EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. – In 2012 – 50 years since the company was founded in 1962 – Thunderbird Aviation invested $2 million in building a new 8,000 square foot facility at its Flying Cloud Airport (KFCM) location in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Then on August 14, 2014, the fixed base operation removed its 1950s-style, 2,000 sq. ft. wood-framed building to make room to expand its ramp.
Thunderbird Aviation is one of the oldest fixed base operations in the Midwest and has grown over the years – first under the leadership of founder, Albert Grazzini, and for the past 20 years, under the leadership of Grazzini’s daughter, Nancy Grazzini-Olson. Olson purchased the business from her father in 2000.
Thunderbird has traditionally focused on flight training and professional pilot development, aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance and 100LL fuel sales, and will continue to provide those services. But Thunderbird’s new terminal and expanded ramp will enable the company to also serve its growing executive clientele.
Thunderbird offers jet fuel sales and corporate aircraft services, including aircraft servicing and catering, meeting room space, and ground transportation. The company has long been the number one retailer of 100LL on the airport. Its goal is now to become the number one distributor of Jet A.
Flying Cloud Airport has also undergone some major improvements in recent years, including a new 5,000-ft. runway in 2009, and new sewer and water. There’s also a control tower and parallel and crosswind runways.
Chris Cape is Thunderbird’s general manager and director of operations. In addition to the Flying Cloud facility in the southwest suburbs of Minneapolis, Thunderbird Aviation also operates a flight school at Minneapolis Crystal Airport (KMIC) in the northwest suburbs. Both operations combined, the company employs about 100 people.
For additional information about Thunderbird Aviation at Flying Cloud Airport, call 952-941-1212, or 763-533-4162 at Crystal Airport (www.thunderbirdaviation.com).