Castle & Cooke Aviation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the privately held company, Castle & Cooke, Inc, a development, real estate and operating company with a diverse portfolio of assets and services, ranging from world-class resorts to brick and building material manufacturing. The parent company’s history goes back to 1864 when Samuel Northrop Castle and Amos Star Cooke launched a number of successful businesses in Hawaii, now trading as Dole Foods.
David H Murdock is the owner, chairman and CEO of the parent company.
The aviation division of Castle & Cooke has three FBOs, at Van Nuys, Honolulu and Washington (the latter being adjacent to Boeing’s facility). Located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Van Nuys is generally acknowledged to be one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, with non-commercial aircraft averaging over 238,000 take-offs and landings annually.
As MaKayla Hambek, Castle & Cooke Client Relations Manager, explains, business has grown significantly over the last few years and recently the company extended its hangarage at Van Nuys substantially. “We now have 12 hangers on the field, with the newest hanger being 38,000 square feet. Plus we have also extended our ramp area so that it is now 205,000 square feet,” she says.
“There is no doubt that space is limited here, but you have to figure out ways of expanding. We are busier here now than we have ever been,” Hambek notes.
Around three years ago Castle & Cooke began putting a lot more marketing effort into building its brand in business aviation and is now a regular at the major business aviation trade shows like ABACE, EBACE, and NBAA’s BACE. “We are now much more widely recognised as a significant FBO operator. It helps, too, that Van Nuys is now once again able to provide customs clearance for international business aviation travellers. In May this year the airport opened a 1,500 square foot US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility, enabling Van Nuys to accept and clear international flights, and that has been a great boost for our international clients,” Hambek explains.
The new CBP facility means that operators and owners flying from overseas destinations can once again fly directly to Van Nuys when they have business in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area, instead of having to break their journey with a stop at Los Angeles International Airport, before making the short hop to the Castle & Cooke FBO at Van Nuys. Along with the CBP services at Castle & Cooke’s other two FBOs, at Washington and Honolulu, this means that all three FBOs are able to welcome direct private and corporate flights from international destinations.
In 2006 the CBP facility at Van Nuys, along with on-call customs clearance services at all airports within the Los Angeles basin (with the exception of Los Angeles International Airport) closed. It has taken more than eight years of work by the Van Nuys airport management, in close collaboration with Castle & Cooke plus Signature Flight Support and other key tenants at the airport, to re-establish CBP services at the airfield. From the opening of the new CBP facility in May, to August, some 75 international flights were cleared and the number is growing all the time.
Hambek points out that Van Nuys is well able to cater to long-range, large-body business jets. “We can land a BBJ very comfortably. We had an ERJ 190 (an Embraer regional jet) come in recently. The main runway at Van Nuys (there are two parallel runways) is 8,001 feet, which gives plenty of scope for larger jets. The really nice thing about Van Nuys is that as a dedicated GA airport with no commercial airlines there are no slots. We get aircraft letting us know when they are 50 minutes out or less – sometimes the first we hear is when they are taxiing up to our ramp. However, we are always ready to welcome passengers, however short the notice, and to provide them with a first-class service, including arranging hotels and limousine transportation to wherever they are headed,” Hambek says.
The FBO team tracks all incoming flights, using the latest software to analyse flights and arrivals. “We have a team of some 25 people at Van Nuys and we carry out comprehensive training. Flight safety and the highest standards of customer service are an absolute priority for us,” she points out.
Hambek says that all three Castle & Cooke FBOs have seen a significant increase in aircraft movements over the last two years. “Our sales here at Van Nuys increased by some 40% in 2014, by comparison with 2013, and we are looking set to experience a similar increase in 2015 by comparison with 2014,” she comments. Two years ago Castle & Cooke became part of the Universal Aviation network of FBOs and Hambek says that this has been partially responsible for the marked increase in traffic – particularly international traffic.
The Castle & Cooke Aviation FBO in Honolulu is located on the South Ramp, just off Lagoon Drive, with direct access to the Taxiway. The FBO was recently renovated and includes an 18,000 sq ft hangar and over 7,000 sq ft of customer service lounge and amenities. In addition Castle & Cooke is able to provide some 60,000 sq ft of Class A office space at the facility, making it ideal for client meetings plus short- or long-term project work for clients with business interests in Hawaii. The FBO offers a full range of services, including fuelling and support services, aircraft cleaning and maintenance and a comprehensive concierge service.
The Washington FBO is right alongside Boeing’s establishment. Formerly Fliteline Services/Everett Jet Centre, it has been providing fuelling and aircraft ground services to aviation clients at Paine Field for over 35 years. It was acquired by Castle & Cooke in 2007. Paine Field is home to over 500 aircraft and is the site of Boeing’s largest manufacturing facility, which produces the B747, B767, B777 and the B787 Dreamliner.
Emerald VIP Services
Emerald VIP Services provides high end chauffeur and concierge services including bespoke luxury tours throughout Ireland, South Africa & the U.K. We can also provide Airport VIP meet & greet services, Helicopter transfers, Jet charters and Luxury Yacht cruises.
Founded in 2011 and originally providing concierge services solely in Ireland, Emerald recently expanded internationally by opening offices in Scotland and South Africa managed by industry veterans well versed with working with HNWI and the corporate jet industry. By the end of 2015 Emerald will have also opened offices in France and Thailand. 2016 plans include further locations in Asia, Africa as well as Australia and New Zealand.
In 2015 Emerald launched 2 innovative products. AirportGateway (www.airportgateway.aero) is available at selected airports for all types of travellers flying on commercial aircraft regardless of whether it’s in Economy, Business or First Class. Our one stop service will have you collected from the home or place of work by one of our chauffeur driven vehicles, met kerbside at the airport and taken directly to the aircraft gate, fast-tracking airport formalities, all for a nominal all-encompassing fee.
Our second new offering is Crew Concierge which is aimed at corporate crews looking to maximise their down time when they visit any of our locations. Whether it is a tour of ancient Ireland, a balloon safari in South Africa or whisky tasting in Scotland we will arrange personalised half or full day tours at very reasonable pricing.
Emerald works closely with EVS Aviation which opened its inaugural FBO at Cork Airport Ireland late 2014. Cork ideally situated as a transatlantic technical stop is also home to a long list of multinational corporations that have established their Ireland corporate headquarters in the Cork area. EVS Aviation offers a full range of FBO services including competitive fuel rates.
For further information on Emerald VIP Services and EVS Aviation please contact Steve Gulvin, Director of Sales, Marketing & Strategic Planning at email@example.com