Knight Aerospace Products signed a 30-day lease for 10,000 square feet of hangar and 35,000 square feet of ramp space at the Port’s Kelly Field industrial airport that was concluded this summer. The company used the space to outfit a brand new Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft with two interior kits—the first of its kind—built at the Knight’s nearby facility on Acme Road just two miles away from the hangar. At Kelly Field, technicians loaded the custom-built compartments into the cargo area, secured them to the aircraft’s rail restraint system, and conducted necessary testing as a final step in the two-year manufacturing process.
These latest deliveries were custom built for one of Knight’s VIP customers. The first is a kit with rows of seats, also known as palletized seating or roll-on/roll off kits, similar to the configuration of a commercial airliner. It also features a lavatory, galley, and luggage area. The second unit is a fully enclosed luxury cabin with a galley, aeromedical bed, and two lavatories.
“Port San Antonio offers strategic support and a sophisticated logistics platform that gives our customers the flexibility to accommodate many different types of projects, including the specialized work by Knight Aerospace,” said Bruce E. Miller, President and CEO of Port San Antonio. “We’re pleased to have provided our customer the necessary space to fulfill an order that is very important to their business.”
“The Port has given us excellent support and facilities which increased the efficiency of our operations. Thanks to the nearby space at Kelly Field and the responsiveness of the Port’s team, we were able to quickly conduct the testing to finalize a multi-million dollar order,” said Rick Knight, Vice President of Knight Aerospace. “We look forward to a continued partnership with the Port as our business grows.”
For over 20 years, Knight Aerospace Products has been creating the specialized units that in a matter of hours convert the functionality of military cargo aircraft. Products range from palletized passenger seats to more specialized orders, including equipment racks for airborne military communications centers and exquisite, custom-built modular cabins like the one just completed. Customers include the U.S. military and governments from around the world, including world leaders.
Among the kits’ advantages is the fact that the cargo aircraft in which they are installed can reach remote areas of the world where runways cannot safely accommodate standard commercial aircraft. Knight Aerospace’s products are in use in C-130, C-17, C-27J, C-235 and C-77J/G222 aircraft, among others.
The company is a certified small business, Veteran-owned, and managed by three generations of the Knight family—father, son, and grandson. Prior to expanding and moving to its current location on Acme Road, the company had a location on Old Highway 90 in San Antonio and a hangar in Hondo, Texas.
Port San Antonio offers the largest aerospace platform in South Texas, including access to the region’s longest runway. For almost 20 years, industry marquee names like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, StandardAero, Chromalloy, Gore Design Completions and others have supported military and commercial aircraft projects at the Port, including maintenance, repair and overhaul of airframes and engines.
There are also an additional 400 acres at Kelly Field for the development of facilities that support the aerospace industry’s ongoing growth in the region.