Castle Aviation’s new home at Akron-Canton Airport is ready for use. The former 356th Fighter Group restaurant provides offices next to a new 50,000-square-foot hangar.
GREEN During a short ceremony Friday afternoon Michael Grossman cut the ribbon on a dream that came true.
Grossman has spent more than three years planning and working to build a 61,000-square-foot hangar and offices for Castle Aviation, a business he started in 1986. The new facilities are on the south end of Akron-Canton Airport. The offices use 11,000 square feet of the former 356th Fighter Group restaurant, with the 50,300 square foot hangar attached.
Remodeling the restaurant and building the hangar have been Grossman’s retirement job, he joked during a tour of the complex before the ribbon cutting. The project was a $6 million investment.
Castle Aviation is a charter business that carries freight or passengers. Most of his business is in 750-mile radius of Northeast Ohio within the United States or to Canada. The company also serves Mexico and the Caribbean.
Grossman has been based out of Akron-Canton since 1999. At one point he owned the former B.F.Goodrich hangar, but he sold that to First Energy in 2007. Since then his business has operated from a variety of smaller hangars at the airport.
The new building marks the first time in 13 years that all of Castle’s operations will be under one roof. Before the new complex was built, Castle was operating from three leased buildings and two owned by Grossman.
(Photos done by CantonRep- Scott Henkel)
Ren Camacho, president and chief executive officer at Akron-Canton, said the airport has an extraordinary partnership with Castle. Grossman’s decision to build at the airport plays a significant role in the airport’s economic impact on the region, Camacho said. Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer said the project keeps the airport strong and shows Castle is preparing for its future. “It’s good to see one of our partners do so well in the city,” Neugebauer said. The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges for the Castle during the past year, but business has remained steady, Grossman said. “We didn’t suffer like the airlines suffered.” The company’s passenger charters have dropped because people have been unable to travel. Freight accounts for 70% of the company’s business and customers have remained active. Additionally, the company has picked up some freight business from airlines that have cut routes.
Grossman credited his employees for his company’s growth and ability to build a new facility. As owner, Grossman said that he merely is steering the ship as his 65 employees work to keep the company going. A business is only as successful as the people who work there, Grossman said. “I have an amazing team of people that run the company.”
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