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Signature Aviation ready to fly with $11.3M facelift

HUNTSVILLE – Signature Aviation is starting a $11.6 million renovation project for its facility at Huntsville International Airport.

The company announced the project during a live formal “groundbreaking” ceremony Tuesday morning.

Renovations include a spacious and elegantly designed terminal, lounges, private meeting space and concierge services. It also includes a ramp expansion that will help extend the front door experience to a larger range of aircraft with wider main ramp space.

“Signature has been an important partner of the Port of Huntsville for three decades, signing their first lease in 1992,” said Airport CEO Butch Roberts. “They have been instrumental partners in contributing to the growth of the port of Huntsville and most especially air cargo operations.

“Signature invests in all the trucks and manpower that lets them make very fast turnarounds, one of the main reasons we have been so successful, and the core of the Signature business in Huntsville.”


Signature flight support performs general aviation activities including fielding private and corporate planes for commercial purposes and for the military, and they have played a significant role in the incredible growth of the airport’s cargo business and providing general aviation activities such as flight training.

Madison County Commission Chair Mac McCutcheon speaks at groundbreaking for Signature Aviation new FBO (256 Today)

“… Signature Flight School provided 5,000 hours of general aviation training last year alone,” Roberts said. “That’s pretty cool. That’s the future of aviation and we are glad to be a part of it.”

He said the renovation project will add to the positive first and last impressions all corporate leaders and VIPs that fly into Huntsville will experience.

“So thank you for the tremendous support we have here and to the Signature Aviation team that has helped make it happen,” Roberts said.

Marty Kretchman, Signature Aviation Senior Vice President of Operations Planning shows off new FBo renderings (Huntsville International Airport contributed)

“Signature Aviation has nearly 200 operations around the world, and we have all sorts of relationships at airports, some that are a challenge,” said Marty Kretchman, Signature’s senior vice president of operations planning. “I would say HSV is probably one of the best in terms of the executive leadership team and in terms of being an airport that believes in partnership, that looks long term, and is willing to give us the opportunity to provide services and earn back our investment in exchange for that big investment.

“That is why we are so proud to be awarded this 20-year lease here in Huntsville and why we are able to announce the greater than $11 million investment starting here today with this groundbreaking ceremony.”

Kretchman agreed with Roberts that first impressions are  important and gave a shout-out to Barbie Peek, business development director at HSV who referred to Signature’s FBO as the “front door to the community.”

Interior rendering of the new Signature Aviation FBO (Huntsville International Airport contributed)

“We take that responsibility very seriously every year, and we want to represent it well,” Ketchman said. “You will see the team does a great job serving visitors who are doing business here and when they leave Huntsville. The FBO is currently their first impression of Huntsville and we are proud to be part of that next chapter here in Huntsville.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle thanked Ketchman for having confidence in the airport, Huntsville and the North Alabama region.

“Signature Aviation has given Huntsville a springboard to use as we touch the rest of the world,” he said. “Look at the pictures of what the finished construction will look like and that will be the new first impression. It will leave an even better first impression.

Mayor Tommy Battle shares remarks at Signature Aviation’s new FBO groundbreaking (256 Today)

“This new facility is what we need as a community to help us continue to grow. It is part of our transportation grid, part of our transportation strategy, and it helps make Huntsville an even better place day by day.

“Thank you for your confidence in the area and we look forward to continuing to work with you.”

Madison County Commission Chair McCutcheon also referred to the new renderings of the newly renovated facility.

“When you look at the designs and the work that is going to be done here, you get excited about how it complements this area,” he said. “You and your team are a vital part of our community, of our state, and really of our region. It helps us with our economic growth, and I have seen the importance of that.

“It is all about partnerships and when I come to these groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting events, I can’t help but mention that these partnerships bring quality of life for our citizens, for transportation, and for commerce.”

Huntsville-Madison County Chamber President and CEO Chip Cherry thanked Signature for their investment and to point out the many such expansion projects happening in Madison County alone that act like a front door to the Huntsville community.

“This kind of investment speaks volumes when people step off the plane and walk into this facility,” he said. “It shows what Huntsville is really all about.”

The Signature Aviation renovation project is expected to last about a year.

“We will see you all back here next year when we throw a big party to show off this new facility,” Roberts said.

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