This article originally appeared in Aviation Pros
After more than 60 years in aviation, Bob and Mike Luman have accepted an acquisition offer for LumanAir Aviation Services by Carver Aero, an Iowa-based aviation services company. In addition to LumanAir, Carver Aero acquired ATS Illinois, an aircraft maintenance and servicing company, specialized in engines, turbine that has operated at the Aurora Municipal Airport since 1992.
“It’s been a wonderful ride,” said Mike Luman. “Our dad started the business in 1960 at the former Aurora Airways Airport (south of Interstate 88 and west of Lake Street). We’ve had several offers over the years, but we were waiting for the right people and the right company to come along that would continue the legacy of our family. Carver Aero is that company.”
Mark McKinney, owner of ATS, said, “Guy Lieser, the CEO of Carver Aero, and I go back many years. When he approached me about joining the Carver Aero team, it made perfect sense. They have great plans for the company and this airfield, and the ATS team wants to be a part of it.”
The Aurora City Council approved the acquisitions of LumanAir and ATS Illinois on July 27.
“Carver Aero will literally take things to greater heights at the Aurora Municipal Airport,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “I am encouraged by Carver Aero’s holistic approach to the aviation industry that has a keen focus on employment and education. With a comprehensive plan to increase aviation jobs – including mechanics, avionics, and pilots – Carver Aero plans on working with our local post-secondary education institutions to expand aviation program offerings.”
“As a new tenant of the airport, we are honored by the welcome and trust we received from the city and from existing businesses at the airfield,” said Peter Limberger, co-founder and chairman of CL Enterprises, the parent company of Carver Aero. “We will earn this trust, become good neighbors and contribute with our planned investments to the economic development of the airport and the city. My wife Inga Carus and I are especially happy that both Mike Luman and Mark McKinney not only sold their family businesses to us, but will continue to provide their deep knowledge to Carver Aero going forward.”
Lieser said Carver Aero is planning “substantial improvements” to the Lumanair offices and hangars. “We also will bring additional airplanes, services and business to the airport,” he said. “We plan to expand the flight training program and will add charter flights to our services in Aurora.”
Under its Part 135 charter certificate, Carver Aero operates a Pilatus PC-12, a fleet of King Air turboprops, which are ideal for shorter distances and a Citation Ultra jet for longer destinations. Lieser said Carver Aero will be adding experiential charter services, such as offerings to exclusive golf/spa resorts, Chicago Bears away games and other specialty events.
“We also want people from Aurora and the surrounding area to come to the airport, whether it’s to fulfill a dream of learning to fly or using our FBO to work remotely while enjoying the takeoffs and landings of planes,” said Lieser. “At the end of the day, we want to expand the Luman family legacy and traditions at this gem of an airport.”