The push to grow companies specializing in corporate aviation services at Reno Tahoe International airport continues to find its wings.
Companies that provide services to high-end corporate jet aircraft, from structural repairs to custom interiors and fueling, continue to lease space near the airport.
In 2011, two companies, SAI Inc. and Aeroshear Aviation Services began ramping up operations to serve the corporate aviation sector. They join Western Jet Aviation (2010), Million Air Interlink (2010) and Dassault Aircraft Services (2009).
Each company has its own niche: SAI builds one-of-a-kind custom aircraft interiors; Aeroshear provides major structural repairs and modifications to corporate jetcraft; Western Jet Aviation services Gulfstream aircraft; Dassault focuses service and repairs to Dassault Falcon corporate jets; and Million Air provides fuel and other ancillary services.
Million Air is expected break ground in this spring on a new $23 million Class A terminal facility to serve as a non-commercial gateway to the Reno-Sparks market, says Tina Iftiger, vice president of airport economic development. The new facility, as well as the continued growth of the corporate aviation cluster, not only brings new businesses to the area but provides crucial exposure for northern Nevada to well-heeled jetsetters, Iftiger says.
“Not only will we have a fabulous new terminal for commercial but a fabulous new terminal for private aircraft. These people have international networks. When you start the cluster, it starts to roll on its own. It is a nice catalyst for other growth and for diversifying our market, as well as supporting existing businesses and properties that are here.”
The airport has actively recruited some companies, says Brian Kulpin, the airport authority’s vice president of marketing and public affairs, while other businesses chose to locate here because of the presence of companies such as Dassault. The airport team put together an aggressive campaign to lure Dassault to the market, he says, while companies such as SAI and Aeroshear took space near the airport to capitalize on Dassault’s presence. Million Air, on the other hand, came to the market through a request for proposal for services.
“That is the beauty of a corporate aviation cluster — it introduces companies to other businesses and customers,” Kulpin says. “We have done our homework and our footwork, and we have been actively promoting this cluster. Having anchors like Dassault spurs these kinds of things. Dassault is like bringing a Nordstrom’s to our community. That is the type of cachet they carry in the aviation world.”
The airport offers several incentives to help interested companies locate here, Iftiger says, including:
• Use of airport water rights
• Development-ready sites
• Free ground rent until companies are generating revenue.
“It helps them minimize their up-front capital costs and helps us grow this sector,” she says. “This is really a viable sector within the community, and we are working very closely with the economic development agencies and have their full support behind this.”