Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Spreading Its Wings: Focused on the Cessna Caravan, Enid-Based ASIC Hiring Employees, Expanding

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Spreading Its Wings: Focused on the Cessna Caravan, Enid-Based ASIC Hiring Employees, Expanding

Article excerpt

In late April, 13 Cessna Caravan 208 and 208-B aircraft were in various stages of rebuilding, repair or refurbishment at Aircraft Structures International Corp. at Woodring Regional Airport in Enid.

"The last couple of years most of our business has been international," said Mickey A. Stowers, who owns ASIC with his wife, Kay Stowers.

One Caravan recently left ACIC headed to Australia. Another Caravan still in Enid is headed to Germany after work is finished. Company employees are working on a Caravan from Peru.

Although ASIC works on an international basis, the company is focused on one segment.

"We specialize on the Cessna 208 Caravan," Mickey Stowers said. "It is the only aircraft we work on here."

The work is increasing.

ASIC has about 35 employees and hiring.

"In the next two years we hope to have another 40 to 50 employees," he said. "We have the work. We can't keep up."

Hiring more employees expands space requirements.

ASIC recently completed construction on a hangar that is 120 feet wide and 110 feet deep and plans to build three more hangars at Woodring Regional Airport.

The recently completed hangar is used for storage. Stowers expects to use two of the planned hangars for painting and the third hangar for maintenance.

Stowers expects demand to continue to grow.

Cessna Aircraft Co. of Wichita, Kan., started production of the Caravan single-engine utility turboprop in 1984 and manufactures about 100 units annually and has an order backlog. Caravans are used for passengers and cargo around the world.

In April, Cessna said two new Caravans were delivered to China. The Caravan can take off from airfields as short as 2,420 feet, has a range of 917 nautical miles and has a maximum cruise speed of 184 knots true airspeed, according to Cessna. The Caravan can seat 12.

Some Caravans are outfitted with extra features.

"Some wealthy individuals take out some of the seats and put in a bar and other luxury features," Stowers said. "It is not the fastest aircraft but there is a lot of room."

FedEx has about 250 Caravans in its aircraft fleet, he said.

"FedEx uses the Caravan as a feeder aircraft," Stowers said. "They use them to take cargo to the larger aircraft."

ASIC has a contract with FedEx for work on the company's Caravans. The work for FedEx includes a rotating parts inventory.

"They will ship us damaged parts and we will send them good parts to replace the damaged parts on the Caravan," Stowers said.

ASIC will then repair the damaged part and have it ready for another damaged aircraft in the FedEx fleet. …

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