Silver Comet Field airport welcomed its first new tenant in three years recently which could encourage more aircraft owners to use the facility.
Silver Comet Aviation, a general aviation maintenance company, opened at the airport at the beginning of July.
The company is owned and operated by Johnny Jenkins, a former longtime mechanic for Delta Airlines. After leaving a previous job, Jenkins said he decided to open his new business at the airport in west Paulding County.
Terry Tibbitts, the airport’s interim manager, said having a full-service maintenance company operating at the general aviation airport will allow it to offer repairs and alterations to customers’ planes. The company will also offer oxygen and nitrogen services that corporate jets need to function, according to Jenkins.
“We are delighted to have Silver Comet Aviation in the airport because a general aviation airport needs this type of company to best serve everyone,” Tibbitts said.
Paulding County Airport Authority member Ellis Astin said Silver Comet Aviation is the first maintenance shop to operate at the eight-year-old airport.
He said he believed having a mechanic on site will help attract more pilots and their aircraft to the facility.
“Having a mechanic there to do work on planes will be huge for the airport,” Astin said.
Jenkins said he chose the Paulding airport as the location for his business because he liked the people and the location.
“The Silver Comet Field airport has a lot of opportunity for growth,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he knows of many pilots who are now looking to move their aircraft to the Paulding County location because of the new business.
“Silver Comet Aviation will provide a big incentive for growth and for planes to come here,” Jenkins said.
Silver Comet Aviation is the first new tenant the Silver Comet Field airport has seen in three years, Tibbitts said.
The last new tenant was Silver Comet Terminal Partners in 2013 which worked to get federal certification for commercial passenger service at the airport.
The company’s efforts have been slowed by legal challenges from both county residents and members of the Paulding County Commission to the airport authority’s support of the plan.
Silver Comet Terminal Partners and Silver Comet Aviation are not affiliated with each other, Tibbitts said.
Jenkins said he was not concerned about Paulding County residents’ mixed opinions on the airport’s attempt to become a commercial airport because his general aviation maintenance company would not be impacted if the facility ever made the transition.