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Tue, Feb 01, 2005

Just Married: Jet Center & ACM Aviation

Girding Their Loins For New Competition At San Jose

Preparing for the advent of yet another FBO at Mineta San Jose Airport in California, Jet Center and ACM Aviation have announced they will combine forces, creating an FBO with two locations at the airport.

"ACM has experience in the jet-management business," Dan Ryan, president of Jet Center, told the San Jose Business Journal. He was referring to aircraft maintenance, scheduling and supplying pilots for corporate jets. "(ACM) needs to build a new hangar. We have experience at doing that. We believe we can save ourselves (money) by combining operations."

Mineta San Jose is considered one of the top five destinations nationwide for corporate air traffic.

"There are a lot of people who decided not to own planes over the past few years," Mr. Ryan says. Still, corporate jet traffic accounts for nearly 33 percent of all traffic at Mineta San Jose and the Jet Center still maintains a waiting list for space in its three hangars. He was quoted in the San Jose Business Journal.

ACM had already submitted plans to the airport for construction of a hangar with more than 59,000 square feet of space for parking aircraft and approximately 34,000 square feet of office space.

In all, ACM had planned to spend approximately $12 million on the project.

Jet Center, which will become the lead entity in the project, says it plans to go ahead with construction, although the project will be redesigned to include less office space, according to Ryan.

"Essentially, we're going back to the drawing boards," he says. The redesigned project should be submitted sometime this year, according to the business publication.

Of course, then there's the sale of jet fuel, a big business at San Jose.

"(ACM) and the Jet Center competed for the fuel business," said Douglas Rice, a former county Airport Commissioner who keeps tabs on airport business. "Airport officials are afraid to mention the word competition when it comes to the Jet Center."

City officials took the merger announcement in stride. "It looks like they are just shuffling the deck over there," said Councilman Chuck Reed, the council's Airport Commission liaison, also quoted in the Business Journal.

FMI: www.sjjc.com

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