Elite Aircraft Services to open at Raleigh Exec

Apr. 01, 2013 @ 05:49 PM

Elite Aircraft Services announced Monday that it will be expanding its business to a new facility at Raleigh Executive Jetport starting early this month.

“When looking for a second location to expand our business, Raleigh Executive was always one of the top choices,” said CEO and Chief Pilot Matt Walsh. “The airport and facilities in Lee County are perfect for our current operations and will allow us to plan for future growth. The Airport Authority’s vision for what’s to come at Raleigh Executive Jetport aligns perfectly with our expansion, and I know this will be a relationship that is mutually beneficial to both Elite as well as the community of Sanford.”

The company sells Cirrus brand aircrafts — the most popular general aviation model — and offers pilot training for Cirrus aircrafts, said Sanford-Lee County Airport Authority Chairman Carter Keller said.

“Our airport continues to pay dividends,” he said. “This is exactly the type of growth we anticipated when we moved the airport to its current location. Matt saw an opportunity here, and we were glad to help him.”

The company acquired an Airport Authority hangar that has been on the market for some time, Keller said, and will be bringing anywhere from five to six employees — potentially adding positions in the future. Elite, which is based in Raleigh, is set to bring 10 aircrafts to the jetport to start operations.

“They are making a significant investment in Lee County and bringing a significant tax base and along with a number of employees,” he said.  

Bob Joyce, President of the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, praised the Airport Authority for facilitating the sale.

“Lee County gets new tax revenues and increased tax base, plus the jobs which will be created in the future,” Joyce said. “This entrepreneurial small business fills a special niche for us and will attract aircraft owners in the Triangle to base their planes in Lee County.”

Added Walsh, “We strive to provide a service level that is unmatched in our industry. Our system allows owners to purchase an aircraft within a turnkey environment in which we can provide the highest level of service and attention to detail.”

Elite will begin operating out of Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford Lee County the first part of April.

Herald reporter Anna Johnson contributed to this report.