The Huron Regional Airport, in Huron, South Dakota, is the latest fixed-base operation (FBO) to become a part of the Revv Aviation family, which includes aviation operations in the Iowa Quad Cities region.
Huron is the seventh FBO and the ninth operating location for newly rebranded Revv Aviation.
The Aurora, Illinois-based Revv rolled out its new brand and name in May across its network, which includes the former Carver Aero in Davenport and Muscatine.
The startup aviation company, which began with the Dec. 31, 2019, acquisition of Carver Aero, now is one of the companies of CL Enterprises (CLE) of Peru, Illinois. Owned by the husband and wife duo of Peter Limberger and Inga Carus, CLE invests, owns and manages a range of businesses. In addition to aviation, its businesses include agriculture, real estate development, hospitality and manufacturing – mostly in smaller Midwestern towns.
Through various acquisitions, Revv now has grown to include the former Carver Aero operations and FBOs at these locations: Council Bluffs, Iowa; Aurora and Schaumburg, Illinois; and Janesville, Wisconsin.
Carver Aero was owned the past 35 years by Roy Carver Jr., whose father founded the company. The late Roy Carver Sr., who was born in Preemption, Illinois, was an industrialist, sports enthusiast, and philanthropist who founded three successful enterprises – Carver Pump Co. – which got its start in the Mercer County town of Matherville, Illinois – as well as Carver Foundry Products and Bandag Co.
Mr. Carver, who died in 1981, left an indelible mark at the University of Iowa as well as other institutions and causes across Iowa and Illinois, according to the university’s website. The Carver name is now synonymous with the exceptional teaching and research associated with University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and the Carver College of Medicine.
Augustana College also has benefited from his generosity. Students on the Rock Island campus use the Roy J. Carver Center for Physical Education for intercollegiate basketball, volleyball, wrestling and swimming, as well as for most of Augustana’s physical education classes. The center was completed with a generous gift from Mr. Carver.
In a news release announcing Huron, Revv said earlier this week that the Huron airport is located in the east-central part of South Dakota and Huron is the county seat of Beadle County. The region also is world renowned for pheasant hunting.
“We are excited to have Revv Aviation in Huron,” Ted Haeder, CEO and president of the Greater Huron Development Corporation, said in the release. “It’s a family-owned company that understands small town values, culture and business. Our conversations with Peter (Limberger) and Guy (Lieser) have been centered on the potential developments that they envision at the airport and in Huron.”
Mr. Lieser, Revv Aviation’s CEO and president, sees great value at the Huron airfield. “It’s got a 7,200-foot by 100-foot-wide runway with a 5,000-foot crosswind runway. Huron can handle any size aircraft,” he said.
He added that plans call for Revv expanding all its services to Huron including maintenance, avionics, flight school and charter. “Our PT-6 engine maintenance team is already expanding to Huron, which houses more than 30 crop dusters that require this type of service. There is also a good market for charter services in Huron, especially during the six-month pheasant hunting season.”
Revv also operates flight schools in Sioux City, Iowa, and at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska.
Mr. Lieser said Revv will retain all the Huron employees and additional staff will be added as needed, including mechanics, flight instructors and pilots. “We are here for the long term and want to create living wage jobs and encourage young people to consider the many aviation careers.”
In an interview with the QCBJ this spring, Mr. Lieser said the company has approached its aviation acquisitions opportunistically. “If it fits our model, it’s worth considering. If it doesn’t, we don’t bother with it.”
Much like the mantra of CLE, he said Revv is “big things in small towns. We’re looking to reinvigorate these small town airports.
Mr. Limberger, CLE’s chief executive officer and chairman, and his wife Ms. Carus both are avid pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
“As the new tenant of the FBO, we are encouraged by the warm welcome from the city, the aviation community and the employees in Huron,” Mr. Limberger said in the release. “We are looking forward to many years of cooperation and being able to contribute to the economic development of the airport, the city and the region.”
Larry Cooper, Huron Regional Airport manager, applauded the approach Revv is taking in boosting smaller airports. “What Revv is doing in the Midwest is unique in that the company wants to revitalize small town airports and encourage people to visit and utilize their local air transportation centers.”
He added: “Revv and CL Enterprises understand the economic vitality that local airports provide communities, and they plan to build upon that.”
Mr. Lieser told the QCBJ this spring that the company has four or five other locations on its radar including Ohio, Alabama and in the West. “We don’t want to lose the character of the company, we’re (a group of) small to medium-size companies,” he said of the FBO acquired and combined into Revv.