(Photo: Al Lassen/For the Enquirer)
The airplane maintenance and repair company is moving forward with its plans to lease a hangar at Battle Creek Airport. The company expects the expansion to create 50 new jobs over the next three years.
Duncan Aviation is the world’s largest privately owned business jet support facility. It was founded in 1956 and opened up a facility in Battle Creek in 1998.
The company did a major expansion in Battle Creek in 2005, but is now at capacity and has even had to turn away some projects, according to a press release from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Leasing the Battle Creek Airport hanger will allow Duncan Aviation to increase the capacity of its Battle Creek operations. It’s possible that the company will purchase the hangar in the future, according to Battle Creek Unlimited president Joe Sobieralski.
The expansion is expected to bring an investment of more than $2.9 million alongside the new jobs.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is providing Duncan Aviation with a $150,000 grant through the Michigan Business Development Program.
The company’s successful expansion “reflects Michigan’s growing economy and expanding job opportunities for our state’s talented and abundant workforce,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in a press release, adding that the project “will mean more jobs and greater economic opportunities for people in the state.”
Battle Creek Unlimited also is supporting the project with a $250,000 Battle Creek Tax Increment Financing Authority grant. The money is going toward making improvements to the hanger, Sobieralski said.
Hiring is expected to begin this year.
“Aviation jobs are kind of more technical in nature,” Sobieralski said. “It’s helping us grow our aerospace industry while providing some better paying jobs.”
Duncan Aviation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Contact Natasha Blakely at (269) 223-0114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow her on Twitter at @blakelynat.