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"Aircraft Repair Hub Will Employ 900 in Victorville, Calif."
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- Subject: CAA: Aviation Business, "Aircraft Repair Hub Will Employ 900 in Victorville, Calif."
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2001 00:19:03 -0700
- Importance: Normal
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Monday, October 1, 2001
Aircraft Repair Hub Will Employ 900 in Victorville, Calif.
Business Press, Ontario, CA
A British aerospace and defense company plans to establish a commercial
aircraft refurbishing and maintenance operation at the former George Air
Force Base in Victorville, bringing an estimated 900 jobs to the High
Desert region, according to one account.
Within two months, England-based BAE Systems plans to open the facility
at Southern California Logistics Airport, a commercial airport being
developed at the former base.
The facility will serve as a North American hub for aircraft
refurbishment, repair and maintenance, according to Damon Elder, a
spokesman for the Southern California Logistics Airport Authority.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said BAE Systems will bring
roughly 900 jobs to the region, putting it among the High Desert's
largest private-sector employers.
BAE Systems will not comment on possible job projections, said Jim
Modig, president of BAE's flight systems division.
Members of the authority and officials from BAE Systems signed the
agreement at a news conference held Sept. 24 at the airport.
"We're determined to be successful here and to do a first-class job,"
Modig said. "We intend to do business here for a long time."
BAE Systems looked at 30 to 40 other sites in California, but finally
settled on the former George Air Force Base because it already had what
the company needed, including good runways and state-of-the- art
hangers, company officials said.
Its facility will deal exclusively with commercial jetliners, Modig
The agreement, which was about 10 years in the making, is a major coup
for Victorville and the rest of the High Desert region, said Terry
Caldwell, a Victorville councilman and a member of the airport
"Whenever you get something that's a job creator of this magnitude, then
it's a tremendous shot in the arm for the whole area," Caldwell said. "A
lot of businesses up here are hanging on by their fingernails, so this
BAE Systems, which employs more than 100,000 people worldwide, has
leased two large aircraft hangars and office space at the airport.
Further terms of the lease weren't made available. But BAE Systems has
the option to expand beyond the two hangars, according to a press
The company is already moving into the hangars, Elder said. BAE Systems
chose the Victor Valley region in part because the area has so many
experienced aviation workers, Modig said.
Company officials also liked the former Air Force base's infrastructure,
which includes a dedicated fuel supply line and power plant in addition
to runways and hangers.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved a $2.5 million grant Sept.
21 to extend the longer of the two runways from 13,050 to 15,000 feet,
Elder said. The extensions are necessary to accommodate large jets.
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