West Star Aviation To Expand Operations In Chattanooga

Photo Credit: West Star Aviation / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

On Monday, December 13th, Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced that West Star Aviation will invest $17 million to expand its existing operations at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (KCHA).

Through its expansion, West Star Aviation will create 100 new jobs.

Governor Lee said, “West Star’s expansion and investment in Tennessee strengthens our state’s position in the aerospace industry. These 100 new jobs will provide additional opportunities to our highly-skilled workforce, and I thank West Star for its continued commitment to Hamilton County.”

“We appreciate West Star for its $17 million investment and for contributing to Chattanooga’s business landscape. This project would not be possible without strong leadership and partnership at the local level, and we would like to thank Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly and Chattanooga Airport Authority for being key drivers in making this win possible for Hamilton County,” s said TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe.

West Star, which is a full service aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company, has been in operation in Chattanooga at KCHA for roughly six years.

Jim Rankin, CEO of West Star Aviation said, “The local community and development programs have been a key part to aiding in the growth of West Star in the Chattanooga area. We are excited about the opportunity to continue to grow and add to the local workforce while expanding our facilities. We look forward to the long-term partnership with TNECD and appreciate the support of the aerospace industry in Tennessee.” 

“We have seen enormous growth in the small amount of time we have been a part of the community and are thrilled with the announcement of our expansion to add even more jobs to the area. Chattanooga has provided West Star with tremendous support through the development programs, allowing for the continued growth in the area,” said Steve Goede, General Manager of West Star.

West Star will retrofit one of its existing hangars to include a new design studio and will oversee the construction of a new 40,000-square-foot hangar with an additional 17,000 square feet of flooring to accommodate West Star’s shop and support base for its growing client pool.

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Founded in 1947, West Star offers avionics installation, certification and repair for all major manufacturers, used and surplus avionics sales and exchanges, parts and accessory overhaul repair, custom paint, interior design, major modification and refurbishment. 

Since acquiring its Chattanooga operations in 2015, West Star has expanded its employment at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (KCHA) to more than 250 people.

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Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) said , “Congratulations to West Star Aviation on this expansion. This company plays an important role in the transportation industry in Chattanooga, and I am glad they have been successful here and are able to create new jobs for Chattanoogans. I am proud to support a business-friendly environment in Tennessee with low-taxes and less regulation that helps businesses like West Star Aviation thrive. I look forward to their continued growth and success.”

“With a multi-talented workforce, business-friendly environment and central location, Hamilton County is the ideal setting for companies to expand. West Star Aviation has been a great community partner and I look forward to working with them in the future to bring more jobs to the Chattanooga area,” said Representative Greg Vital (R-Harrison).

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