By Jack Elliott
Landmark Aviation, a growing business aviation services company that operates 34 FBOs in North America, including three in Canada, recently acquired Skyport Aviation. The fixed base operation is located at Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y. Landmark acquired the facility from Jet Equity, a private equity group, who has owned Skyport since 2004.
Landmark Aviation previously operated as Garrett/PiedmontHawthorne/Associated. The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C., equity company that owned those three companies and merged them in 2004, decided to put them under the new single banner last October. By combining the services and facilities of Garrett Aviation Services, Piedmont Hawthorne and Associated Air Center, Landmark is able to offer virtually every service a jet operator might need.
“This fits in with our long-term business strategy,” said Shawn Vick, Landmark executive vice president.
The consolidation makes it possible to offer a complete range of business aviation services, including FBO services, sales, charter, management, major maintenance, avionics, completions and engine overhauls, from long-established and well-known companies.
Skyport, founded by Michael Oppicci, who died last year, was the oldest FBO at HPN. The airport is home to five FBOs. Two cater primarily to piston aircraft, while Skyport, Avitat and Signature mainly service business jets.
The Landmark purchase includes two hangars and office space totaling 80,000 square feet. A three-bay hangar was the first hangar built at the airport, in 1952.
The Westchester facility provides lounges for passengers and pilots, and storage for 22 private and corporate jet aircraft, under long-term leases. It also offers fueling, line service, de-icing, catering, concierge and pilot service, and routine light maintenance.
The facility is home to one of Landmark’s 14 mobile service teams. These teams are available to fly to other airports to perform onsite repairs.
Landmark Aviation, headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., is the second largest owner of FBOs in the United States, behind Signature, and is the largest Beechcraft dealer in the world. It offers a fleet of 38 aircraft for charter services, and management services.
Four full-service maintenance, repair and overhaul centers now operate under the Landmark banner. The centers formerly did business under the name of Garrett Aviation, which held the biggest market share in TFE-731 engine maintenance. The MRO centers provide service for the Cessna Citations with PW 500 series engines, as well as the Cessna Sovereign, Dassault Falcon 2000 EX, Fairchild Dornier 328, Gulfstream G200, Raytheon Hawker 1000 and Raytheon Horizon.
These centers also provide airframe and avionics service. They’re located in Los Angeles; Houston; Springfield, Ill.; and Augusta, Ga. A smaller satellite maintenance base is located in Little Rock, Ark.
Associated Air Center, another Landmark Aviation company, performs completions on transport category aircraft up to and including the Boeing 747. Associated Air is an authorized completion center for the two transport category aircraft with business models, the Boeing BBJ and the Airbus ACJ. The Dallas facility is also a class IV rated repair station, fully equipped to provide major overhauls, structural modifications and avionics upgrades on EFIS, autopilots, satellite communications and GPWS.
A second completion center in Springfield, Ill., also formerly a Garrett facility, provides completions and maintenance services for business jets.
Landmark is planning to upgrade the Westchester facility.
“We have a modernization plan for the passenger areas and the offices,” said Vick.
Vick, who holds a BA in aviation management, joined Landmark last October. He previously served in executive positions at Bombardier, Gulfstream and British Aerospace.
The Westchester operation has 38 employees and two MST employees. Landmark Aviation employs a total of 2,500 people.
“Last year was a good year,” Vick said. “Our revenue was up 15 percent. I think we have a great business model for success. We did $800 million in 2005. Our goal for 2006 is to exceed $1 billion.”
For more information on Landmark Aviation, visit [http://www.landmarkaviation.com.