West Star Aviation Invests $17 Million in Chattanooga Expansion

By Anna Hill

Chattanooga’s growth soars as Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Tennessee Department of Economic Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolf and West Star Aviation officials announce plans for a $17 million expansion of West Star’s operations at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

“The local community and development programs have been a key part to aiding in the growth of West Star in the Chattanooga area. We are excited about the opportunity to continue to grow and add to the local workforce while expanding our facilities. We look forward to the long-term partnership with TNECD and appreciate the support of the aerospace industry in Tennessee,” says Jim Rankin, CEO, West Star Aviation.

West Star has provided full-service aircraft maintenance at the Chattanooga Airport since 2015. The company is constructing a new 40,000-square-foot hangar and adding 17,000 square feet of space to accommodate its shop and support its growing client pool. The expansion also includes a new design studio in the existing hangar — bringing their total airport footprint to 153,000 square feet.

“West Star Aviation's commitment to our community is confirmation of the company's ability to recruit great talent to our region. This expansion represents the continued diversification to our regional economy,” says Charles Wood, Vice President of Economic Development for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chattanooga Airport recently announced plans for a $28 million expansion which will create more gates, restrooms, a new security lane checkpoint and a new restaurant. The airport also recently partnered with Branch Technology and the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership to construct the Climbs Sculpture and ChattanoogaCalling.com Center that greets visitors entering Chattanooga. West Star’s investment will support the airport’s operations as more and more people travel to Chattanooga.

"West Star Aviation's expansion is a sign of our Airport's critical role as an anchor for Chattanooga's continued prosperity. In addition to our thriving freight and logistics industry, the Scenic City is becoming a hub for corporate and leisure travel. Companies like West Star are rising to meet this exciting and essential moment for the greater-Chattanooga region,” says Tim Kelly, Mayor, City of Chattanooga.

West Star’s expansion is set to create 100 new jobs for the community, supporting Chattanooga’s mission of being home to some of the best jobs in Tennessee.

“Hamilton County’s continuing goal is to strengthen business retention, expansion, and recruitment initiatives, West Star’s 17 million dollar expansion proves we’re on the right track. We are delighted with these additional 100 jobs that this expansion will bring to our community,” says Jim Coppinger, Mayor, Hamilton County.