Chattanooga: Doing business at 40,000 feet, literally

By Holly Ashley

When West Star Aviation wanted to better serve eastern U.S., Caribbean and European markets, owners chose Chattanooga. Surprised? We’re not. In addition to being an aviation-friendly location, Chattanooga is also home to a high density of multinationals with more than a few corporate headquarters. The city is also within a day’s drive to more than 136 million people and the companies they work for. That means executives flying time-saving private jets.

West Star Aviation specializes in the repair and maintenance of aircraft air frames, windows and engines, as well as major modifications, avionics installation and repair, interior refurbishment, surplus avionics sales, accessory services, paint and parts. Whew. They pretty much do everything imaginable to keep your private aircraft humming and in tip-top condition. And they’ve been the best in the business for the last two years, Professional Pilot magazine reports.

The growing company is investing $22.5 million into its new Chattanooga facility at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport and hiring as many as 225 people over five years. West Star’s Chief Operating Officer, Rodger Renaud, attributes the area’s richly trained technical workforce, as well as the ability to recruit top talent, as primary drivers of their site selection decision. So yeah, our people have skills. 

Now that Chattanooga has joined Aspen, Grand Junction, Chicago and suburban St. Louis as one of the few locations in the United States where corporate aircrafts come for a little R&R, we’ll try to not let it go to our head. But with a company like West Star Aviation choosing Chattanooga, we can’t make any promises.