Commercial Jet today announced the opening of a new 400,000-square-foot facility at Dothan Regional Airport (DHN) in Dale County, Alabama, more than tripling its capacity to provide freighter conversion and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services.
The Dothan Houston County Airport Authority has initiated the twelve million dollar construction renovation to be completed in stages with the final building to be delivered in October this year. “Our new facility will broaden our ability to deliver high-quality integrated aviation services to commercial airlines and aircraft owners and operators," said David M. Sandri, president.
Due to the closing nation-wide of 149 FAA Contract Control Towers, which impacted Dothan, the Airport Authority will continue to operate the Dothan Regional Airport Tower after the FAA ceases to fund it in May. The Tower operations will continue to service the area air space, tenant needs at the airport, and provide key support for the continued growth and development of the Dothan Regional Airport.
Commercial Jet's new maintenance facility includes multiple hangars, back shops, stores and offices, with extensive apron space for aircraft parking and servicing.
John Schildroth, vice president and general manager for the Dothan facility, said Commercial Jet plans to hire several hundred trained and experienced aircraft technicians in the local market within the next few years. "We are already getting a flow of new orders for our new facility, which will be open for business as soon as May of this year," Schildroth said.
State officials and local civic and business leaders have given staunch support to Commercial Jet's expansion plans. “This was all made possible through their efforts," said Sandri, citing the Governor of Alabama Robert J. Bentley, House Speaker Michael Hubbard, House Representative Paul Lee, Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz and Commission, Dale County Commission, Houston County Commission, Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation, Dothan Houston Airport Authority, the Dothan Chamber of Commerce, and many other entities and individuals of the Great State of Alabama.
With Commercial Jet's 177,000-square-foot facility at Miami International Airport at full capacity, investing in the new Dothan facility was a major step forward in response to the growing demand for Passenger-to-Freighter conversions for Boeing 737-300/400 and the newly certified MD-80SF freighter, according to Sandri. "Now, we can run many more conversion and maintenance lines with ample ramp area for parking and preparing aircraft to bring into the hangars," he said. "We are also adding a purpose built paint hangar which adds to the range of services we can deliver."
As an authorized Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) conversion center, Commercial Jet's Dothan facility will significantly increase the company's ability to offer industry-leading narrow-body freighter conversion services. "This added capacity gives AEI the assurance they need that we can handle the increased demand," said Schildroth.
Sandri said Commercial Jet is growing at a faster rate than the industry average, and has the financial strength and stability to continue expanding its customer base by delivering value and high-quality service consistently. "We recognize that the industry is changing as airline owners and operators seek ways to add value to their assets," he said. "Commercial Jet is a trusted maintenance and conversion partner with the scale and expertise to provide truly integrated service solutions. Partnering with our customers long-term also allows us to transfer efficiency gains to them that come from knowing their aircraft well through repeat maintenance.”
Since its founding more than 25 years ago, Commercial Jet (commercialjet.com) has specialized in heavy maintenance and modification services, complete airframe inspections, passenger to freighter conversions, interior modifications and avionics upgrade programs. Commercial Jet is certified for numerous countries in addition to its FAA Repair Station and EASA certification.