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Fit for the Times

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Global opened a maintenance station at Washington Dulles International Airport airport in 2004, providing services for a deicing operator. "We took care of their entire deicing fleet, which consisted of various number of deicing equipment manufacturers," says Rick Smith, CEO of Global Ground Support. "Basically, we were working on other competitors' equipment and that evolved into providing other GSE maintenance services for other airlines at the airport."

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Left to right: Brad Osborn,
vice president operations,
Global Aviation Services;
Rick Smith, CEO, Global
Ground Support




Fit for the Times
Riding the success of its ground support subsidiaries,                                                      By Lisa Haddican

AirT Inc. continues to turn a substantial profit.

             ith established subsidiaries in freight carrying    operating feeder aircraft as the companies Mountain Air

W            for more than 20 years, the holding company,
             AirT Inc., decided to extend its industry reach
                                                                 Cargo and CSA Air.
                                                                      In 1997, AirT saw an opportunity to reach into the
to include GSE manufacturing and maintenance. Following          ground support industry as an equipment manufacturer and
a record-breaking fiscal year for 2008, AirT has continued       acquired Terex Aviation, a company that specialized in the
to report impressive first- and second-quarter earnings for      manufacturing of a single line of deicing trucks.
2009 despite an industry downturn. Buoyed by the success              “At that point in time, our main business was flying for
of its ground support subsidiaries, AirT has found itself well   FedEx — great and wonderful customer — but we wanted
positioned in the current industry climate.                      to see if we could broaden our revenue sources,” says
      “You try to keep the company moving to fit the times,”     Walter Clark, chairman and president of AirT Inc.
says George Prill, one of the founders and longtime director          Operating as Global Ground Support, the company
of AirT Inc. “You look at the market and you figure out how      worked to expand its family of deicing products, developing
you are going to beat it.”                                       700- and 1200- and 3200-gallon models. The company
      That philosophy has played a large role in the evolu-      has continued to develop its deicing technology, rolling out a
tion of AirT, which was founded in 1974 as a freight carrier,    premium onboard blending system, a forced-air system and



26   GROUND SUPPORT WORLDWIDE • December 2008/January 2009
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