SAN BERNARDINO - A new class of business - the $80 million-plus aircraft kind - should be landing soon at San Bernardino International Airport.
The airport has secured a fixed-base operator, which will provide fuel and other services on a regular basis to general aviation, including executive jets.
By mid-2008, Houston-based Million Air Interlink will occupy a new 32,000-square-foot hangar plus a new 40,000-square-foot terminal for executive aircraft on approximately 10 acres at the northwest corner of the airport.
"The establishment of Million Air San Bernardino FBO is clearly the most important aviation event at the San Bernardino International Airport since the former Norton Air Force Base became a commercial airport," said San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, in a prepared statement.
"This impact will raise the profile of the airport in the aviation community and its ability to increase the level of activity can not be overstated," said Morris, who is president of the airport board.
"It is heartening for those of us who have always believed in the potential of the airport as a general aviation hub to see the vision coming to fruition," said Ross Jones, Highland mayor and airport commissioner.
"We look forward to developing and operating Million Air San Bernardino FBO as the premier general aviation facility in the region," said Debbie Zener, Million Air's executive vice president, "and participating in the growth and expansion of the airport and the economy of the surrounding communities."
Million Air expects to employ approximately 120 full-time employees in its first full year of operation with that number more than doubling in the next two or three years. Support jobs created by Million Air will also generate significant additional revenue and employment for the region, airport officials said.
The new executive terminal will be used by pilots, passengers in general aviation and charter operations, said Penny Chua, the airport's director of economic development and marketing.
SBD Properties will build the two facilities for Million Air, said Scot Spencer, SBD manager. Spencer's company solicited proposals from fixed-base operators who would want to operate at SBIA.
"It was an amazing and enthusiastic response. We chose Million Air out of seven proposals and any one of them would have been satisfactory," he said.
Ultimately, Million Air was selected because of its reputation in the industry.
"When we spoke to businesses we want to attract, their preference was Million Air," Spencer said.
Million Air will also manage the airport's fuel farm, which is in the final stages of design and expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008. The hangars for Million Air should be completed at that time as well. And the $38 million renovation of SBIA's passenger terminal should be completed then too, said Don Rogers, SBIA interim executive director.
Million Air will join Blues Aviation at SBIA, which has been a fixed base-operator there for more than a decade.
Million Air has more than 35 locations in North America, the Caribbean and Europe.
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