Final landing


Owners to sell Montgomery Aviation after 25 years of service

By Michelle Williams

Montgomery Aviation hit a major milestone when it celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. This year, the owners have already hit another milestone: deciding to sell the business.

Although the sale is not yet final, Eagle Creek Aviation Services has agreed to purchase the fixed base operations and maintenance facility at Indianapolis Executive Airport in Zionsville. The agreement also includes the purchase of the FBO at Frankfort/Clinton County Airport and Grissom Aeroplex.

Once the entities outline final terms and obtain appropriate board approval, the sale will become official. Sean White, director of marketing and business development for Montgomery Aviation, says the process could potentially wrap up next month, although several months may be required to execute the final agreement.

White explained that the Montgomery family has received several casual purchase offers over the years. Owners Dan and Andi Montgomery desired to keep many aspects of the business consistent for current customers. Eagle Creek Aviation Services is locally owned and family operated, making the company an appealing prospect for the sale of the business.

“We believe Eagle Creek Aviation and their team understands the importance of customer service and will not only take good care of our customers, staff, and the community — but will also take the business to new heights,” Dan Montgomery said. “It was time to pass things off to a new generation and let them take it to the next level.”

Many facets of the business will remain unchanged in the immediate future — including the business name. The existing staff of Montgomery Aviation will carry operations forward, and involvement in the local business community and charitable activities will continue. Eagle Creek Aviation has publicly announced its intent to preserve the Open House, Fly-In and Air Race supporting Down Syndrome Indiana scheduled for Aug. 1.

Building the business

Dan Montgomery went to work at the airport in 1975 and started Montgomery Aviation in 1989. He built the business from a piston aircraft maintenance shop into the FBO at the facility. Over the years with infrastructure improvements initiated by Montgomery Aviation, the airport has expanded into the premier regional aviation facility for business travelers.

For years, Dan has sensed a precise responsibility to attract businesses and industry and bolster the reputation of the region.

“I believe this airport is a gateway to our community,” he said. “It’s the first and last impression a business has of the community, and we wanted it to be a good one.”

Dan fondly recalled the early days, living on the airport grounds and regularly entertaining customers and friends. Dan commented that it has been a great place to raise a family, adding, “It’s been our life for the last 25 years.” All three of his children have grown up in Zionsville and worked at the airport.

After years of hard work, dedication and service to the community, Dan and Andi are now ready to slow down and settle into retirement. Following the final sale of Montgomery Aviation, they plan to move to a home they have built at an air park in the state of Tennessee. Instead of working, they will be able to relax and enjoy their new life in a place White described as a “country club for airplanes.”

‘A lot of fun’

During the last decade, the most notable developments at the airport have materialized. The Montgomery family has added two new hangars and a terminal building. The airport has become a destination for various community events, even hosting a Hank Williams, Jr. concert under its signature canopy.

“That was the start to hosting many events under the canopy — from church services, to weddings, graduation parties, open houses, fly-ins, and more,” Dan Montgomery said. “If you can think it up, we’ve probably hosted it. The canopy is somewhat of a trademark for us, and it’s been a great tool for our business and an asset to the community.”

The airport’s busiest time was during the 2012 Super Bowl, when they hosted hundreds of aircraft, some belonging to half-time show talent and sportscasters. Indy Executive airport was the second busiest airport at the time, preceded only by Indianapolis International.

“We’ve played host to just about every type of celebrity you can imagine, from former presidents to rock stars,” Dan Montgomery said. “You meet a lot of unique and interesting people, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

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