AAR lands in Duluth
April 17, 2012
Duluth’s aviation sector to expand with the addition of AAR! AAR and the City of Duluth today signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to expand AAR’s aircraft maintenance operations to occupy the former Northwest Airlines Maintenance facility with the potential to employ over 200 employees. AAR made its intentions official with company representative Danny Martinez, Vice President with AAR’s Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul Group, signing the LOI today at a press conference with Mayor Don Ness. City, County and State officials and several local business leaders in attendance.
AAR started exploring Duluth as an option to expand its aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations in the spring of 2011 after meeting Brian Hanson, the Executive Director of the Duluth Economic Development Authority and Rob West of APEX, at an industry conference. Hanson, West, and Bryan Ryks, Executive Director of the Duluth Airport Authority, led a team that worked directly with AAR to secure their expansion to Duluth.
“We are thrilled to welcome AAR to Duluth. This commitment is just the first step in what will be an incredible partnership with a successful and nationally recognized company. This project puts us in an excellent position to grow our economy and bring skilled jobs to Duluth. We thank AAR for choosing Duluth, and we thank our local partners with whom we share this great news,” said Brian Hanson, Executive Director of the Duluth Economic Development Authority.
The announcement comes after extensive background work, a methodical labor market study and demonstration of an existing talent pool in the region and state. The Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA), City of Duluth, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and its partners hosted a career and networking fair in fall 2011 which garnered interest and attendance from well over 320 individuals, half of whom were skilled A&P mechanics.
“We are making a commitment to Duluth and today’s signing is a major step in establishing a presence here and increasing the value we provide to MRO customers,” said Dany Kleiman, Group Vice President, over all AAR’s Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul operations. “We want to thank Mayor Ness and the team at the Duluth Economic Development Authority for their hard work and support. We hope to be become an integral part of the Duluth business community in the coming months.”
“AAR is a world-class organization, this is an important day in Duluth's history," said Mayor Don Ness. "This was a true team effort and our partners worked tirelessly to achieve this important announcement. I want to give special recognition to Brian Hanson for his tremendous effort - his determination and his commitment to the success of AAR in Duluth was the catalyst to bring their operations to Duluth."
AAR has indicated that they would occupy 152,000 square feet of the facility and could hire up to 225 people with the facility at full capacity. AAR plans to start preparing the facility for occupation immediately and intends to secure a customer for the Duluth operation later this summer.
AAR is a leading provider of products and services to aerospace, government and defense industries. The Company was incorporated in 1955 and today has revenues of approximately $2 billion with 6,200 employees in 17 countries. AAR is the largest independent provider of aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul services in North America.
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