Friendly Skies and Ground Control
Quietly operating amidst the blaring jet engines on tarmacs around California, ACI Jet has built itself as a high-powered service company for the arrivals and departures for local travelers and visitors to the Central Coast and Southern California.
Known for its work as a Fixed Base Operator (FBO), ACI Jet has locations at airports in Orange County, Oceano, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles, but the company began when Bill Borgsmiller fueled his Piper Seneca III as the company’s first charter aircraft in 1998.
ACI Jet now employs 190 people, operates a fleet of private jet aircraft, and celebrates a banner year in 2017 with a 20-year anniversary and more growth in 2018.
“In this last year, one of the most exciting things is a new location in Orange County,” Borgsmiller said. “We are adding new aircraft to the fleet. There is big growth.”
In concert with the expansion at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport, ACI Jet is building a 35,000-square-foot office complex, and an adjacent 25,000-square-foot hangar as its corporate headquarters on the grounds.
ACI Jet was one of the quiet support systems that has supported the growth of the SLO airport.
“We coordinated with them, doing all the airline support — fuel, and technical support,” Borgsmiller said. “We worked with the County on some of the art, and worked with them logistical support — that is where we were most involved.”
ACI Jet operates ground support in Paso Robles, where its services quietly help keep operations running smoothly for more than just the casual traveler.
“We have the FBO up there in Paso Robles,” Borgsmiller said, “and support the Cal Fire tanker base and the CHP. We support all the aircraft there. More corporate flights are being supported. Paso is seeing a lot of traffic coming directly.”
Growth is a part of the plan for the Paso Robles airport.
“We will see a new maintenance facility for small aircraft, and a new flight school,” Borgsmiller said. “And you got a heck of a restaurant out there as well. Joe’s Place owner [Joe Ontiveros] has the One-Niner Diner.”
Borgsmiller suggested the chilaquiles for breakfast.
Celebrating 20 years is giving Borgsmiller and the team “an opportunity to look back. We have had a lot of employees, and looking back on 20 years, we have been involved and given back to the community that has given us so much.”
As a part of the Paso Robles community, ACI Jet offers more than just charter jet flights to the few who can afford it. The company provides economic vitality to the entire Paso Robles community.
“That is a place we have a huge impact,” ACI Jet Director of Marketing and Communications John W. Tucker said. “Most of the companies who own the planes we operate are out of the Bay Area, Montecito, and others.
We are a huge tax generator. When someone parks a million dollar piece of property at Paso Robles, that revenue helps everyone. We also create head of household jobs.”
Some of ACI Jet’s charter clients also boost the Paso Robles economy after leaving the tarmac.
“Being a tourist destination, we have a lot of smaller planes and they fly in for the weekend,” Tucker said. “They go to events, restaurants, and shop.”
ACI Jet also continues to support the community by giving direct financial contributions to local charitable groups, and volunteer hours.
With the impending closure of Diablo Canyon on everyone’s mind, it is companies like ACI Jet that are working to strengthen the Central Coast economy — but even ACI Jet will feel the impact.
“PGE aircraft fly out of SLO daily,” Borgsmiller said. “With PGE leaving, we wonder how that will impact local flights, but the growth in our maintenance we are building up sources of revenue and jobs in both [SLO and Paso Robles] airports. We are not a Diablo Canyon, but we can do our little part.”
Paso Robles organizations and companies continue to do their part as well. Much of the business ACI Jet sees at the Paso Robles airport is attributed to the equestrian industry. With Paso Robles Horse Park earning the 2017 Beautification of the Year Award from the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, it goes to strengthen our community as a world-wide destination.
“We [also] work a great deal to support the military in Paso Robles,” Borgsmiller said, “with Hunter Liggett, and as Camp Roberts has seen more activity, we have helped them out of Paso. It is cool to work with those guys, because they do so many interesting projects.”
20 Facts in 20 Days for ACI Jet’s 20-Year Anniversary
- More than $1 Million in Charitable Contributions
- More than $22 Million in Federal Tax Contributions
- More than $10 Million in California Tax Contributions
- More than $14 Million in Property Taxes
- More than $60 Million in Payroll Distributions
- More than 30.3M Statute Miles Flown on ACI Jet Aircraft
- Venus is 25.7M Statute Miles from Earth
- More than 102,000 Passengers Flown
- Dodgers Stadium Seats 56,000
- More than 49,000 Flights
- 645 Hours on Employee Flight Department Aircraft
- More than 8,000 Maintenance Work Orders Completed
- More than 230,000 Hours Worked on Aircraft
- More than 4,500 Hours of Factory and/or FAA-Approved Maintenance Training
- Factory-Trained Technicians for 30 Business Jet Models
- More than 50 Military Operations Supported
- More than 200,000 Gallons of Ice Loaded onto Aircraft
- 104 Cement Trucks (9.5-cu-yard/ea)
- More than 18,000 Miles of Aircraft Towing
- More than 41 Million Gallons of Jet-A Uplifted
- More than 1.2 Million Gallons of Fuel Uplifted in Support of California Wildfire Defense
- More than 1.5 Million Gallons of Fuel Uplifted in Support of Military Operations
- [omitted – this one is for employees-only]
20 Years of Giving, More Than 30 Beneficiaries
- Angel Flight
- Arroyo Grande Community Hospital
- Arroyo Grande High School
- CalPilots, California Pilots Association
- Camp Hapitok
- CDF/SLO County Firefighters
- Central Coast FNL
- Central Coast New Tech High
- Cuesta College Foundation
- Cyclists for Change in India
- Economic Vitality Corp.
- Family Care Network, Inc.
- Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
- Firefighter Benevolent Association
- Five Cities Youth Baseball
- Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo
- French Hospital Medical Center Foundation
- Friends of Oceano Airport
- JW House
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Madrid Premier Soccer
- NHS Titan Robotics Team
- Old Mission School
- Project 22
- San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum
- San Luis Obispo POA
- Special Olympics
- St. Joseph High School
- Toys for Tots
- Wilshire Hospice
- Women’s Shelter Program of SLO