Flexjet Inc. Opens $50 Million Global HQ at Cuyahoga County Airport

Sept. 14, 2023
Michael Silvestro, CEO of Directional Aviation, which includes Flexjet and Flight Options, says the plan for Flexjet is to continue to invest money in the campus and upgrade their other buildings in the northwest area of the airport.

Sep. 13—Flexjet Inc. held the grand opening of its newly built $50 million global headquarters on Sept. 12.

Based at Cuyahoga County Airport, 26300 Curtiss Wright Parkway in Richmond Heights, the new 51,453-square-foot expansion is built next to its old base of operations.

The expanded Global Headquarters and Operations Control Center has 137 seats within the 243,000-square-foot campus, which houses over 670 employees, not including the 1,100 non-union crew pilots who are based in hubs across the globe.

The expansion comes as Flexjet invests in their Vertical Lift branch based in Connecticut and serves as their new "last mile" service that uses a fleet of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters to provide flights in conjunction with their jet service for those enrolled in Flexjet's different programs.

Depending on the area, the helicopter service can land at private residences providing a door-to-door service for those enrolled in Flexjet's fractional jet ownership and membership subscriptions.

"It's got a lot to do with the town ordinances," Vice President of Lift Operations Ray Altieri said of landing at a private residence. "It has to do with how the state feels.

"A lot of places don't really care," he added. "It's not like the (United Kingdom) where you can just go anywhere, and they don't really care. Here it's a little bit different. You have to check with your counties and things like that but most of these people own 500 to 700 acres, something like that, so you come in with a helicopter and they don't even know you're there."

The new global headquarters was started right before the pandemic in late 2019-2020 with steel and other building materials pre-purchased minimizing the supply shortages that many companies faced.

One new feature of the Global Headquarters and Operations Control Center is the custom-made seamless LED screen.

At 176 feet wide and 19 feet high the LED screen is the largest in the United States and the third largest in the world. The screen is split into different areas which show the operations of every Flexjet that is in the air, along with their status and their destinations, with other areas dedicated to monitoring the weather and duty keeping which makes sure none of their staff run over their allotted work time.

The operations center serves as the central nerve center for their 30 locations throughout the country and Europe. Director of Operations Control Evan Degnovivo and Senior Schedule and Charter Manager Jason Christensen hope the new space will help Flexjet grow even more.

"There are 137 seats in this room," Christensen said. "There are 89 of them down in the tiered levels and there are 48 seats up on this main level. And that's significant because our old operation center in the other building had 52 seats.

"So, it really does speak to building for growth. We've got a number of aircraft coming out in the next few years," he added. "And we mentioned the feature technology we wanted to future proof it but we also wanted to be able to grow into it."

Michael Silvestro, CEO of Directional Aviation, which includes Flexjet and Flight Options, says the plan for Flexjet is to continue to invest money in the campus and upgrade their other buildings in the northwest area of the airport.

"So, the other building was essentially a 25-year-old version of what you see today," Silvestro said. "There's an operations center that looks like a theater — so you don't really need two operations centers. So, we are now kind of finalizing what design would be to most utilize that space to complement the existing building.

"So that's going on now and that's going to be the sort of phase two of reskinning and repurposing the building."


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