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Castle Aviation officially cuts the ribbon to open new hangar

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent
Akron-Canton Airport President and CEO Ren Camacho speaks during the ribbon cutting for the new Castle Aviation hangar facility and office building on the site where the 356th Fighter Group restaurant once operated.

GREEN It’s official. Castle Aviation’s new hangar facility and offices have opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 14.

Castle Aviation is a 36-year-old charter air business that transports both packages and passengers. The company has been in operation at various sites in Portage, Summit and Stark counties throughout its history.

It was started by Michael H. Grossmann and his wife, Hilda, by first flying air ambulances. Later, the business expanded to fly charter flights for mostly business professionals and also to deliver packages across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

It officially moved into its new facility at 5430 Lauby Road, near at the Akron-Canton Airport, on July 15 and held a ribbon cutting on Aug. 14. The company purchased the land and the building that used to house the 356th Fighter Group restaurant.

The owners have moved their offices and dispatch into the building where the restaurant was, and they built a new 50,300-square-foot hangar facility in part of what was the parking lot. The offices, which includes a new addition on the old building, is 11,500 square feet.

The hanger will house 23 charter planes with 18 of those having a charter certificate. Grossmann said the charter certified planes “make the money.”

“Most of our business is within 750 miles of here,” Grossmann said. “We purchased the restaurant and land in 2018 just before the Rick McQueen retired as the president and CEO of the Akron Canton Airport. When Ren Camacho become president of the airport, he didn’t miss a step in helping us.”

Construction started in 2019, taking just more than a year to complete the building and the remodeling of the restaurant. Grossmann thanked both McQueen and Camacho for their help and added a special thank you to his employees.

“It’s the hard-working men and women of Castle Aviation that helped make all of this happen, all I do is drive the ship. I’m thankful to all of them and for all the partnerships that made this happen. It’s all about partnerships and working together,” Grossmann said.

The company remained busy throughout the pandemic when passenger travel slowed. Grossmann said while passenger travel went down, package and freight delivery increased and kept the company busy.

“We held our own throughout the pandemic. With the freight travel picking up, our business has been able to hold steady,” Grossmann said.

Before opening the new facility, Castle Aviation owned two buildings and leased three around the Akron-Canton Airport to house its planes. The company plans to either lease those buildings or sell them now that everything is under one roof.

The exterior and much of the interior of the building being used for the offices has been restored to its original colors. The interior has received a complete update while keeping many of the interior designs such as all of the fireplaces and the spiral staircase where the front entrance used to be located.

Some of the dining areas are being restored and remade for other uses. One of the main dining areas with views of the runways from the airport will be converted to an employee gym, while another dining area was converted to a cafeteria for employees.

Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer was one of the speakers at the ribbon cutting as was Camacho. During his short speech, Camacho gave some interesting statistics about how the $6 million Castle Aviation project impacted the area including:

• The project employed 25 local businesses utilizing 125-150 workers from the greater Akron-Canton area.

• There were more than 5,000-man hours used on the project

• More than 11,000 tons of combined materials were used for the building, ramp and pavement areas and other materials

• 17. 5 miles electrical wire, plumbing and sprinkler piping were used

To learn more about Castle Aviation and the new facility, visit https://www.castleair.com/.

The official ribbon cutting for Castle Aviation was held on Aug. 14. From left, President and CEO of Akron Canton Airport Ren Camacho, Michael and Hilda Grossmann (owners) and Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer were the official ribbon cutters.