One man had a vision back in 1983 when he founded Dean Aircraft Service. With Leonard Dean being the only employee, it has since grown into a major facility with 24 employees. “As a child, I always liked mechanical things, then that went to cars. Then, the opportunity came to get involved with aircraft, and that’s sort of how it went,” said Dean.
They currently provide maintenance to 90 corporate and personally owned aircraft across the Southeast, and, with a demand in services growing, so are they. They currently have around 30,000 square feet to work with, and after an expansion of the hangar, they will have nearly 100,000 square feet. “Well, currently we’re operating at max capacity for the room that we have. In other words, the hangar is totally full at all times. So, we need additional space for business expansion, and that’s the primary reason,” said Dean.
Leonard Dean isn’t the only Dean behind the vision that keeps the business going today. Both of his sons work alongside him and have been in the hangar with him since they were kids. “My dad’s very unique in that he can separate family and work life, which has been good for me because I don’t feel like I have it any easier than these guys. I maybe even get held to a little bit of a higher standard. So, I’m very appreciative of the opportunity he gave me, and I’m thankful for the airport to come along to give us even more opportunities,” said his son, Justin Dean.
After the expansion, they plan to nearly double the number of employees they have. Meridian Airport Authority purchased Dean Aircraft Service several years back, but Dean and his sons still oversee the day-to-day operations.