Back in 2004, Meridian Airport Authority purchased Meridian Aviation, and they’re now celebrating fifteen years of serving the local aviation community. Since their opening, they have sold nearly twenty-four million gallons of fuel, resulting in nearly ninety million dollars in economic development for the city. “You would be surprised how many general aviation users we have in Meridian. We have fifty local pilots that hanger their aircraft here each month and fly out of here,” said FBO Manager Paul Smith.
Every day local pilots and corporations from around the country land here to refuel and have a range of other services provided, including renting aircraft. “Our goal is to be memorable. We ensure our facilities are top notch, we ensure our customer service representatives are on point and our line service technicians meet the aircraft with a smile and get them on their way,” said Smith.
“It’s great. I mean, you’ve got Dean Aircraft that work on your airplanes, so you’ve got them right here with you. I’ve been instructing here since ’94 teaching people how to fly. It’s just a fantastic place. I’m at home,” said Troy Moore who is a corporate pilot for Structural Steel.
In the past fifteen years, out of all the Cessna 172 and Cessna 152 planes that have been rented, the total flight times equal to 265 days. Not only have civilian pilots benefited from this business, but military personnel as well. “Our location is located right in the center of Meridian Airspace- Meridian Military Operating Areas. So, they’re able to land here, get fuel, pre-brief the aircraft, and get back into the airspace quickly so it saves them training time,” said Smith.
This year, Meridian Aviation recently added to their list of services they provide by installing a piston engine shop for aircraft maintenance. They see nearly twenty military and civilian operations each day.