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Avantair continues Florida expansion

Avantair's newly opened operations control centre at its Clearwater/St Petersburg airport headquarters is taking advantage of proprietary scheduling software previously used by defunct air taxi pioneer DayJet.

Avantair chief executive Steven Santo says programmers who previously worked for DayJet were hired to tailor the software for Avantair's operation. He says the software significantly improves Avantair's scheduling of aircraft, crews and maintenance checks.

The operations centre joins two maintenance hangars, an office complex and a spare parts room that have already opened at a former commercial aircraft maintenance facility. Santo says there is still room in the 9.3Ha (23 acre) facility, which Avantair has been renovating and reopening in phases, for further expansion.

He says the facility can support a company and fleet that is double Avantair's current 55-aircraft size.

Avantair, which has 500 employees, has continued to hire throughout the recession. Santo says Clearwater made a good base because the Tampa Bay area had large numbers of mechanics and pilots who were let go by the airlines. He says Avantair continues to receive strong interest from potential employees, receiving an average of 2,000 résumés a week.

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