Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Skywest, Inc., has opened a regional jet maintenance facility at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE). CAE is Atlantic Southeast's primary overnight maintenance base for its regional jet fleet serving United Express, and the airline has invested significantly in refurbishing the existing facility (formerly the Doolittle Hangar) that can accommodate up to three aircraft at a time. ASA brought more than 75 jobs to the Columbia area when it began performing overnight maintenance at CAE last year, but it has not had a permanent hangar facility unitl now.
"Moving into a hangar environment in Columbia is playing a strategic role as Atlanta Southeast continues growing to become the world's largest operator of regional jets," said Atlantic Southeast President Brad Holt. "The CAE facility will allow us to maintain a growing fleet that will serve both our Washington (Dulles) and Chicago (O'Hare) hubs. We also are very pleased with the partnerships we have developed with CAE airport officials, and various government and civic agencies that have made opening an overnight maintenance base in Columbia possible," Holt said.
Columbia Metropolitan Airport Executive Director Dan Mann added, "Atlantic Southeast Airlines has been a great partner with CAE for some time now so I am pleased with this opportunity of growth that relocating to the Doolittle Hangar will support. Our teams have worked together to refurbish this facility making it possible for us to be one of five key Atlantic Southeast maintenance facilities located around the country."
South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor said, "Atlantic Southeast's regional jet maintenance operation at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport has brought employment opportunities over the last year and the company's decision to establish a permanent facility to house this work is a reminder of South Carolina's ever-growing aviation industry. Our state has the workforce talent and resources necessary to continue to attract new investment, and we are proud to count Atlantic Southeast Airlines as a member of the state's business community."
Lexington County and the Central SC Alliance agreed. "Atlantic Southeast fully embodies the pioneering spirit that we value without our community, and we are proud to see this growth in our aviation corridor," said Lexington County Council Chairman Jim Kinard.
Central SC Alliance Chairman Jim Apple said, "We are fortunate that Atlantic Southeast has expanded its presence and brought more than 75 jobs to the Columbia area. We are proud to have them in our business community."
With the Columbia hangar, Atlantic Southeast employes more than 600 maintenance personnel at five maintenance facilities in five states - a 218,000 square foot headquarters maintenance base in Atlanta, GA.; a 39,000 square foot maintenance base in Baton Rouge, La.; the 35,350 square foot Columbia base and line maintenance centers in Atlanta, Chattannoga, Tenn.; and Washington D.C.