Pentastar Aviation
Pentastar Aviation
Waterford, Michigan
Key People
Edsel B. Ford II, chairman and owner; Gregory J. Schmidt, president and CEO
Number of Employees
Phone Number
(800) 662-9612

Pentastar Aviation

Pentastar Aviation provides aircraft charter, maintenance, management, and FBO services from its executive terminal about 30 miles north of Detroit. 

The company was first established in 1964 as Chrysler Air Transportation, the flight department for Chrysler Corporation, at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Expanding to include public charter and FBO services in 1980, it rebranded as Pentastar Aviation after the carmaker’s famous logo.

Pentastar moved its operations in 1990 to Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township near Pontiac, Michigan, where it built five heated hangars—the largest of which can accommodate a Boeing 737—over the next 10 years. In 1992 the company opened a catering department called Fivestar Gourmet, which continues to deliver prepared meals to Detroit-area FBOs and charter operations as well as support Pentastar employees and clients. It opened a maintenance facility in 1995, becoming the only independently owned Gulfstream-authorized warranty and repair center at the time, and an avionics shop.

When German carmaker Daimler-Benz acquired Chrysler in 1998, it renamed the U.S. aviation division DaimlerChrysler Aviation. Edsel B. Ford II, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, purchased that division in 2001, restoring the Pentastar Aviation name. However, the German-based DaimlerChrysler Aviation remained a subsidiary to DaimlerChrysler AG and was renamed DC Aviation in 2007. Before the renaming, Pentastar Aviation signed a five-year contract with DaimlerChrysler Aviation for ground handling of its Airbus A319 Transatlantic Star shuttle; Pentastar’s 11,000-square-foot, two-story Stargate facility, built in 2001, remains one of the few executive FBO terminals in the U.S. with its own jetway and baggage carousel.  

Expanding westward, Pentastar opened an FBO at Los Angeles’s Van Nuys Airport in 2006. It closed in 2013. The company also operated a repair station at Key Air’s FBO in Oxford, Connecticut, from around 2012 to 2015.

In 2020, Pentastar began providing charter, management, and aircraft maintenance at Avflight’s newest FBO at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Renewing its ARG/US Platinum rating in 2020, Pentastar Aviation was ranked as the number-one FBO in the Americas by Business Jet Traveler’s sister publication, Aviation International News

As of June 2021, the company managed 27 aircraft with six on its Part 135 charter certificate and eight tenant aircraft ranging in size from an Eclipse very light jet to a Boeing Business Jet. In addition, Pentastar Aviation provides broker services on other companies’ aircraft.