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For more than 40 years, operators of aircraft large and small have relied on us.

We have the technicians, tools and talent to do the job, but at Thornton Aviation we also bring “owner eyes” to our efforts. Many of our company’s technicians worked for flight departments before joining the Thornton Aviation team, so we understand your perspective and your pressures. That’s why we take the time to walk you through the process and why we’re as flexible as possible when it comes to schedule.


Our 70 full-time employees, including 50 FAA-certificated technicians, know their role.

We know our part. We take care of your aircraft and we take care of you. You’ll be informed throughout your project. Once your aircraft arrives, we conduct pre/post flight inspections and debrief with your crew to ensure a smooth transition and efficient scheduling of any required maintenance. You'll always know what we’re doing and why, and we'll get you on your way as quickly as we can.



Located at Van Nuys and Burbank Airports, we also work closely with Castle & Cooke Aviation and Million Air who can accommodate any fuel and service needs 24/7.



Owner Steve Zimmerman is a 35+ year employee who bought the company. Steve is a hands-on owner, accessible to both customers and employees. Compliments? Concerns? Talk directly to Steve.


Thornton is the “on call, on demand and by the hour” maintenance provider. Plus, customers pay NO “management fee,” unlike the company’s competitors.



Thornton Aviation continues to be a leading connectivity provider, installing today’s most popular solutions.


We never stop performing.

In 1981, Chuck Thornton acquired and rebuilt a discarded United States Air Force Northrop T-38A with the help of two mechanics. In 1984, it was returned to flying status, becoming the first civilian owned and operated T-38. That same year, a new hangar was built at Van Nuys Airport and Thornton Aviation was established.

Over the years, four more T-38s and multiple Northrop F-5A/B/E aircraft would be acquired, overhauled and sold by Thornton. During this process, Thornton would become the first FAA Certified Repair Station approved to maintain experimental aircraft. Our Repair Station has now grown to encompass the repair and maintenance of today’s leading aircraft.

In 2011, Thornton Aviation teamed with Castle & Cooke Aviation to become their maintenance provider. In 2013 they completed a new hangar at our old location, and we now share a beautiful 38,000 sq. ft. hangar. In 2021, Thornton Aviation added services at Burbank Airport at Hangar 89.

We're ready to help with your aircraft.

Bring us your jet.

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