January 23, 2012
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority Board of Directors today approved a lease with KCI Aviation for the construction of a new 30,000-square-foot hangar facility at Cecil Airport.
“We are extremely excited to expand our operations to Jacksonville and Cecil Airport,” said Charles A. Koukoulis, president and CEO of KCI Aviation. “Jacksonville has a great business-friendly environment, and Cecil is truly a diamond in the rough. It’s geographically well located and has ample land and facilities for our company’s growth potential. Strategically, it’s perfect for our business model.”
Helping companies fulfill their business needs is a priority emphasized by Florida Secretary of Commerce, Gray Swoope, who serves as president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, the state’s principal economic development organization. “KCI’s expansion to Jacksonville demonstrates Florida’s ability to provide the right site and infrastructure that companies need to maximize their operations,” Swoope said. “We welcome KCI to our business community and will value the company’s contributions to our economic growth.”
KCI, which is based in Bridgeport, WV, specializes in inspection, maintenance and repair of business jets and turbo-props, notably those powered by Pratt and Whitney engines. KCI plans to hire a minimum of 30 workers by the end of 2014 with an approximate average annual wage of $46,000.
Construction of the new hangar and office facility is expected to begin in March with an anticipated completion date in early 2013.
“This is great news for Cecil Airport and Jacksonville,” said Steve Grossman, JAA’s Chief Executive Officer. “KCI Aviation is exactly the type of aerospace tenant we are trying to attract to Cecil. They are an excellent fit with our existing base of commercial and military clients.”
“Aviation and aerospace is a growing industry in Northeast Florida and plays a significant role in our local economy,” said Jerry Mallot, president of JAXUSA Partnership. “We welcome KCI Aviation and the new jobs and investment the company is creating in our community.”
Aviation and aerospace development is a targeted industry sector for both the State of Florida and City of Jacksonville. The state and city agreed to support the expansion of the company and associated new high-wage aerospace jobs by pledging expansion location assistance that will be awarded following the commencement of operations and creation of the promised new jobs.
Cecil Airport, a former Navy master jet base, consists of 6,000-plus acres, nearly 50 buildings, including 12 hangars, and a 12,500-foot main runway, one of the longest in Florida. Cecil is also the only licensed horizontal launch commercial spaceport on the East Coast.
Cecil Airport tenants include The Boeing Company, LSI, Pratt & Whitney – Woods Group, Flightstar Aircraft Services, Florida Army National Guard, Naval Air Systems Command Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, L-3 Com, U.S. Coast Guard, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville JetPort and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.