General Manager Changes at ALN and GJT

Brian Bauwens
Brian Bauwens

Brian Bauwens

Scott Sweeney

West Star is pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Bauwens to General Manager at their East Alton, IL (ALN) facility and relocation of Scott Sweeney, General Manager at their Grand Junction, CO (GJT) location. Both managers will provide leadership for all aspects of the sites, including operations, planning and project management, quality control and building maintenance.

Scott Sweeney, previous General Manager at the ALN facility is replacing Dave Krogman, who recently announced his retirement from GJT. Scott has over 35 years of aviation experience, previously with the US Navy and Hawker Beechcraft.

“West Star is embarking on many exciting new initiatives, including a hangar expansion in Grand Junction,” said Jim Rankin, CEO. “Scott has done a great job in leading the East Alton facility for the past four years and I am confident he will bring the same style of collaboration and strong business acumen to the Grand Junction site,” continued Rankin.

“This is certainly a bittersweet moment for me as I’ve been so fortunate to work alongside an incredible and talented group of people, the entire team here at East Alton has been integral to the success of this facility,” said Scott Sweeney, General Manager (GJT). “As I look ahead with excitement to lead Grand Junction, I am equally as eager to help set the vision and strategic direction for sustainable, long-term growth as we expand our footprint and services to customers across the region,” Sweeney continued.

Brian Bauwens is being promoted from Director of Bombardier Business Development to General Manager at ALN, replacing Scott Sweeney. Brian has over 30 years of aviation experience in a variety of positions along with holding an A&P license from Baker’s School of Aeronautics.

“I’m impressed with Brian’s strong leadership skills, technical knowledge and strong customer-oriented support. He shows great balance between people skills and achieving outstanding results for both the West Star team and our valued customers,” stated Jim Rankin, CEO.

“I appreciate the opportunity to grow and continue my aviation career here at West Star,” said Brian Bauwens, General Manager (ALN). “I’m excited to lead the team I’ve grown so close with and exceed the expectations of our customers,” Bauwens continued.

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Contact Us

WSAA will be piloted at the East Alton, IL facility with the first round of apprentices anticipated to start in January 2024. For more information on West Star Aviation employment or WSAA apprentice selection criteria, please visit or contact Katie Johnson ( or Dave Lagermann (

Application & Selection Process

Before applying, please be aware of the standards of conduct for employment with West Star along with the strict requirements below while attending WSAA.

  • Working in Aviation requires a commit to being drug-free.  Pre-employment drug testing along with random and reasonable suspicion testing is required for all companies employing people working in safety sensitive positions. The position you are considering applying for is safety sensitive.  If hired, you must pass a DOT drug test to start working, if you fail the job offer is rescinded.  If you pass, you must remain drug-free during employment, failing a random or reasonable suspicion test may result in termination of employment.  Please note: marijuana is legal in certain states however the FAA follows Federal law where marijuana is illegal.  This means testing positive for marijuana, or any other illegal drug, will prevent you from working in Aviation. 
  • The first 7.5 months will follow a strict schedule: Monday – Friday 7:00am – 3:30pm (breaks and meal periods provided). 
  • The expectation is to arrive inside the learning center and clocked in at 7:00am.
  • While attending WSAA, no more than 4 hours a week can be missed.  Extenuating medical circumstances will be given full consideration with supporting documentation.
  • WSAA follows an FAA approved curriculum which has certain requirements including attendance. 
  • Testing for the FAA license at the conclusion of WSAA is required, along with passing.  Two opportunities to test will be provided, if needed.  Employment may terminate if the FAA license is not obtained.
  • Candidates will be contacted to complete pre-screening assessments and questionnaires. 
  • Qualified candidates will be contacted in late November and scheduled for a tour and interview with Hiring Managers at West Star Aviation in East Alton, IL.
  • To be qualified, candidates must pass the pre-screening process along with submitting a negative DOT drug test result.
  • Finalists will be selected after onsite interviews. Job offers will be extended in mid-December with a start date of January 9, 2024.
  • Pay while learning in the Academy will be $20 per hour.  Upon successfully graduating and obtaining your FAA license, pay will increase to $27 per hour.