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BRUNSWICK, Maine — Tempus Jets has leased nearly 35,000 square feet at Brunswick Landing to relocate and expand its aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul business.
The Virginia-based company, which claims annual revenues of $125 million, announced Wednesday that it plans to expand its Brunswick operation to include larger commercial aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.
At a press conference Wednesday in Hangar 6 at Brunswick Landing, Tempus CEO Scott Terry said the company — which currently employs 125 people — initially expects to move 10 to 12 workers from its Newport News, Va., facility to Brunswick. The firm then plans to hire another 10 to 15 people by the end of the year and employ 50 by the end of 2014. If the company’s growth continues at its current pace, Tempus estimates 200 new avionics, airframe, mechanic and engineering positions will eventually be created in Brunswick.
The company will initially invest $8 million to $8.5 million, Terry said.
“We’re going to do our best, is what we’re going to do,” he said. “And hopefully our best will result in a significant economic impact for the community.”
“They’re going to have everything from smaller corporate jets to large airliner-types of jets,” said Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority. “Some of these will be bigger than what the Navy had here. They will come in and may be here for several months while being worked on.”
Pending a repair station certificate expected from the Federal Aviation Administration within the month, the company plans to begin work on two aircraft — including a Gulfstream III — by the end of September.
Formed in 2007, Tempus Jets consists of a group of companies led by Orion Air Group Holdings. The company operates 11 subsidiaries located around the U.S and in Uganda.
Tempus has leased 34,532 square feet in Hangar 6 at Brunswick Landing for the operation. The firm will share space in the 166,355 square-foot building with Kestrel Aviation and with Flightlevel Aviation, the fixed-base operator of Brunswick Executive Airport.
An initial one-year lease was signed in order to allow the company to expand into more space and renegotiate a new lease as it does so, Terry said.
Tempus already has begun moving approximately $7.5 million in tools and equipment from Virginia to Maine.
Tempus chose Brunswick Landing due in part to the availability of large, modern hangar facilities that could be expanded to accommodate wide-bodied jets including a 747, officials said. The firm also liked the idea that it could possibly convert Hangar 4 into a Boeing 737 paint facility.
Levesque said the maintenance, repair and overhaul operation fits one of the redevelopment authority’s target industries “and creates high-quality, very good-paying jobs. It fills out what the airport was designed for, maximizes the asset and complements existing companies that are here. … It’s a quality company.”
“This is exactly what this region needs; it’s exactly what this state needs right now,” U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud said during Wednesday’s press conference in Hangar 6.
In a statement released Wednesday, Gov. Paul LePage thanked Tempus for committing to “providing quality jobs to Maine people.
“I commend our Department of Economic and Community Development for working so closely with Tempus Jets and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority to respond quickly and capably to meet the company’s needs and to help pave the way for this exciting new project,” he said. “It’s a testament to our state’s can-do approach and further illustrates that Maine is, indeed, open for business.”
The company has not yet received any grant funding, Levesque said, although Tempus qualifies for Pine Tree Zone benefits.
Levesque said Tempus will work with Southern Maine Community College, which already has a campus at Brunswick Landing, and the University of Maine to train future employees.
He added that along with projects that include a tentative $1 billion contract announced by Pratt & Whitney in August to build engines for war planes for the Department of Defense, “Maine is really starting to show itself in respect to being a good place for the aerospace industry. It’s good for us at Brunswick Landing, but this is great for Maine because there are going to be huge spin-offs in the supply chain. There’s going to be a need for people who do interior work, customization, machine shops. All those folks are going to benefit from having this kind of company here.”
The redevelopment authority already boasts about 220 jobs at the former Navy base and approximately $100 million in private investment.