Wednesday, June 8, 2005

SV Aviation to open new operation

'Home' to more than 10,000 aircraft operations

Express Staff Writer

General aviation pilots and their passengers who've used Friedman Memorial Airport in the past are in for a culture shock come Friday.

Sun Valley Aviation, the airport's only fixed base operator, plans to open its new $8 million facility for business.

And what a facility.

The huge new hangar is capable of handling aircraft with tails as high as 31 feet, and has a floor area of 26,000 square feet. The adjoining new offices and pilot lounges of 8,900 square feet are as spiffy and sleek as the company's old facilities were drab, functional and small (3,500 square feet).

Sun Valley Aviation is the largest operation of its Dallas-based SevenBar Enterprises parent.

During a pre-opening tour of the facility for Friedman airport general manager Rick Baird and the Mountain Express, general manager Melidee Wright and SevenBar chief financial officer Mike Rasch wandered through a maze of workmen putting finishing touches on the facility.

Passengers flying on corporate jets will find the new central lounge area to be restful and commodious, with a large fireplace and expansive window views of the airport to the east and south.

Pilots will find their facilities state-of-the-art—a "quiet room" for pilots wanting to grab 40 winks, small kiosks for telephone calls, high-tech area for flight planning and weather updating, comfy settings to relax before or after flight time.

Sun Valley Aviation has operated out of Friedman Memorial unde4r several ownerships for some 40 years. Its original location at the northeast corner of the airport has been razed, which ends noise of jet engines fore residents in nearby Woodside, and moved to the airport's southwest ramp area.

Construction of the new office and hangar began nearly a year ago in July 2004.

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