SLO aviation company begins major expansion project at county airport

A rendering of the planned new ACI Jet complex, which recently started construction.
A rendering of the planned new ACI Jet complex, which recently started construction.

The San Luis Obispo-based aviation services company ACI Jet has begun construction on its planned new $17 million corporate headquarters at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.

The company — which offers corporate aircraft management, chartered flights, aircraft maintenance and more — is building a 35,000-square-foot office complex and an adjacent 25,000-square-foot hangar on the airport grounds at 4733 Broad St.

The privately held company, formed in 1998, has about 190 employees based in four locations — Orange County, Paso Robles, Oceano and San Luis Obispo. This year, ACI Jet began offering aviation services at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” said CEO William Borgsmiller in a statement. “We’re adding staff members at an increasing rate with the launch of several new services exclusive to ACI in the works, and this new workspace cannot come soon enough.”

The growing company has added 80 full-time employees to its staff over the last four years, including pilots, mechanics, dispatchers and ground-handling service workers, said Andrew Robillard, the company’s vice president of FBOs and facilities.

“We’ve done a lot of hiring in recent years and provided people with some highly skilled jobs,” Robillard said.

ACI Jet’s office headquarters are currently located at 945 Airport Drive at the San Luis Obispo airport, which will still be used by the company for operations.

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A rendering of the planned new ACI Jet complex, which recently started construction. ACI Jet

The completion date for the new complex is late 2018 or early 2019. It will operate under an existing 40-year ground lease with the county, which owns the airport land. The lease has about 30 years left on it.

The new hangar will complement the company’s existing 35,000-square-foot hangar and allow for upgraded avionics repair. The new office building will house its current San Luis Obispo-based staff of 117 employees.

In the last year, the company has flown more than 6,000 hours on its managed fleet of private jets to 30 different countries, totaling nearly 3 million miles traveled, said John W. Tucker, the company’s director of marketing and communications.

The new office complex is being designed by the San Jose-based architectural firm, AAI Design, with aviation-themed elements in its design and structure, under the direction of Borgsmiller.

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport's new $39.5 million terminal is expected to be complete and open for incoming flights Nov. 1, 2017. Here's a look at the inside and outside of the new building in a SLO County promotional video.

Fly over the vineyards of Edna Valley in a small plane and watch from the cockpit as the aircraft lands at San Luis Obispo County airport in March 2017.

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