How SCLA Is Putting Itself on the Map

VICTORVILLE, CA—The Southern California Logistics Airport here is being used not just for flight, but for aircraft painting, maintenance, storage and as an international hub, assistant city manager Keith Metzler tells Moreover, the airport and the city itself have been recognized by both Hollywood and Madison Ave. as ideal for filming movies, TV show and commercials—in fact, the airport was recently the site of Southwest Airlines’ newly filmed commercial. spoke with Metzler about what’s been happening lately at the airport. Tell us about some of the new ways SCLA is being used and recognized.

Metzler: At our airport, we have two runways, and they intersect. Inside the V that makes the intersection is a dedicated area for airplanes to do engine run-ups. It’s a safe place for after-flight or maintenance. They can park it and rev up the engines to full throttle without harming people or property in the area. Also, we have a modern-looking blast fence that makes such blast from the engine goes up in the air rather than blowing across the desert or runway. It’s in an area that’s remote—away from people and looky-loos. What’s new with Southwest is they chose SCLA to roll out their entire new paint scheme for all their airplanes. The interesting part of it is while SCLA announced their new livery here in Victorville with the commercial photo shoot, but we see painting here on a regular basis. Because of a company called Leading Edge, which has a contract primarily with Boeing, we regularly see brand-new unpainted airplanes from their assembly lines being flown to our place to be painted. We have a whole bunch of international activity—Ethiopia Airways, FedEx—and we’re becoming a hub for that kind of activity and for Boeing after-market maintenance. What does this indicate about the airport?

Metzler: It certainly is being seen as a location where there is a labor force skilled enough to provide what’s needed regarding maintenance. The location is central to Boeing’s overall delivery of aircraft. It’s suitable for flight, but also maintenance and storage. Because we have a lot of open space, we’re not a congested environment, planes and come in unrestricted. There are no curfews or fuel slots. Here, they have free reign. What other trends are you seeing at the airport?

Metzler: We are just starting to see an increased demand for industrial space. Fortunately, we’re largely leased everything leasable, between the airport and our partner Stirling Capital Investments. We’re seeing increased solicitation for space, and we’re having a hard time fulfilling it, so we’re starting to explore some build-to-suit opportunities that might meet these needs. We’re pretty excited about it. SCLA is a large facility not just designed around aviation, but manufacturing and warehouse/distribution as well—it’s a multipurpose industrial facility.