The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has awarded Calspan Air Services a contract for its local fixed base operator services at the Niagara Falls International Aiport, it announced Monday. 

The 10-year contract will keep Calspan, a subsidiary company of Calspan Holdings, which is involved in a variety of aviation and other transport research and testing, at the airport to provide aircraft refueling, de-icing, cleaning, water service, air start, air stairs, belt loaders, crew cars and other services to smaller business class jets and private charter planes.

Calspan Air Services also performs refueling services for U.S. government and military aircraft, in addition to performing full service ground handling for the commercial airlines.

“The Niagara Falls airport has become a popular place for private planes, due to its proximity to downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls,” said Lou Knotts, CEO of Calspan.

Calspan has been in operation for 70 years and is privately owned by John Yurtchuk, chairman of the company, and Knotts.

The organization also conducts flight testing, flight training, aerial survey and mapping, aircraft modifications in Niagara Falls. It has operated at the airport since 2013, when it took over the fixed base duties and undertook renovation work to expand the available aircraft and personal services at the airport. 

The company's research and development site has been housed at the airport since 2005.

Knotts has previously described the airfield is a "jewel" because it is not highly trafficked, but offers the longest runway in Western New York and has been constructed outside areas typically hit by lake effect snowstorms.  

In addition to its Niagara region services, Calpsan also operates a transonic wind tunnel, automotive crash test lab, high-performance tire testing facilities, and a sled facility used to test infant car seats at its headquarters in the City of Buffalo.