Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) announced it has finalized agreements with the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) and the Delaware Economic Development Office to open a new Hawker Beechcraft Services (HBS) aircraft maintenance facility at New Castle Airport in Wilmington, Del. The facility will serve as the northeast regional service center for HBS and will ensure the world-class customer service and support expected from the industry’s largest factory-owned service center network. It is expected to open in the second quarter of 2012.
“Hawker Beechcraft has a large fleet of customers residing in the Northeastern United States where we have not had a factory-owned service center in place for many years,” said Christi Tannahill, Hawker Beechcraft vice president, GCS. “Our customers have been requesting such a facility in the region and, with a dedication to providing a world-class customer experience, we are responding to their interest. The current facility structure works well in achieving this goal as it closely matches the criteria we set in selecting a location to serve these customers.”
Wilmington is an ideal location for the new service center due to several factors. First, its proximity to Hawker Beechcraft’s installed base of customer aircraft makes it a convenient location for operators. Secondly, the existing structure chosen closely matches the criterion that was set in developing requirements for a new northeast service center. Delaware is also home to a productive and talented work force. The Delaware River and Bay Authority and Delaware Economic Development Office were integral in the selection process.
“Hawker Beechcraft is an international leader in the development, construction, and maintenance of aircraft and the DRBA is pleased to welcome a tenant of their reputation to the New Castle Airport,” said Bill Lowe, DRBA Commission Chairman who noted that HBC’s decision illustrates the airport’s appeal to the aviation community. “The sky’s the limit at New Castle Airport and we look forward to a successful, long-term relationship with Hawker Beechcraft.”
“This decision means another great employer has chosen to locate in Delaware, bringing 100 new jobs over the next five years,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “In the short term, we’re glad Hawker Beechcraft saw Delaware as the perfect fit for its maintenance operations and we will work to make sure they are happy here in the long term.”
Overall, the facility is approximately 60,000 square feet. This includes 40,000 square feet of hangar space, 8,500 square feet of back shop space and 10,000 square feet of office space. HBS is also investing to make the facility feel like the customer’s home office. The space will offer guest offices for customers to use while their aircraft is being serviced, with each workspace supplying full office amenities such as computers, Wi-Fi access, printers and phones.