By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6
SAND SPRINGS, OK -- A new aircraft maintenance company in Sand Springs hopes to bring the city's airport to life.
The aviation industry is suffering just as much as many other industries. General aviation has lost 15 percent of its clientele since the recession.
Platinum Air is hoping to get things off the ground. The company operates out of the city's Pogue Airport, with a 5,800-foot runway.
"We do everything from maintenance to housing corporate jets, to managing corporate jets, to doing quick turns on transient traffic coming in," said Dwayne Lewis, president of Platinum Air.
Lewis says the runway is perfect for medium-size jets and the airport is a cheaper option for short business trips than Tulsa.
The $2 million facility opened this year.
"We're only 12 minutes to downtown, so we're the closest airport to downtown for transient traffic for the oil and gas industries that are flying in and out of town and doing business," Lewis said.
Already business is strong. His first jet will arrive this week and make Platinum Air its home.
Lewis' hangar has space for about seven jets, and he's hoping to have four spots booked by the summer.
Despite criticism of the industry, Lewis says corporate jets are often a necessity for a company's day-to-day operations.
For his new business to take off, those planes need to make this runway a new destination stop.
Lewis says his overhead at the Sand Springs airport is much lower than at the Tulsa runways.
This week, Platinum Air sent 5,000 brochures to corporations in a five-state area, hoping to bring new business to the airport.