We’re in the People Business: The Growth of Airway Services in 2022

2022 was a big year for Airway Services. In fact, 2022 was a big year for all of the TAKKION companies but, for Airway Services specifically, 2022 was the year that proved just how far they have come since the company’s inception. 

In 2022, Airway Services hired 447 people. 

This statistic may be surprising to some, but it wasn’t to Chase Hord, the Chief Operating Officer of Airway Services. 

“Our growth in 2022 was expected,” Hord said. “We’ve been very successful in growing it 30-plus percent year over year for the last five years. It’s something that we’ve been able to do, both with our organic customer base and new opportunities that our operations teams create as well.”

Hord stated that the growth of employees is directly related to the growth of clientele, and vice versa.

“This happened, really, through collaboration and partnerships with our key customers, in order to make sure that we’re ahead in the manpower game,” he said. “It’s important to have your headcount ahead of your customers’ growth, so that you have the people to support their work; otherwise, you’re just kind of late to the game.” 

Airway grew in a number of ways throughout 2022, but the biggest growth occurred in terms of field technicians, according to Keith Grigsby, the Director of Field Operations for Airway Services.

“The biggest part of our growth was in our technicians out in the field – which really drives our business,” Grigsby said. “That’s our key core of our business, is the technicians that are out there in the field. So that’s probably what we’re most proud of. Last year, in 2022, we started out with 390 technicians out in the field, and our peak headcount was 538. So, there was a big growth there.” 

It wasn’t just the number of technicians, either. Many employees were promoted from within, as well. 

“We promoted two field supervisors,” Grigsby shared. “We promoted them from field supervisors to 

operations managers. And we also promoted one of our operations managers to a senior operations manager. And we developed close to 10 field supervisors that were some of our leading technicians, who showed the capabilities of leading our teams. So, we’ll develop those guys to be future leaders in the company. And we’re pretty proud of that as well.” 

Proud, they should be. Airway Services has seen tremendous growth in many areas, and a lot of that growth can be attributed to its acquisition by TAKKION.

“TAKKION has provided not only the liquidity and the financial stability for Airway to grow in the marketplace but, really, it’s allowed us to cross-sell our services around other entities and collaborate on the field services side,” Hord said. “I would say RENEW was our biggest competitor when getting down to some of the transactional work that we would bid with customers for. So, for us to be able to collaborate and work together, now, whether RENEW wins it or Airway wins it, it’s a win for TAKKION. The cross-selling of services and the collaboration of the brand has helped us grow in this market.” 

Grigsby agrees. 

“Growth-wise, TAKKION has helped us have the financial ability to be able to grow the way we need to,” he said. “It’s been great for us all the way across the board. So anytime we have a need in there, they’ve enabled us to grow and fulfill those needs, especially in our training facilities.”

While TAKKION played a role in Airway’s growth, as did – obviously- Airway’s employees, the biggest reason for the company’s growth is, as always, the customers. 

“One of the main things that drives our success is our customers,” Grigsby said. “Our customers reach out to us, and we do a good job, and so then they want more of our technicians out in the field, supporting them in the wind industry. So, some of our biggest customers have reached out and wanted us to grow with them. So, as their demand increased, we were able to fill that demand and train more people and get them onboarded. 

For 2022, the wind industry all together saw a big growth. And we help support that growth in the wind industry with our labor force.” 

Airway’s growth directly correlates to the growth of the wind industry. Both are sure to grow even more in the coming years, as wind energy gets more and more popular. With that will come even more growth, even more success for companies like Airway Services. But for Airway, it’s not just about quantity; it’s about quality too, above all. 

“There are a lot of companies that can grow,” Grigsby said. “But they sort of fail when it comes to the quality and the expectations with customers and with technicians themselves. We have the quantity and the quality of technicians and we support them completely. And our work with customers is topnotch. Everybody that works for Airway wants to work here, and wants to be here, and enjoys their time here. And they know that when they’re working for Airway, they have the capabilities to be considered the topnotch wind technicians in the field.” 

It is those technicians and other employees, Hord said, that are responsible for the success of Airway Services.

“This would be impossible without the people on our team,” he said. “It takes everybody – from the back office support team to the operations teams in field, everyone is instrumental in our success. We strive to constantly push the brand and culture that we have here at Airway. It’s important that we lead with service, with that service mentality. The only reason we’re in business is because of our people. We’re in the people business. And that needs to continue to be the foundation of what we do and why we do it.”