The terminal and air traffic control tower at Paine Field are seen on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in unincorporated Snohomish County, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The terminal and air traffic control tower at Paine Field are seen on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in unincorporated Snohomish County, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett’s second-largest aerospace employer, ATS, names new CEO

New CEO Robert Cords will lead Paine Field-based Aviation Technical Services, which employs 800 people in Everett.

EVERETT — Aviation Technical Services, Snohomish County’s second-largest aerospace employer, has appointed a new chief executive officer.

New CEO Robert Cords replaces Paul Dolan, who left the company in November.

Cords stepped into his new role on Monday.

“Rob brings an analytical, yet energizing approach to his leadership style, one that will serve ATS customers and its employees well,” said Matt Yerbic, executive board chairman in a statement. “He brings a balanced perspective, ensuring the customer experience and operational requirements are forefront.”

Robert Cords, new CEO of Aviation Technical Services based at Paine Field in Everett

Robert Cords, new CEO of Aviation Technical Services based at Paine Field in Everett

Based at Paine Field in Everett, Aviation Technical Services is one of the nation’s largest aircraft maintenance and repair companies. Its 221,000-square-foot repair hangar at the Everett airport can accommodate up to 14 Boeing 737-sized jets.

The firm provides a suite of maintenance, repair and overhaul services, known in the aviation business as MRO, for commercial and military aircraft. ATS also repairs and designs airplane parts. It operates six facilities in Washington, Texas and Kansas City, Missouri.

The company employs 800 people in Everett — trailing only Boeing in number of local aerospace employees — and another 500 in Texas and Kansas City.

Boeing employs 35,000 workers in three shifts at the company’s assembly plant at Paine Field in Everett.

Customers include Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and some of the nation’s largest cargo carriers.

Cords will be based at the company’s component repair facility in Fort Worth, Texas, near Dallas Forth Worth International Airport.

Cords joins ATS from Wheels Up, a private charter jet company based in New York City.

At Wheels Up, Cords served as executive vice president of fleet operations and infrastructure, overseeing airplane maintenance programs.

Before that he was president of airlines and fleets at StandardAero, where he oversaw the firm’s aircraft engine maintenance division.

Cords has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University and a master’s in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

Former CEO Paul Dolan joined ATS in 2016 serving as president. He was named CEO in June 2021 and served until November.

“On behalf of our entire Board, I thank Paul for leading ATS through some of the most challenging times the industry has ever faced,” Yerbic said. “We wish him and his family the best.”

During the pandemic, Dolan helped steer the company through the crisis. ATS lost 60% of its business when airline passenger travel declined some 90%.

The company offers an 18-month paid apprenticeship program at its Everett facility.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097;; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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