Expansion in private, charter plane companies continues to rise

Expansion in private, charter plane companies continues to rise
Groundbreaking ceremony for new hangar (Source: Live 5)
Groundbreaking ceremony for new hangar (Source: Live 5)
Employees break ground at new hangar site (Source: Live 5)
Employees break ground at new hangar site (Source: Live 5)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston has seen expansion in aviation over the last few years with the ongoing reconstruction of the Charleston International Airport, and now it's happening on a private level.

Atlantic Aviation Charleston broke ground on a 22,000 square foot hangar Wednesday. The facility already has four hangars at the South Aviation Avenue location. The new addition is expected to be completed in 2017.

"We house pretty close to 40 aircraft," said Kurt Schmidt, Vice President of Regional Operations. "We have a long list of new customers who are waiting to be put in our new hangar once it's complete."

Schmidt said with the growth of activity surrounding the Charleston International Airport, like Boeing, it brought the company to the conclusion that it needed to expand as well.

"There are more and more companies that own and operate their own aircraft," Schmidt said. "We're a critical piece of that operation to help facilitate their needs when they're leaving or returning to Charleston."

The new hangar will be able to hold close to 15 planes.

On average, Schmidt said 25-30 planes take off from the location every day.

Another private and charter company, Signature Flight Support, is also based out of the South Aviation Avenue area.

In 2015 Signature Flight had 9,230 planes touch down in Charleston.

"A lot of our business is within the corporate field," said General Manager Ben Wells.

Charleston Executive Airport also has private and charter planes which fly to and from the Johns Island location.

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