ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – COVID-19 closures have essentially turned Roswell’s airport into a parking lot of grounded airplanes; it provides a steady revenue stream. But, even on the ground, it still takes a company to manage, repair, and oversee all those planes.
“It’s just an exciting time, it’s a big project,” said Dennis Kintigh, the mayor of Roswell.
Arizona-based aviation company, Ascent Aviation, has signed a letter of intent to bring their business to the Roswell Air Center. The company will bring 130 jobs immediately and grow to 360 jobs within five years.
“360 jobs, average wage of 54,000 a year, that’s a good salary for people here in Roswell, Chaves County. We see even more opportunities as a result of this 4th MRO company coming to Roswell to bring more emphasis and other like industries that support them in the aviation sector,” said Micheal Espiritu the President of the Chaves County Economic Development Corp.
Kintigh said the city and Economic partners are looking to make the Air Center a real Revenue draw.
“We have everything from testing brand new airliners to the end of life dismantling of airliners, and everything in between. We want to become a one-stop-shop for everyone in the airline industry,” said Kintigh.
When the COVID shutdowns began, the airline industry had to park hundreds of planes. Many of those companies chose to park them in Roswell. The airliners expressed interest once the pandemic is over, that the air center would be a perfect place to have a storage and repair facility. The city and Ascent Aviation reached the agreement to take care of these planes in the future.
“And a result of a company like this, they bring other support services that they need and it’s often in the service and retail sector. So we’ll see more restaurants, more stores and more things to make a better quality of place, quality of life, for the people that live here,” said Espiritu.
The New Mexico Economic Development Department has committed $4 million in incentives for the project. Ascent Aviation has committed $18 million to help with infrastructure for the project which is expected to be completed late next year.
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