Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2021
DAVENPORT, IOWA – Carver Aero has announced that it has finalized the acquisition of Advanced Air, Inc. in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Lisa LaMantia, President of Advanced Air, will take on a new role at Carver Aero where she will oversee all flight school operations. Carver Aero currently operates fixed base operations in Muscatine and Davenport, Iowa, and is in the process of expanding into Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin.
The 50 employees of Advanced Air have been offered similar positions with Carver Aero. Advanced Air has more than 100 students who are enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Omaha flight program, and Carver Aero plans to expand the program further. In addition, Advanced Air has 18 hangars, aircraft maintenance and avionics services, computer testing, fuel and line services and offers insurance-approved training.
The move to Council Bluffs is the first initiative in Carver Aero’s expansion in the Midwest. “We want to continue providing specialty services for those passionate about aviation, and we’re also looking at an emerging market of new fliers – people who, for the first time in their lives, are looking at flying on a chartered aircraft, owning a plane or having shared ownership in an aircraft, or even learning to fly after a lifetime of dreaming about it,” said Carver Aero CEO Guy Lieser. “We want to bring that nostalgic sense of wonder back to community airports, even make them again the place where families come to enjoy watching planes takeoff and land. We also believe airports should be huge contributors to the local economy, and we are looking forward of becoming a part of the local and regional economic development efforts.”
“My dad (Dan Smith) came to this airport in 1992 with the dream of it being an economic hub for the community and the region,” said his daughter LaMantia. “With the acquisition by Carver Aero, his legacy and dreams of economic development at this airfield will continue.”
To that end, Carver Aero intends to explore further capital investment that includes expanding aircraft storage to accommodate mid- to large-sized turbine aircraft, as well as the construction of a new executive air terminal.
“Carver proposes investing in facilities and infrastructure to enable growth on the airfield,” said Andy Biller, Executive Director, Council Bluffs Airport Authority. “The company has already acquired aircraft to add to the Advanced Air’s existing fleet. We anticipate significant, sustainable growth in the general aviation industry for southwestern Iowa and Carver Aero is eager to pursue all viable opportunities.”
Carver Aero’s expansion plans in Council Bluffs also include working closely with Iowa Western Community College’s Aviation Technical Program, which is located on the airfield. “In all our businesses, we offer unique apprenticeship and scholarship programs, and we are introducing the same concepts for students who have an interest in engine maintenance, avionics and other technical aviation programs that lead to better paying careers,” said Inga Carus, co-founder of CL Enterprises. “As Lisa (LaMantia) will expand her role to oversee all flight school operations in the expanding Carver Aero aviation services network, we plan to create more jobs and are already hiring additional pilots and flight instructors.” (www.carveraero.com)