By S. Clayton Moore
One of Colorado’s largest and most experienced aviation companies is enhancing its services with a new team member. Greg Laabs, formerly the vice president of operations for West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, has come down from the mountains to join Mayo Aviation as its general manager of maintenance.
The family-owned company, founded in 1978 by Bill and Gwen Mayo, has grown to become one of the region’s strongest air services, specializing in aircraft charter and management as well as an extensive parts and maintenance operation that nicely complements its 135 services. In addition, Mayo operates a fixed-wing air ambulance service.
The new general manager has a rich background that has led him to this new position. Laabs attended Iowa Western Community College, obtaining his airframe and powerplant license in 1979. He later received his BA in Business from Doane College in Crete, Neb., graduating summa cum laude.
Laabs started working at Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, Neb., as an aircraft mechanic, working as a team leader on turboprop, Lear and citation aircraft, and later managing the company’s production departments as well as developing the scheduling department.
In 1997, he joined West Star Aviation as director of maintenance, becoming vice president of operations just two years later. He was project manager for West Star’s Lear 35 RVSM program in addition to developing the company’s highly reputable maintenance and avionics installation departments.
At Mayo, Laabs will oversee regulatory compliance, safety, security and general maintenance operations. Mayo currently operates a fleet of 14 aircraft that flies over 9,000 hours annually.
“We run maintenance on 14 managed 135 aircraft,” Laabs said in describing his new position. “My job involves oversight of the 135 operation maintenance as well as building and developing the outside maintenance for our department as well. We work primarily on King Airs and Lears but we’re doing some Hawker and Challenger work as well.”
Laabs has quite a job ahead of him not only in managing the extensive maintenance operation but also in expanding it.
“As far as outside customers on the maintenance side, it’s fairly small at this point, but one of the key points of this job is growing that segment starting with the Lears and the King Airs,” Laabs explained. “At this point, I would say our goal is to double the outside maintenance performance by this time next year.”
Mayo currently employs 12 maintenance technicians plus an extensive support group, and Laabs expects to grow that pool to around 18 techs by next year.
Laabs says that Mayo’s terrific reputation in the industry, its highly skilled staff of FAA-certified maintenance technicians and its management, including CEO Bill Mayo, were just some of the key aspects that drew him to the new position.
“I feel really good about the new job,” he enthused. “It’s a lot to do but it’s an awful lot of fun. Mayo is a great company and Bill is a super guy to work with. They have a great reputation on the 135 side of the operation and we want to carry that over to the maintenance side. We have the skilled technicians so if we can keep our own airplanes going as well as they do, we can obviously achieve that quality with our outside maintenance customers as well.”
For more information, visit [http://www.mayoaviation.com].