Cutter Aviation maintains a high profile at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with its many offerings of aviation services — including GSE maintenance, writes Michelle Garetson
By Michelle Garetson/p>
By Michelle Garetson
Look up the definition of "full service" in the dictionary and you may find a reference to Cutter Aviation. Cutter, a family-owned FBO based at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, has continually added services for its customers for over 70 years. Anything from line services to charter flights to parts distribution to a full-fledged Ground Equipment Repair facility with 24-hour coverage to Sky Harbor International Airport is available. Cutter Aviation is continually vigilant in keeping their customers in business.
"We’re an FBO, and we challenge anyone to say they’re older than us," explains Angelo Tedeschi, Vice President and General Manager. "In 1928, Cutter started in Albuquerque, New Mexico and expanded over the years to four different states."
"We’re the oldest Phillips 66 dealer in world — we’ve
been with them about 70 years. As we evolved over years, started selling
different types of aircraft and a Raytheon for many years."
"In 1994, there was a dual operation opportunity here in Phoenix – a GSE and ‘jetway-type’ program – and the previous company was having some difficulties so we took over the GSE side," says Tedeschi. "Soon after, we took over what they called the ‘jetway side.’ It’s all combined now — we purchased the assets and kept the people. It sure has taken off over the years and since then, it’s really evolved with passenger boarding bridges and getting into electronics. We became a licensed electrical contractor as well as a licensed building equipment contractor to support what’s here at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the outlying areas."
Photo courtesy of Cutter Aviation
that fuel trucks have been another big business for Cutter, partly because of
the background Matt Rozanek, Cutter’s GSE/Facility Maintenance Manager
and his personnel with repairing trucks.
"We started with 7 people in 1994," says Rozanek. "I’ve always been a mechanic. My father was a mechanic and I helped him a lot when I was growing up. You don’t find too many people around anymore that have good, common sense in the mechanical skills. The old style skills are going away fast."
Since the opening of the Cutter Aviation GSE Maintenance Department in 1996, several items have been added to the menu of maintenance services on offer at the Phoenix Sky Harbor facility that have really helped to grow that department in profile and profits. When asked if Cutter has opened other GSE Maintenance Departments at other facilities, Tedeschi explained that Phoenix was unique. Cutter apparently tried a similar venture at its El Paso, New Mexico facilities, but it wasn’t as well received as in Phoenix.
"Matt’s done a really good job with it," says Tedeschi, "and over the years, it has really kicked off and become a nice profit center — it’s about a million dollar a year business for us. The airport is dependent on their support and on-time repairs. There is some outside influence, some outside competition; but day-to-day, 24-hours-a-day, Matt and his crew are here and available."
12 FOR 24/7/365
Rozanek explains that his crew of 12 people include an administrator, a full-time parts person, mechanics, facility maintenance mechanics, and a painter. The GSE facility boasts a two-bay shop plus full wash rack, a good-sized parts room. A 1,000-sq.-ft area holds the tire machines and lathes, etc., and the paint booth is a full-sized truck booth next to the building.
"There's going to be plenty of passengers for both of us," said Paul Blue, Sky Harbor's director for business and properties.
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