Provider of upscale services to private aircraft to build in Reno

Million Air, the provider of general aviation services, won't be in a hurry to hang a sign on its temporary facilities at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The company plans to invest about $300,000 in coming weeks to spruce up facilities previously occupied by Sierra Air. Million Air, which is wrapping up final details of a contract with the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, expects to begin operations in Reno Oct. 1.

Only when it's confident that the renovated facility meets its standards will the Houston-based company hang its sign.

Million Air expects to invest about $10 million in a permanent facility at Rock Boulevard and Mill Street. It's planned for opening in 2012.

Those facilities will include hangars, fueling operations as well as meeting rooms, offices and other facilities to serve an upscale market of crews and passengers on private aircraft.

The second phase is projected for completion in 2017.

The airport will extend a taxiway to serve the currently vacant location where Million Air will locate.

Tina Iftiger, director of airport economic development, says a second a second phase would involve development of aircraft maintenance and repair facilities. Those would bring investment of another $10 million or so.

Iftiger said employment at the Million Air operation is expected to total about 20 people, with an average wage of approximately $20 an hour.

The airport estimates the economic impact of the operation at $57 million over the next five years.

Million Air operates 26 facilities to serve general aviation at airports in the United States, along with two in Canada and one in the Caribbean.

Its facilities are a mix of corporate-owned and franchised operations.

The Reno facility will be corporate owned.

The announcement comes on the heels of news this summer that Western Jet Aviation of Van Nuys, Calif., leased a 24,500-square-foot building at the airport for a facility that provides heavy maintenance service for Gulfstream corporate jets.

Airport officials hope to develop a cluster of aircraft-maintenance businesses at the facility.


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