BROOKSVILLE - A certification from the Federal Aviation Authority will allow Corporate Jet Solutions to perform maintenance on more aircraft, which could mean more revenue for Hernando County, local officials said.
The company, which is located at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport & Technology Center, is now an authorized airplane repair station, capable of working on larger aircraft, such as Hawker business jets, for both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
"It will bring larger aircraft into the area," said Bradley Dye, vice president of Corporate Jet Solutions.
That means more revenue for the county in terms of fuel sales, he said. It also means that pilots and crew will be spending money in the area and perhaps staying at local hotels for the night while their planes are getting serviced, he said.
Corporate Jet Solutions specializes in storage and fuel for aircraft and performs emergency or unscheduled maintenance on jets, helicopters and smaller aircraft.
Dye and his son Tony, the president and owner of the company, recently hired Steve Young, director of technical sales, to help guide the team forward.
Young has held multiple leadership positions at NetJets, Inc., a global operator of a 400-plus private jet fleet, and the Berkshire Hathaway company for more than 13 years.
"Before now, if aircraft operators needed maintenance while travelling through Florida's west coast, their choices were limited," Young said.
Now able to perform heavier maintenance, operators can "plan ahead to have inspections completed while enjoying the Tampa Bay area or Florida's Nature Coast," Young said.
"(The Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport & Technology Center) is perfectly located for pilots wishing to avoid larger airports, resulting in a positive economic impact to our community," he said.
The Dyes had been working toward this goal even before they moved into their complex at 15421 Technology Drive.
The FAA certification is given to a facility that, according to its code of regulation, "is engaged in maintenance, preventative maintenance, inspection and alterations of aircraft and aircraft products."
Corporate Jet passed the written and demonstration procedures completing the process to receive this certification, despite delays at the FAA due to a government shutdown and sequester.
Corporate Jet Solutions has 17 full-time and two contract employees. It expects that new business generated from the repair shop will require them to hire more employees in the future.
County Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes and Diane Rowden attended a press conference Thursday to announce the certification and both praised Dye and his staff for investing in Hernando County.
"If you succeed, we succeed in the community," Dukes said.
Bradley Dye also announced at Thursday's press conference that the Honda Aircraft Company recently visited his facility to test its new $4.5 million lightweight business jet.
Dye called it a coup for Brooksville and said Honda may return to do more testing. He said the company was impressed with the adjacent runway, the rural surroundings and the presence of the airport control tower.
In fact, without the tower, Dye said Honda would not have agreed to test its aircraft, which it hopes to start selling to consumers by the end of 2014.