ZURICH – Jet Aviation announces that Kurt Sutterer, president of Midcoast Aviation and head of Jet Aviation's MRO and completions lines of business in North America, will retire in May 2009 after 29 years of service with the company. His successor, Don Petersen, will take over operational responsibility effective April 20, 2009. Sutterer and Petersen will work together to execute a planned seamless transition of the company's MRO and completions businesses.
Sutterer started his professional career at St. Louis-based Midcoast Aviation in 1981 and held positions of increasing responsibility, ranging from inspector to manager of technical services to vice president and general manager of Midcoast Aviation operations, before his promotion to president in 2004.
Under his leadership the operation increased employee numbers from 800 to more than 2,000. Sutterer also successfully managed Midcoast through two major ownership transitions when the company was acquired by the Jet Aviation Group in 2006 and more recently in 2008 as General Dynamics acquired Midcoast parent, Jet Aviation. Sutterer is expected to continue in an advisory capacity with emphasis on relationship management with key clients.
Petersen, a 31-year veteran of the aviation industry, who will join the company effective April 20, 2009, will replace Sutterer. As new president he will be based at Midcoast Aviation in St. Louis, and will be responsible for Jet Aviation's MRO and completions operations throughout the U.S., including Savannah Air Center. Together with Gary Dempsey, Jet Aviation's president of Flight Services for the Americas, he will report directly to Peter G. Edwards, president of the Jet Aviation Group, as part of the U.S. executive management team.
Petersen started his professional career in 1978 at Motorola as a maintenance technician. He then continued in various technical and managerial functions with McDonnell Douglas and other aviation companies before joining Duncan Aviation. In 1996, Petersen was appointed hangar manager at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Savannah, GA, and later was promoted to general manager of the Westfield, MA, operation. Since January 2000, he served as vice president and general manager responsible for product support in Appleton, WI, Minneapolis, and Westfield, and also was involved in the final phase of the manufacturing operations in Appleton. Petersen is a graduate of Lakeland College in Sheboygan, WI, in Accounting and is and A&P.
"I would like to thank Kurt Sutterer for his dedication and extraordinary contribution to the success of Midcoast Aviation and the Jet Aviation Group," says Edwards. "He brought the company to the next level in quality and service and was instrumental in the smooth integration process of Midcoast Aviation into our group when the company became part of Jet Aviation in 2006. Kurt has been an icon in the industry and a passionate advocate for business aviation through his many associations and activities.
"Don Petersen has successfully managed three sites during the last eight years and I have no doubt that he will enjoy similar success at Midcoast. I am very pleased to welcome him to the Jet Aviation Group and I am glad that we can count on his expertise and tremendous know-how."