FEATURE: West Star Aviation celebrates 75 years of heritage


In 2022, MRO provider West Star Aviation is celebrating 75 years of aviation heritage. Its history is a story of two brands, operating at times in parallel, until they converged.

In 1947, a small aviation company was founded in East Alton, Illinois, at what is now St. Louis Regional Airport (KALN). In 1987, along with an ownership change, came a new name – Premier Air Center. This brand steadily built a reputation for technical expertise and personalised service in the maintenance and refurbishment of corporate aircraft.

Meanwhile, in 1952, a company called Monarch Aviation was founded at Walker Field (KGJT) in Grand Junction, Colorado. Monarch had similarly built a strong reputation in aircraft sales in the early days. It transformed from aircraft sales and service into a business aircraft maintenance and refurbishment facility.

Then in 2004, the principals of Premier Air Center acquired West Star Aviation’s Grand Junction operation, combining the two full-service MRO organisations.

Principals at the time chose to continue with the West Star Aviation name and the company embarked on a pattern of planned, aggressive growth and soon added a full-service location in Chattanooga, Tennessee (KCHA), as well as in Perryville, Missouri (KPCD), making a total of four full-service locations, along with several smaller satellite locations across the USA.

This modern version of West Star Aviation has continued its aggressive growth initiatives by following up with other strategic acquisitions that included Avant Aerospace and Dallas Aeronautical Services.

The present-day West Star Aviation represents the blending of these aviation service companies and the focus to build on and improve the synergies that resulted from the acquisition. Strong technical expertise, experienced employees, attention to detail, along with a constant focus on customer service and satisfaction, remain the staples of the West Star Aviation philosophy.

“Dedication to our original philosophies results in a company that fosters technical expertise, encourages the personal and professional development of our employees and places high value on attention to detail in every aspect of our business,” said Debi Cunningham, vice president, marketing, West Star Aviation. “This means a constant focus on customer service and complete satisfaction that is engrained in the very fibre of West Star Aviation, and we are proud to recognise this milestone.”

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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