By John Nolan
October 4, 2011
Airborne Maintenance & Engineering Services Inc., an aircraft repair and maintenance company that is the dominant employer at Wilmington Air Park, is to add about 300 jobs over the next 12 to 18 months, Gov. John Kasich and other officials are to announce Tuesday afternoon.
It would be the biggest job announcement at the 1,500-acre airport, near Wilmington, since express shipper DHL donated the property to the Clinton County Port Authority in January 2010 to allow public control of economic redevelopment efforts. It would also be welcome news for an area that was economically devastated in recent years when DHL closed its U.S. freight hub at the airport and wiped out more than 8,000 jobs at what had been the Wilmington area’s largest employer, one that drew employees from the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus areas.
Two informed sources who asked not to be publicly identified on Monday, ahead of Kasich’s announcement, confirmed the approximate size of the expected job addition, but declined to give any details.
It would be in addition to about 425 people that Airborne Maintenance already employs at Wilmington Air Park, a onetime U.S. Air Force base. The company’s total employment is about 500, including workers located elsewhere.
Airborne Maintenance specializes in maintenance, repair and overhaul of commercial aircraft for airlines and private operators. The company is owned by Air Transport Services Group Inc., a Wilmington-based company that also owns the freight airline ABX Air and companies that provide air charter, aircraft leasing and airport support services.
In April, the Ohio Department of Development awarded $15.2 million in loan financing commitments that would allow the Clinton County Port Authority, an economic development entity, to build an airplane maintenance hangar at Wilmington Air Park. Officials said then that the project could support at least 250 new jobs. The officials said that Airborne Maintenance could occupy the new building to offer aircraft painting and maintenance services, and that the parent company would work with the port authority on details of financing and a long-term lease.
Source: DAYTON DAILY NEWS