Signature Flight Support is remaining on the acquisition trail, picking up the Jet Systems facility at Westchester County Airport (HPN) in White Plains, N.Y. for $38.5 million, a move that strengthens its position on a key business aviation airport.
Simon Pryce, CEO of Signature Flight Support parent BBA Aviation, confirmed that the company signed an agreement for the acquisition of Jet Systems, capping off a seven-month stretch in which BBA has invested nearly $60 million in acquisitions and licenses.
Pryce calls Jet Systems an important acquisition because Westchester is the second busiest business and general aviation airport in North America. “This allows us to consolidate our already leading position on the field,” Pryce says, adding Jet Systems will be folded into the Signature network.
Signature outbid other FBOs for Jet Systems as it moves to bolster its presence at an airport that has hosted at least five FBOs, including rival Landmark Aviation, Million Air and Panorama Flight Services. Jet Systems provides Signature with a strong international business, specializing in large VIP aircraft such as Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Corporate Jets. It is also a significant location because it has U.S. Custom Service on site.
“All of that is building a good growth pipeline going forward,” Pryce says. The acquisition is the third announced by Signature and BBA Aviation in a little more than a month, including its purchase of a majority share of the Starlink FBO in Montreal and of Gategroup’s commercial aviation services.
The company also emerged as the winning bidder to build its largest facility yet at San Jose International Airport in California. That bid is being contested in the courts by Atlantic Aviation, which currently operates at the field. Despite the court case, Signature and San Jose are moving forward on the development. Signature recently received zoning consents to begin the $82 million project, which will encompass 270,000 sq. ft. of facilities that will include an executive terminal, hangars, and ramp space that could accommodate aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 767 and aircraft servicing facilities. Groundbreaking is anticipated this fall.
Signature, meanwhile, is expecting to finish its West Palm Beach, Fla. facility in September, five months ahead of schedule, Pryce says. Last September, Signature broke ground on a new terminal at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida that will be dedicated to NetJets. Customized to NetJets’ specifications, the 10,000-sq.-ft. facility will include a terminal, about six acres of paved ramp, aircraft movement and car parking areas. The terminal will be based on the northwest corner of the airfield.