With a groundbreaking on a 12 million dollar airport hangar earlier this year, and a new name, Arista Aviation, the choppers are in, and the company is now in business at Enterprise Municipal Airport.
Company officials say they now have what’s needed to perform helicopter maintenance and upgrades.
“We’ve gone from 20,000 square feet to three times that out here, which is a great improvement for the work force and also gives us a lot more capacity and capability to grow the business here in Enterprise,” said Rich Enderle, president of Arista Aviation.
The company started out with 75 employees at the new facility in September, increasing to 87 as of December. Enderle said, in terms of economic impact, the sky is the limit for Arista, with more opportunities for people and other businesses.
“We’ll have a lot more companies coming here, and living off of the capabilities that the Wiregrass presents with all of these qualified individuals here that have the aviation maintenance background and experience,” Enderle said.
He plans to add 25 more employees in January. Ultimately, the company has said it plans to hire more than 250 employees.
“The intent is right now, after the first of the year, with the additional aircraft that will be arriving, we’ll again start reaching out to the pool of candidates, because we’ve got a lot of applications that have come in here in the past 60 days,” said Enderle.
But he says there’s still lots of work to do before they are fully operational.
“The largest things we have to do for the facility is get our paint booth and our strip capability up and running so that we have the ability to strip, using plastic media, any platform,” Enderle said. “We have a very nice paint booth coming in, which will allow us to put a Class A paint finish on any aircraft,” which he said will allow them to paint the aircraft in half the time.
Enderle said they’ll also focus on getting more customers, now that facility size limitations are no longer an issue. The company plans to be fully operational by the spring.