GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - West Star Aviation was founded at Walker Field Airport back in1952.
The company currently offers maintenance and service to corporate and private jets using 5 hangars located next to the runway at Grand Junction Regional Airport.
They also support all the major airlines. They employ up to 310 employees, and attract customers from all over the United States.
West Star operates a separate terminal used by crews owned by private citizens and corporations. The terminal offers a comfortable living area, snacks and coffee, and a rental car desk.
Dave Krogman is the General Manager of West Star. He says the company operates out of 4 locations, including Dallas, St. Louis, East Alton, Illinois, and Columbia, South Carolina.
Clients fly their jets into West Star, and leave them for a few hours, or a few months, depending on the service needed.
Krogman says Grand Junction is centrally located in the United States, and makes it easy for clients from all over the U.S. to fly in. He says, "A side-line benefit with Grand Junction is our locations in the U.S. We're in the middle of the U.S., so it's easy for a jet to get to us. We have a great airport, easy access, we have good weather. We have a great airport, there's not a lot of traffic to get in and out."
West Star also attracts year-round business. That means there is a constant influx of out-of towners. He says, "All of our clients that come in spend time at the hotels and the restaurants, and they stay a little longer because they like the Grand Valley, they go to the vineyards, they go rafting and hunting."
The company uses local suppliers for many parts other supplies.
Krogman says it will not be working with Extra Aircraft in Montrose in an official capacity, but he says West Star will be happy to support them with anything they need.
The company has expanded the services it offers. They now perform in-house windsheild repair. Up until recently, West Star had to outsource windshield repair. Krogman considers this a move towards a one-stop shop experience for clientele. He says, "If an airplane comes in for an inspection and you find a problem with the windshield, you can fix the problem immediately."
They say this new service is saving their customers thousands of dollars. It cost West Star $100,000 to implement this new service, and it has already paid for itself within just a few months.