Inside Business: Bismarck Aero Center - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Inside Business: Bismarck Aero Center

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With the state's rapid growth, air travel has significantly increased, but it's not all commercial.

Nestled right next to the Bismarck Airport is a smaller, less congested way into the city. The Bismarck Aero Center is a Fixed Base Operator, which is basically a one stop shop for business and private aircraft. Fuel, maintenance and storage are just a few of the services offered at the FBO, but the CEO says it's about much more than that.

"How can we serve as a good first impression for travelers, and what can we do to make their stay in the Bismarck-Mandan community easier?" says Bismarck Aero Center CEO, Jon Simmers.

You can say flying is in his blood. Simmer's father founded the FBO in 1990 after growing up with both his mother and father having pilots licenses, and in 2002 he added a partner to help with the maintenance aspect of the business.

With 15 to 30 airplanes landing daily, Simmers says they stay busy.

"We get a full variety of aircrafts that visit our organization. We see everything from your two seater with folks traveling through to go to air shows and leisure travel, to your large corporate planes that seat 15 to 20 people," he says.

Simmers says the business has grown from five employees ten-years-ago, to nearly 40 employees today, and they recently expanded into the Mandan Airport.

"I guess what's been a lot of fun for me personally, is the growth that we've been able to sustain in the past five years. What gets you to the airport everyday, it's aviation. If you don't have a passion for what we do, and if you don't have an interest in being mesmerized by the bird in the sky, then you know it's probably not the right organization for you," he says.

The Aero Center also offers flight instruction, and is working with local high schools to help students interested in aviation. Simmers says that as his father is getting ready to retire, the next move for the FBO is to pass it on to someone who will continue the upward swing.

For more information on the Bismarck Aero Center you can visit BismarckAeroCenter.com

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