and their hours are carefully monitored to prevent fatigue. The pilots are all FAA simulator-trained for both safety and operational standards. Milian says this keeps his company a notch above the competition.
“We offer nothing less than the very highest criteria for superior jet travel,” he says. “The $20,000 to $30,000 cost per year for pilot simulator training, considered extravagant by most corporations, is well worth the investment. Luxury means nothing if the quality of safety is at risk.”
He says this gives clients peace of mind.
“People looking for a bargain price—the cheapest way to go from place to place—probably won’t look at Jet Source,” he said. “That’s just not us. We operate on a much higher level of safety, training and white-glove service.”
Milian has been in the industry for more than 35 years, as a licensed pilot, mechanic, pilot examiner and operations manager. Since 1984, he’s been in high-level management with several of the industry’s largest charter and aircraft management companies. He came to Jet Source in 2000 at the request of owner Richard McWilliam, who knew Milian would offer fine-tuned leadership and keen business acumen to every detail of the operation.
Jet Source was first on the forefront of renewable energy technologies, proudly flipping the switch in 2005 on its 174 kW (DC) and 142 kW (DC) solar power systems, making Jet Source the first FBO in the country to go 100 percent solar. The pioneering move flooded Jet Source with media attention and community recognition for its bold move and energy-saving efforts.
Jet Source personnel maintain strong support for local charities in the San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe areas. Milian and his wife relocated there from New Jersey and immediately became active in community affairs, offering support to worthy causes. The entire staff at Jet Source supports McClellan-Palomar and San Diego airport committees working to accommodate the tremendous general aviation growth occurring in the area.
Jet Source has new special mission aircraft for San Diego law enforcement, fire, medical and electronic newsgathering. The company’s fourth American Eurocopter AS350B-3 helicopter for the San Diego Police Department is near completion. These James Bond-type helicopters are outfitted with the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art law enforcement equipment in the country. The package is entirely night vision capable and includes a thermal imaging system, Avalex Moving Map and a custom designed radio command suite. To meet police department specifications, Jet Source designed and fabricated complex panels, consoles and racks, in addition to all the necessary engineering, installation and interfacing. Other cities with law enforcement aircraft are calling on Jet Source to reconfigure their ships as well.
Success means growth and Jet Source intends to roll out a new very light jet program this year, unlike any other operational VLJ program in the country. The program has a select waiting list of customers who have expressed eagerness to participate.
Jet Source is also expanding with a second location at Henderson Executive Airport (HEA), located 11 miles south of Las Vegas’ central business district. It’s taken two and a half years to get the lease, but approval was finally met in December 2006. The city of Henderson has approved the plans, which include the construction of two 35,000-square-foot hangars with more than 15,000 square feet of office space. Groundbreaking is expected in May 2007, with completion anticipated for March 2008. Maintenance and avionics will be the initial focus of the new location, but private aircraft management and charter will be quickly rolled out, offering full capabilities for flight operations as well.
“Henderson will be the reliever airport for McCarran International, the nation’s fifth busiest airport, with more than 53 million passengers per year,” Milian said. “McCarran suffers frequent delays, due to the explosive growth of the area. Henderson is conveniently located only 15 minutes from the strip. We’ll be providing easy transportation to the strip or anywhere in Las Vegas, making Henderson a smart option.”
Jet Source will be the only facility at Henderson offering the full capabilities of flight operations.
“There’ll be nothing like us,” declares Milian. “The facility will accommodate a significant number of aircraft that we’ll service and maintain for our customers, providing ease and considerable savings.”
April 2007 marks Jet Source’s 10th birthday. On September 20, Jet Source will host Airport Journals’ Porsche Business Aircraft & Jet Preview at McClellan-Palomar. Pride, growth and cutting-edge programs will mark the way for the next decade of service and celebration for Jet Source.
For more information, call 888-438-0877 or visit [http://www.jetsource.com].