King Aerospace expands its Modification Services with Addition of two Arkansas Hangars


Jarid King

Dallas, TX – King Aerospace Commercial Corporation has signed a lease agreement for two hangars at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport near Rogers. The secure-environment hangar spaces will be used to support highly specialized, FAA Part 145 modifications, engineering and integration services for mission-critical government or quasi-government widebody aircraft. These include everything from upgraded airborne defense systems to next-generation information systems. The facility, which will be called KACC ARK, will also provide maintenance, installation, program management and VIP interior refurbishment to accompany these specialised modifications.

“Everything came together to make this opportunity right for us,” says King Aerospace President Jarid King. “This carefully planned growth broadens our support for customers and gives us the chance to touch even more lives.”

In preparation of King Aerospace’s occupancy, the hangars have undergone significant upgrades. These include shop facilities, spray booth, exhaust systems, LED lighting and state-of-the-art fire suppression. In-house technicians and artisans will ensure interiors executed to perfection and impeccable special-equipment modifications to support needs unique to highly specialised government or quasi-government modifications. The hangars can hold multiple, widebody aircraft, such as the Boeing 747, 767 and 777.

A New Lease on Life

The hangars had been dormant for years following the closure in 2004 of the employee-owned Ozark Aircraft Systems (OAS), the North American maintenance center for International Lease Finance Corp. Initially OAS provided engineering, modification and maintenance for a variety of aircraft and custom-built interiors for VVIP aircraft such as Boeing Business Jets.

“These hangars make us feel like the proud parents of twins,” says Jerry King, King Aerospace founder and chairman. “We see the possibilities and will be good stewards so we fully realize their potential. We’re working to keep them well fed. We do this out of love and are proud of them already.

“These hangars were on my radar screen even before they were built back in 1998 and I was at Associated Air Center. I guess part of me always felt fated to be part of their journey. They’re an important part of our family now. The interest we’ve seen in the market gives us confidence that we’re the right team in the right place with the right services.”

Both private and government entities have approached King Aerospace about highly specialised and advanced aircraft systems integration and modification projects, but confidentiality requirements preclude sharing those. The hangars have access to XNA’s 8,800-foot runway and benefit from an air traffic control tower, 24/7 gated security and firefighting protection. Each offers 58,368 square feet of hangar space for a total of 116,736 square feet. There is also 78,000 square feet of engineering, shop and office space. The hangars meet US National Fire Code NFPA 409 and security requirements.

“I am thrilled this is working out for both King Aerospace and the highly skilled aviation workforce that never left this region after the closing of Ozark Aircraft Systems,” says former OAS CEO Dennis Davis. “They not only love this business, they have an unrivaled quality of workmanship, work ethic and craft. This world-class facility is purpose-built for the kind of work King Aerospace plans to do. It’s a true win-win.”

Centralised Convenience

The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport offers a centralised location that serves customers nationwide. An average of 50 daily flights to major cities from coast to coast make it easy for company representatives and support personnel to get in and out. The high quality of hotels, restaurants and services add to the region’s appeal.

“We are so proud to have King Aerospace coming to our airport campus, creating jobs for our region and bringing a new level of energy to aviation businesses at XNA,” says CEO Aaron Burkes. “We expect this announcement to stimulate other aeronautical industries to explore the amazing opportunities for industrial growth at the Northwest Arkansas National Airport.”

Expanding the Mission

The KACC ARK hangar spaces will be ready for occupancy May 1. They will complement rather than replicate King Aerospace’s offerings in Ardmore, OK. That location offers 200,000 square feet of hangar space and provides MRO services for Boeing 737 and 757 narrow-body aircraft; and 767 widebody aircraft. This FAA-approved and AS9110C-certified repair station routinely supports corporate and military aircraft in all aspects of aircraft maintenance and modification services. Corporate aircraft support includes Gulfstream, Dassault Falcon, Bombardier Global Express and Bombardier Learjet. Military aircraft served over the years include the C-9, C-12, C-21, C-27, C-32, C-144, E-9, Dash-7, Dash-8 and UC-35. Customers include most major defense contractors and government agencies. King Aerospace was honored as the 2019 Boeing Supplier of the Year for collaboration, and successfully completed the prestigious Boeing Mentor Protégé Program.