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Training for over 1,000 technicians proves West Star a diamond
Facilities in six US MRO locations include St Louis Regional Airport (ALN) in East Alton, Illinois, where the company has also made a series of key appointments and promotions.

West Star Aviation's locations have been awarded the FAA Diamond Award of Excellence for 2022. To qualify for this, 100% of the 1,041 AMTs had to participate in specialised training that included safety, technical knowledge, aircraft systems, aviation regulations and FAA rules. Additionally, the technicians completed a minimum of 12 hours of structured FAA training, earning each of them individual awards as well.

“Each year the qualifications of this programme become more rigorous to achieve, but our technicians have met those challenges, and it's an honour to recognise their continued hard work and overall accomplishments,” says Jim Rankin, CEO. “This award also lets our customers know that West Star employs quality aircraft technicians that take pride in their work and achievements.”

The company has made a series of key appointments at its St Louis Regional Airport (ALN) facility in East Alton, Illinois.

George Laiten has been promoted to director of Bombardier business development. He will focus on new business opportunities with customers, vendors and OEMs while collaborating across departments and sites to identify enhancements and solutions. Since 2011, Laiten has been the driving force behind the Bombardier programme in East Alton, overseeing Bombardier, Challenger and Global series aircraft maintenance, avionics, interior, paint service and support. During this time, he has helped develop and grow the East Alton programme to over 50 technicians. He is a licensed A&P mechanic and private pilot, previously served on the Challenger, Global, and Challenger 300 advisory board and continues to be involved with the Bombardier Challenger industry steering committee.

Tim Whitehead has been appointed as the new Falcon project manager, following over 12 years of experience in aviation with Boeing with roles as assembly mechanic, inspector and manufacturing/operations manager. Whitehead has his master's and bachelor's degree from McKendree University and his Associates of Science in Aviation Maintenance Technology as well as his FAA Airframe and Powerplant certification from Southwestern Illinois Community College. He also served eight years in the Marine Corps as in infantryman and combat marksmanship instructor.

Madelyn Pagano Pierce has been promoted to interior and paint designer, after over 15 years of aviation experience, with a bachelor's degree in Interior design from Missouri State University.

Other News
Bendele and Smieja join the West Star ranks
May 19, 2023
West Star has hired Lee Smieja as its new Gulfstream project manager at its facility at Lovell Field (CHA) in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Adam Bendele has been added at the same location, responsible for Bombardier.
West Star brings in McAllister as programme manager
May 15, 2023
West Star completes SmartSky STC on Falcon 2000EX
May 12, 2023
From project kick off to FAA certificate issuance, the SmartSky STC installation on the Dassault Falcon 2000EX was accomplished in under three months.
Hunt ascends the West Star ladder
March 31, 2023
Company man Norm Hunt is now avionics technical representative at the MRO specialist's St Louis facility.