City and Ascent sign agreement allowing hangar work to continue

The City of Roswell has signed a legal agreement with Ascent Aviation Services that gives the city the confidence it needs to begin work on the site of Ascent’s new hangar at Roswell Air Center. In this July 28 photo, Ascent Aviation president David Querio talks about his company’s plan for Roswell operations during a meeting on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. (Photo by Lisa Dunlap)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The City of Roswell has signed the legal agreement with Ascent Aviation Services which gives it the assurance it needs to begin work on the site of Ascent’s new hangar at Roswell Air Center.

“We are moving forward with preparing all of the construction drawings in order to build the large hangar,” Joe Neeb said at a meeting of the Roswell City Council Legal Committee Thursday at City Hall. “This is the only document we were waiting for, bringing hope. We believe that we now have the commitment of the company and the protection of the city.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on Wednesday by Neeb and David T. Querio, president of Ascent Aviation, an Arizona-based maintenance, repair and overhaul company that intends to open an operation with the Air Center by summer 2022.

The company estimated its investment in the Roswell area over five years at $ 18 million. Because Ascent intends to create around 100 local jobs in the first year and up to 356 jobs within five years, the deal is also backed by Local Economic Development Act funds of up to $ 4 million. of dollars, as well as $ 3 million out of $ 5 million. Chaves County State Investment Award. The down payment is used to help pay for the cost of construction work for the phase one hangar.

Neeb said on Thursday that the city will also need to invest money for construction work, which he said will cost around $ 8 million. He said information on how the city will pay for it will be presented to city councilors in the coming weeks.

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The legal agreement states that the ground lease with the city will be with STORE Capital Acquisitions LLC, which provides the hangar financing to Ascent. Ascent will then sublet with STORE Capital so that Ascent can function as the owner and operator of the hangar and begin to reimburse the city for the construction work.

The hangar will be built on the west side of the airfield, near West Earl Cummings Loop and Mathis Street. It will be next to Hangar 1083, which is occupied by Dean Baldwin Painting.

The agreement also specifies that the city will work with Armstrong Consulting Inc. to provide engineering services and construction supervision for the project, with Ascent also having authority over all orders and charges.

If Ascent does not sublet with STORE, Ascent will reimburse the City for any site work or related costs owed to Armstrong Consulting, up to a maximum of $ 5 million.

The lease and sublet of the land is expected to be presented to the Roswell City Council Legal Committee at its next meeting, City Attorney Parker Patterson said. This meeting is now scheduled for October 28.

Querio previously announced that Ascent Aviation has decided to purchase its Phase 1 hangar from the Rubb Group, which has its US base in Sanford, Maine. Rubb has used specialized textile materials and supplied hangars to the U.S. military, airports, airlines, port authorities, professional sports groups and other entities for decades.

In previous meetings, Querio has described the hangar as measuring 300 feet by 300 feet and 10 stories, large enough to accommodate the largest transport planes on the market today. Ascent intends to provide full maintenance and repair service on aircraft and ultimately convert commercial aircraft into freight aircraft.

The company also plans to build a phase two hangar after the first five years of operation at the Roswell Air Center. Querio said Ascent estimates its local payroll will be $ 7 million in the first year and up to $ 22 million in the fifth year.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at [email protected]

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