With construction complete for a new hangar and office building at Van Nuys Airport, Clay Lacy Aviation is now working on another facility project. The charter and aircraft management company is in the final phase of a refurbishment on a 120,000-square-foot maintenance facility in what had once been the Syncro Aircraft Interiors Inc. hangar at 7701 Woodley Ave. Brian Kirkdoffer, owner and chief executive of Clay Lacy, the No. 3 firm on the Business Journal’s list of Air Charter Operators, said in an interview that the work estimated at about $3.5 million will be complete in the next 90 days. “It has been a long and big investment for us, but it has proven to be very valuable to our clients,” Kirkdoffer said. Maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft in the U.S. was expected to be a $19 billion industry this year, according to a research report from Los Angeles-based market research firm IbisWorld. Business and general aviation markets account for about 9 percent of that revenue, the report said. “Despite there being nearly 200,000 general aviation aircraft in the United States, their small size enables far lower flying hours than commercial-size aircraft, meaning that general aviation aircraft account for a smaller share of industry revenue,” the report stated. Clay Lacy, which will have about 165 employees in the maintenance building, had been the main tenant in the Syncro hangar for about 15 years and took over the lease in the past few years, Kirkdoffer said. “As the leaseholder, we made the large financial investment to make the facility spectacular,” he added. Scott Cutshall, vice president of brand development at the aviation firm, described the hangar as being from the World War II era and so the work entailed a lot of lead paint and asbestos removal. “We put a new roof on it and put bird netting up in the entire hangar, so the birds won’t nest there,” he added. “I think the only thing we haven’t done is repainted the outside.” Some 6,000 square feet of the facility is given over to storage of parts used on the Bombardier, Gulfstream, Embraer and other private jets that Clay Lacy manages and uses for charter flights. For its clients in Los Angeles, having ready access to parts and skilled maintenance technicians means that they won’t miss departures, Cutshall said. “We can respond quickly and get planes fixed and up into the air,” Cutshall added. The refurbished maintenance and repair station comes about a year after Clay Lacy opened a new 63,000-square-foot hangar and a 20,500-square-foot office building on a 6-acre parcel adjacent to its corporate offices and fixed-base operation at 7435 Valjean Ave. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration certified Clay Lacy’s third maintenance facility at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Oxford, Conn. The others are at Van Nuys and McClellan-Palomar Airport near San Diego. The Waterbury operation gives the aviation company a maintenance presence on the East Coast and allows it the flexibility of responding to issues sooner, Cutshall said. Outsourced for ‘convenience’ Castle & Cooke Aviation Services Inc., another fixed-base operator at Van Nuys does not maintain the planes of its clients. Instead, the firm uses Thornton Aircraft Co., a tenant in one of its hangars to do any necessary repairs. It’s a relationship that goes back about eight years. Tony Marlow, president of aviation operations and business development at Castle & Cooke, said a benefit to the arrangement with Thornton is that clients don’t have to move their aircraft to have them maintained. “It is a matter of convenience for our tenants and then for transients if they need oxygen service or are having an avionics issue,” Marlow said. Sun Air Jets, the No. 6 company on the list, does a combination of both in-house and outsourced maintenance. Brian Counsil, president of the aviation charter and management company that has operations at both Van Nuys and Camarillo airports, said it can be more economical for the firm to do its own maintenance and repairs. Another benefit is that Sun Air can control the scheduling of when the work gets done.