About Us

Meridian is a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) with comprehensive aircraft detailing services. We have FBO locations at Teterboro Airport (TEB) near New York City and Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) near San Francisco, each with comfortable, well-appointed Executive Terminals. Professional detailing, cleaning and decontamination services are available at our Teterboro location. A Meridian Regional Office is located at the Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, California.

Meridian's proud history dates back over 70 years. Along the way, we've learned that exceptional service is what our customers value most. That philosophy, along with our dedication to putting safety first, is the cornerstone of our culture at Meridian. We appreciate your interest in Meridian and look forward to serving you soon!

OUR HISTORY

The company's roots at Teterboro date back to 1946 when Ken Forester, Sr.
and Bob Hewitt formed Mallard Air Service. Twelve years later, Forester started a new business venture, General Aviation Company, offering aircraft sales, maintenance and other aviation services.

Meridian is still privately-owned today, and we take pride in being the only family-owned aviation company still at Teterboro. For a look at our long and storied history, please see the timeline below.

1940s - 1950s
1946
 
 
Ken Forester, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Bob Hewitt, both Army Air Force pilots during WWII, form Mallard Air Service at Teterboro Airport.
1951
 
 
Forester leaves Mallard to manage a wire machinery plant and also work as an A&P mechanic at Teterboro.
1958
 
 
Forester founds General Aviation Company at Teterboro Airport, specializing in selling and maintaining Navion aircraft, as well as performing maintenance on other piston planes. The facility has space to tiedown 50 aircraft and a flight school.
1960s - 1970s
1965
 
 
General Aviation Company Adds Mooney Dealership.
1971
 
 
General Aviation Company leases the Flight School to Teterboro Flight Academy, who operates it until 1974.
1974
 
 
Ken Forester, Jr., a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, assumes full-time management of the company. Forester, a former F-102 pilot, served in the Air Force from 1963-1972.
1980s - 1990s
1980
 
 
More than 130 aircraft are now based at General Aviation. The FAA-approved flight school’s fleet has grown to 33 aircraft.
1983
 
 
General Aviation forms General Aviation Flying Service charter company, using piston aircraft.
1984
 
 
General Aviation builds new hangar and terminal at Teterboro Airport.
1985
 
 
General Aviation begins selling jet fuel.
1986
 
 
Company joins Million Air FBO network.
1989
 
 
Meridian’s Charter Certificate approved by the FAA. First jet aircraft, a Citation SII, added to charter fleet.
1996
 
 
FAA-approved repair station opens.
1997
 
 
First large-cabin aircraft, a Gulfstream GII, becomes part of charter fleet.
1998
 
 
Teterboro earns NATA Safety 1st certification.
2000 - present
2006
 
 
Company leaves Million Air network and rebrands as Meridian. Opens a new FBO terminal and office facility.
2007
 
 
Meridian opens a 40,000 sq. ft. maintenance and storage hangar.
2012
 
 
Meridian begins westward expansion. Opens regional office in Santa Rosa and sales office in San Jose, CA.
2013
 
 
Meridian bases its first West Coast charter aircraft, a Citation XLS, at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD).
2015
 
 
Meridian breaks ground for its new West Coast FBO at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD).
Opens a Sales Office at Van Nuys Airport (VNY).
2016
 
 
Meridian opens full-service FBO at Hayward Airport, which includes a 30,000 sq. ft. hangar.
2017
 
 
Meridian adds additional 22,000 sq. ft. hangar at Teterboro on south end of airport.
2018
 
 
Meridian opens a new 40,000 sq. ft. hangar at Teterboro Airport, bringing total hangar space to 102,000 sq. ft.
Hayward receives NATA Safety 1st certification.
2019
 
 
Sales Office opens at Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF) in Miami, FL.
Meridian celebrates the 30th anniversary of its jet charter business.
2020
 
 
Teterboro and Hayward FBOs receive IS-BAH registration and NATA Safety 1st Clean certification.
Charter and Management business sold to Jet Linx.
Repair Station closes as company focuses on growth of FBO business.
 
EXECUTIVE TEAM
KENNETH FORESTER
CEO

Ken, owner and CEO of Meridian, has spent over 40 years in the aviation industry. He is the son of Ken Forester, Sr., the company’s founder. Ken graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force where he was an F-102 pilot. He later joined his father’s company, assuming full-time management in 1974. Ken has spearheaded Meridian’s growth into one of the leading aviation services company in the industry.

Ken enjoys spending time at both Meridian Teterboro and Meridian Hayward. He is currently qualified in the Cessna Citation. His other type ratings include the Learjet and Gulfstream.

STEVE CHANDOHA
President

Steve has been a key member of the Meridian team since 1988. He joined the company as Flight School Manager after earning his Master of Business Administration/Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also received his Bachelor’s degree from Embry Riddle. As the flight school activity lessened, Steve moved to the FBO side of the business and served as line service manager, moving up to General Manager and then Vice President. He was named President of Meridian Teterboro in 2002.  With the company’s westward expansion, Steve assumed responsibility for the Hayward facility as well.

Steve has been part of the aviation community since he was 15. He loved flying and earned his glider license and then his pilot license and various ratings while at Embry-Riddle. As his career progressed, his focus turned more to the business side of the industry. While he is no longer an active pilot, Steve is passionate about aviation and about Meridian.

BETSY WINES
VP of Customer Service & Human Resources

Betsy began her career at Meridian in 1985 as a flight school dispatcher, while still in college. Upon her graduation from Montclair State University she was promoted to Customer Service Manager. She was named Vice President of Customer Service & Human Resources in 2002. She is currently an FBO Advisor to the Corporation Aircraft Association (CAA) Board. Betsy has been continually recognized as one of the top CSRs in the country by multiple industry surveys, including the Professional Pilot PRASE survey, where she has been ranked #1 CSR 18 times, as well as Aviation International News.

AIDA LIBIRAN
VP of Accounting

Aida has been in the aviation industry for 39 years, working in various accounting roles. She joined Meridian in 1985 as a bookkeeper, and was promoted to Accounting Manager in 1990. She assumed her current position of Vice President of Accounting in 2002. Prior to joining Meridian, Aida worked as an accountant at Beechcraft East, a Teterboro FBO at that time. She held several other professional accounting positions before moving to the Teterboro area. Aida earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of the East (Philippines) with a major in Accounting. She currently oversees a department of three seasoned team members.

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ
General Manager - Meridian Hayward

Carlos joined Meridian in 2002 as a Line Service Technician while still a student, before moving up to one of two Lead Line Technicians. In 2013, he was named Meridian’s first-ever Line Service Training and Safety Coordinator. When Meridian began its westward expansion to Hayward, Carlos was tapped to lead operations as the business got up and running. In July 2016 he transitioned to Operations Manager for the soon-to-open facility, and was promoted to General Manager in August 2017.

Initially intending a career in education, Carlos has spent his entire career with Meridian. He holds various industry certifications including Fuel Safety credentials, Fire Safety credentials, Fuel Quality Assurance credentials, Train the Trainer credentials and Crisis Incident Management training. Meridian Hayward continues to grow under Carlos’ management.