Smartair is no fly-by-night business. Owned and operated by the same family since its inception 49 years ago, Smartair has a solid history of stable management and steady progress.
Pieter Mol was a highly credentialed instructor with the Royal Dutch Air Force, when he and wife Clara decided to ‘spread their wings’ and fly from Holland to Australia with their young family in 1966.
Masling Aviation in Albury needed an instructor and Pieter needed a job. The rest, as they say, is history. After Masling sold its flying school in 1968, Pieter and Clara seized the initiative and their Air Centre took to the skies. Starting with one small aircraft owned by a flying student, Pieter then brokered a deal to provide charter flights catering for local business travellers.
The business grew steadily, and Air Centre built its own premises in 1970 and purchased its first aircraft, a Piper Warrior, in 1972.
The Albury maintenance facility commenced when Pieter Jnr joined the business in the early 1980s as a qualified pilot, instructor and maintenance engineer. Pieter Jnr had been apprenticed to Tobin Maintenance and the family bought that business when Mr Tobin retired. Over the next decade, three more sons, Erik, Ivo and Taco, joined the business after their tertiary studies.
A major client eventually created the need to fly to and from Bathurst, ultimately leading (in the early 90s), to the establishment of a hangar, maintenance facilities and flying school there. Government contracts are now serviced from Bathurst.
Air Centre took a quantum leap in 2005 with the arrival of its turbo prop King Air also gaining operational and maintenance approval for turbines. The King Air is an executive aircraft with great range and capacity.
Pieter Snr retired from active duty in 2003 and died suddenly in early 2011.
The Mol family has always moved with the times and the evolution of the Air Centre to Smartair is testament to that fact.