Clay Lacy Aviation Profiled in Professional Pilot Magazine
Clay Lacy Aviation is a provider of aircraft management, sales, charter, maintenance, fuel, avionics, interiors and Phenom 100/300 service at its VNY headquarters.
Managing more than 75 bizjets ranging from 30-series Learjets and an Embraer Phenom 300 up to Globals, Gulfstreams and BBJs, CLA continues to be one of the most experienced international business jet operators today.
FLIGHT DEPARTMENT PROFILE
– By Rick Potts
When it comes to international operations in business jets, there is no substitute for experience. Fly your private aircraft beyond the borders of the USA and you must comply with a wide array of complicated rules, regulations and permit requirements. These rules for international flying line up and are waiting to trap the unwary or unprepared, each with the potential to delay, add cost or ground the flight. Because the stakes are high and the potential consequences severe, many business jet operators who travel overseas elect to place their aircraft with a management company specializing in international operations.
One of the most experienced international business jet operators today is Clay Lacy Aviation (CLA), based at VNY (Van Nuys CA), with additional locations at SBA (Santa Barbara CA), SNA (Orange County CA), SMO (Santa Monica CA), CRQ (Carlsbad CA), OAK (Oakland CA), BFI (Boeing Field—Seattle), APA (Arapahoe Denver) and TEB (NY Teterboro). Founded in 1968 at VNY by United Airlines Captain Clay Lacy, CLA soon became the 1st company to offer jet charter services on the West Coast, using a Learjet 24. Over the next 20 years the charter business grew, using an all-Learjet fleet, with international operations limited mostly to Canada and Mexico. In 1990 CLA added a Gulfstream II to its Part 135 charter certificate and international ops became commonplace.
CLA today is a full service 1-stop shop for business aircraft, offering aircraft management, sales, charter, maintenance, fuel, avionics, interiors and an Embraer Phenom authorized service center. It occupies 14 acres on the east side of VNY, with 5 hangars totaling 80,000 sq ft and an additional 22,300 sq ft of offices. Additional growth is in the offing, with construction set to begin later this year on a new executive terminal and an additional 70,000 sq ft of hangar space plus another 15,000 sq ft of added offices and training space to be sited on a 6 acre parcel immediately to the south of the company’s current facility.
More than 75 business jets are currently managed by CLA, ranging from Boeing BBJs to 30-series Learjets and an Embraer Phenom 300. More than 65% are large cabin executive jets, including 34 Gulfstreams. All of the other major jet manufacturers are also represented in the fleet including Bombardier, Cessna Citation, Dassault, and Hawker. “When a potential new management customer comes to us,” says company President Brian Kirkdoffer, “we can almost always tell him we have experience managing whatever jet he is operating.”