Williamson County Sun
By Matt Loeschman
August 19, 2015
Georgetown Municipal Airport’s newest fixed-base operator is also its largest. GTU Jet opened June 1, rebranding itself to distinguish it from the former Georgetown Jet Center, which had declared bankruptcy.
The business is now owned by GAABT Aviation, Inc., “who have fully invested in this business,” said Ken Mabe, GTU Jet acting general manager. “They look at Georgetown and the growth happening in this community as a serious opportunity.”
GTU Jet provides administrative and logistical support for clients and their planes at the airport.
“They may need a place to park,” Mr. Mabe said. “A client might want their aircraft out on the ramp at 7 a.m. fully fueled and ready to go. There are many services we can provide.”
Other services include catering, cleaning, ground transportation arrangements and more. Aircraft can be fueled and get an oil check. GTU Jet offers pilots a “crew car” to drive into the city if they are experiencing a layover.
“From a customer perspective, if you are flying into Georgetown, it is very streamlined,” said Cassidy Berenato, marketing and business development director for Texas Aviation Partners, an aviation consulting firm based in San Marcos that is managing GTU Jet.
“Every day, we are adding more amenities and more services.” Mr. Mabe said there has historically never been a “strong” fixed-base operator at Georgetown Municipal Airport.
“In order to properly service aircraft in the way the customer expects, you have got to have good facilities,” Mr. Mabe said. “They are expecting a certain level of service that didn’t exist at this airport in the past. But with our investors willing to step up, we will change that.”
Texas Aviation Partners, established in 2007, manages San Marcos Regional Airport as well as Pearland Regional Airport south of Houston. “Georgetown is really our third big location,” Ms. Berenato said.
Prior to June 1, GTU Jet took time to get its services and amenities in place, Ms. Berenato said. The business occupies six buildings, including multiple large hangars, in addition to 21 T-hangars that were all occupied Monday.
Mr. Mabe said company investors have put thousands of dollars into renovations and upgrades. A thorough evaluation was completed before rebranding to determine the highest priorities.
Leaks have been sealed, air conditioning systems have been repaired, fire suppression systems have been brought up to code and hangar doors have been repaired.
“We are making sure that safety is paramount,” Mr. Mabe said.
GTU Jet offers both jet fuel and aviation gasoline, or “avgas,” the two types of fuel used to power aircraft.
Both Mr. Mabe and Ms. Berenato are pleased to be operating in a city where growth is on the horizon.
“Georgetown is attractive to investors across the nation,” Mr. Mabe said. “We have consistent traffic coming through.”
The company is trying to attract businesses to occupy portions of Building 3 and Building 4, each of which has substantial office space adjacent to the hangar.
So what’s in a name? GTU is the navigational identifier for Georgetown’s airport.
“You plug ‘KGTU’ into the GPS and it leads you here,” Mr. Mabe said. “Those letters mean a lot to pilots.”