Posted by: Erin Holt
NASHVILLE—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with West Star Aviation announced the company will open a new facility at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (KCHA). The new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility represents a $22.3 million investment and will create 200 new jobs in Hamilton County.
“We want to welcome West Star Aviation to Tennessee and thank them for this investment in Chattanooga and Hamilton County,” Haslam said. “West Star’s decision to expand in Tennessee marks another example of how our business-friendly environment continues to foster expansion and growth and today’s announcement supports our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“We’re pleased to add West Star Aviation to the growing list of aviation companies who are taking advantage of the wide range of benefits being located in Tennessee has to offer,” Boyd said, “I am confident West Star will find the resources it needs to continue growing here, and I look forward to their ongoing presence in Tennessee.”
West Star Aviation specializes in the repair and maintenance of airframes, windows and engines, as well as major modifications, avionics installation and repair, interior refurbishment, surplus avionics sales, accessory services, paint and parts.
The 40,000 plus square foot Chattanooga facility will house mixed-use space, which will be used for administrative and customer offices, engineering avionics, cabinetry and upholstery shop functions, as well as accommodate storage of customer aircraft parts.
“The aviation-friendly location and existing facilities will allow West Star to better serve East Coast corporate aviation flight departments,” Rodger Renaud, West Star Chief Operating Officer, said. “This expansion represents the initial steps in a larger five-year plan that calls for continued growth in the Chattanooga area.”
The Chattanooga location sits on a ground-lease footprint that is 525’ x 455’ or 238,875 square feet with ample ramp space for uncongested aircraft movement. An additional 15-acre site adjacent to the facility is slated for expansion as well. Operations will include all disciplines of MRO support such as paint facilities, maintenance hangars, back shop activities and an accessory shop.
“This is another exciting addition to Hamilton County’s continuing quest for new economic development,” Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said. “Additionally, West Star Aviation will add to the diversity of our existing Hamilton County businesses. We look forward to a long and lasting relationship with Robert Rasberry and his West Star Aviation Team and the good, family wage jobs they will now create in Hamilton County.”
“With today’s announcement, we are seeing economic development growth in Chattanooga and the creation of even more new jobs,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said. “There’s no doubt more and more companies, both big and small, are interested in Chattanooga because of the quality of life we enjoy in our city — and that interest translates into real opportunities for our local workforce.”
“TVA and EPB of Chattanooga congratulate West Star Aviation on its announcement to open a new facility and create 200 new jobs in Chattanooga, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County to facilitate West Star Aviation’s new location decision.
West Star also operates facilities in Illinois, Colorado, South Carolina and Missouri.
The company is starting the process of filling these new positions, which will be hired over the next five years, and looks forward to utilizing the area’s richly trained technical workforce. To learn more about the openings visit weststaraviation.com/careers/.
Chattanooga and Hamilton County are represented Rep. Gerald McCormick (R – Chattanooga), Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R – Signal Mountain), Rep. Mike Carter (R – Ooltewah), Rep. Marc Gravitt (R – East Ridge), Rep. JoAnne Favors (D – Chattanooga), Sen. Bo Watson (R – Hixson) and Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R – Chattanooga).
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee was named 2014 and 2013 “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community
Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.