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IBJ Newsmakers
St. Louis Regional’s West Star Aviation announces major expansion
  Solid growth in West Star Aviation’s key markets is fueling significant expansion plans, including its presence at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton. Airport manager David Miller says that while the industry as a whole continues to rebound from the greatest aviation downturn since the Great Depression, West Star is indeed outperforming the industry.
David-MillerMiller   To meet its business demands, says Miller, Regional tenant West Star plans to invest a total of approximately $15 million on all of its facilities in East Alton, Ill., Grand Junction, Colo. and Columbia, S.C.
   Specifically at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, West Star will break ground in the third quarter of 2013 on a new maintenance facility spanning 47,000 square feet, Miller says. The company also plans to open a 14,000-square-foot wood shop and a 6,000-square-foot accessory repairs shop, also during the third quarter of this year. This will enlarge West Star’s East Alton footprint from 250,000 square feet to 317,300 square feet, according to Miller, and will increase West Star’s local workforce to 300 employees.
   West Star Aviation has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading aviation service providers, Miller says, specializing in airframe repair and maintenance, engine repair and maintenance, major modifications, avionics installation and repair, interior refurbishment, paint, parts, surplus avionics sales, window repair and accessory services. The company also provides FBO services for transient aircraft at its East Alton and Grand Junction facilities.
   Miller says West Star’s location in Chesterfield, Mo. will continue to provide avionics and line service, with other services moving across the river to East Alton. The King Air, Beechjet, Premier and Hawker ASC designation will transfer to St. Louis Regional Airport. As a result, all Beechcraft aircraft operators will now have complete one-stop convenience, he says.
   West Star’s roots date back to 1947. The company name became West Star Aviation in 2004 when West Star Aviation in Grand Junction and Premier Air in East Alton joined forces.