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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
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Ownership change signals big plans for Central Flying Service
Arkansas' oldest aviation firm, Central Flying Service of Little Rock, is under new management. Tricoastal says it has big plans for the company.
Departing Central Flying Service CEO Richard Holbert. The company has been family-owned for over 80 years.

Little Rock, Arkansas-based Central Flying Service and Tricoastal Ventures, a capital investment firm dedicated to commercial aviation, have concluded the acquisition of Central from the Holbert family, its founders and owners for the past 82 years. Tricoastal has acquired 100 per cent of the stock in the company, however other terms were not disclosed.

Central provides flight training, aircraft sales, heavy maintenance for propeller-driven and jet aircraft including aircraft painting, interior refurbishment and avionics upgrades and repairs out of several hangars on the west side of Bill and Hillary Clinton National airport/Adams Field.

Departing CEO Richard Holbert is pleased with the new ownership team, including their experience and their approach. “We are proud to know that Central is in the right hands and that the unique and lasting brand we created will continue to serve our great people and this community for decades to come,” he says.

The company will be led by Phil Jordan as chief executive officer and Herb Knight as chief operating officer, both of whom are partners at Tricoastal. Central intends to capitalise on its existing capabilities, expanding to additional locations and adjacent markets.

“We have big plans for the company, and we have the right team to maintain a culture of quality and excellence while extending our reach,” says Jordan.

As sister companies under Tricoastal ownership, American Kodiak, representing the Kodiak 100, and Volare Air, representing Italian OEM Tecnam, will engage Central to provide full service, authorised maintenance for the growing family of Kodiak and Tecnam aircraft owners. In addition to aircraft sales and maintenance, Central will continue to provide flight training and aircraft management and charter services in Little Rock.

Aerospace and defence industry veteran Brian Raduenz has been named chairman of the board. While not involved in day-to-day operations, he will provide strategic guidance and business advice. “We are honoured to be entrusted with the legacy established by the Holbert family and maintained by the loyal employees in Little Rock,” he says. “Our focus right now is excellence in commercial aviation and sales and, in the future, I could see this platform getting more involved in defence work as well.”

Central Flying Service is an FAA Part 145 authorised and licensed MRO services provider as well as offering avionics repairs and installation services and aircraft painting. Additionally, the company is a licensed FAA Part 135 aircraft management and charter organisation and FAA Part 141 flight training business. Central Flying Service will maintain its headquarters at Bill and Hillary Clinton National airport in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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