Subic goes back to life

As ACI Opens Hub

July 17, 2010

Subic - Charter company Aviation Concepts Inc. (ACI) is building a hub in Subic airport as they set to take over airport hangars abandoned by courier giant Federal Express that left the Philippines in February 2009.

The Guam-based company through Aviation Concepts Holdings, an American-Canadian joint venture, is investing US$1.1-million to rehabilitate facilities at the SBIA and start operations by mid-September, said Anthony Decostes, the firm’s senior vice-president.

Aviation Concepts is famous for providing private jet charters to Senatorial and Presidential candidates in the last election. They are also involved in aircraft sales and acquisition, business aviation consulting and aircraft management services to companies and individuals.

ACI operates in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong and Manila and have an FAA approval to fly almost everywhere, including all oceans and polar areas. It started operations in 1996 and open Manila office in 2007.

The charter company operates a fleet of Westwind II, Falcon 50/900, Gulfstream IV/V/550, Challenger 604, Global Express and Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) which has been audited for safety by ARG/US.

“Our concept here is to basically copy what is in Guam, bring it here and expand it,” said Decostes, who also serves as AC’s country director in the Philippines.

ACI, he said, began looking at the Philippines when their Guam operations “grew exponentially, but faced problems with actual, physical growth.”

In 2007, in partnership with Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., ACI opened the first aircraft scheduling center for business aircraft in Makati. But its growing clientele means it has to move somewhere else outside of Metro Manila and have keep its sight at Subic Bay for a bigger operations program.

“Lucky for us the SBIA was vacated by FedEx. Everything seems prepared for us — world-class aviation facilities, minimal air traffic, availability of trained workforce. Everything we need is right here in Subic,” Decostes said.

Decostes said they are committed to offer a full range of aviation services and facilities to clients. These include ground handling, maintenance repair and overhaul, FBO facility with VIP crew lounge and amenities, air ambulance, aircraft scheduling and record keeping, aircraft detailing, hangarage and technical stop services.

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