Columbia Air Services – Serving the Aviation Communities since 1980

What is in a Name?

The Columbia corporate name has an interesting and colorful connection with the early history of Connecticut and transportation. According to Harry Holt and Arthur Maurice, the company’s owners, “Columbia” was the name of a 19th century tall ship captained by John Rathbone of Mystic, Connecticut. This 1051-ton vessel was representative of a class of sleek, fast sailing ships known as Packets. These ships enabled the United States to capture a major share of the growing transatlantic passenger traffic.

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Arthur Maurice

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Harry Holt

William Rathbone of Liverpool, England, and a relative of Capt. John Rathbone, was instrumental in organizing the Black Ball Line, which provided the first regularly scheduled transatlantic passenger service between the United States and Britain. Capt. Rathbone sailed under the famous Black Ball Line Burgee for many years before being lost at sea in 1847. His ancestors helped to settle Mystic and Stonington, Connecticut, as well as Block Island, Rhode Island. He is also credited with attempting to torpedo a British naval blockade of Stonington Harbor during the War of 1812.

LogoHolt and Maurice have preserved these roots in the company’s name and unique logo, which combines the best of both the past and present:  the tall ship Columbia, shown flying the famous Black Ball Burgee and the Piper Cheyenne 400LS, the fastest production turboprop of its time.

Columbia combines the tradition and excellence of the past with the innovation and technology of the present, to create a new standard in transportation for the future. Click here to see our planes for sale.

Columbia Aviation Companies

The Columbia group of companies includes Columbia Air Services, Inc., Columbia Aircraft Sales, Inc., Columbia Fuel Services, Inc., Columbia Air, LLC, Columbia Air Services-Rutland, LLC, Columbia Air Services-BHB, LLC, and Columbia Air Services-LAL, LLC. Each is a separate and distinct organization, with specific locations and/or purposes. However, to maximize the potential of the group, and to minimize customer confusion, each Columbia company has registered to conduct business in its respective location(s) under a common trade-name:  “Columbia Air Services,” and where appropriate, “Columbia Aircraft Sales.”

Columbia Air Services, Inc., 175 Tower Avenue, Groton, Connecticut, was formed in 1980 to provide aircraft maintenance and a variety of other aviation services at the Groton-New London Airport in Groton, Connecticut. Since its affiliation with Pratt & Whitney in 1984, the company has serviced thousands of turbine engines, and is recognized today for its PT-6 series turbine engine expertise. Its FAA licensed technicians are factory trained in leading makes and models of turbine and piston aircraft. With over 100 years of airframe, powerplant and system maintenance and trouble-shooting experience, you’re Flying In Good Company with Columbia.

Columbia Aircraft Sales, Inc., 175 Tower Avenue, Groton, Connecticut, was formed in 1988 to meet the transitional needs of the region’s general aviation owners and pilots. The company offers aircraft and avionics demonstrations, insurance and financing support, market research and analysis, aircraft sales and acquisitions, aircraft appraisals, transaction and registration services, and lifetime customer and product support. Columbia Aircraft Sales, Inc., is the exclusive distributor of New Piper, and Socata TBM 850 aircraft in the northeastern United States, and in the case of the TBM, eastern Canada as well. The company has representatives in Groton, CT; Allaire, NJ; White Plains, NY; Rutland, VT; and Bar Harbor, ME.

Columbia Fuel Services, Inc., 175 Tower Avenue, Groton, Connecticut, was organized in 1983 to provide fuel, hangar, and ground support services to the aviation public at the Groton-New London Airport. Since February 2001, the company has provided similar services at the Monmouth Executive Airport in Farmingdale, NJ. Today Columbia Fuel Services, Inc., provides fuel, lubricants, tie-downs, hangar space, baggage handling, catering, car-rental, concierge, de-icing, security, and other ground-support services at both locations. It operates in Groton from 5 am to 9 pm, and in Farmingdale from 6 am to 10 pm.

Columbia Air Services-RUT, LLC, was formed in July of 2002, to operate a fixed-base at the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport, in North Clarendon, Vermont. The company was originally named “Columbia® Air Services-Rutland, LLC,” but was changed to its current name on October 17, 2005 to maintain consistency with other newly formed or acquired Columbia companies. The company operates from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Sunday, providing fuel, lubricants, tie-downs, hangar space, baggage handling, catering, car-rental, concierge, de-icing, security, and other ground-support services. The company also manages T-hangar condominiums, hosts a flight school, brokers charter services, and offers scenic tours and aircraft rentals.

Columbia Air Services-BHB, LLC, was formed in August of 2003, to operate a fixed base at the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, in Trenton, Maine. The company operates from 7 am to 9 pm, seven days a week, providing aircraft maintenance, fuel, lubricants, tie-downs, hangar space, baggage handling, catering, car-rental, concierge, de-icing, security, and other ground-support services. The company also hosts a flight school, brokers charter services, scenic tours, and aircraft rentals.


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