WOOD DALE, Ill., 16 Aug. 2013. AAR (NYSE:AIR) will open its sixth North American aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility in Lake Charles, La., at the Chennault International Airport, according to an agreement with the Chennault International Airport Authority.
AAR, reportedly the largest independent MRO provider in North America, will occupy approximately 520,000 square feet of MRO service and administrative space at the facility, capable of supporting maintenance operations for all wide-body aircraft. An expansion is under way that will accommodate aircraft as large as the Airbus A380.
AAR initially will employ approximately 250 and anticipates hiring an additional 500 at the facility by 2017.
The new operation significantly expands AAR’s capabilities, enabling the company to accommodate a greater variety of aircraft and grow its Aviation Services business.
“The new operation builds upon the Company’s industry-leading position by adding capability for AAR to expand into the wide-body market,” says AAR Chairman and CEO David P. Storch.
The facility can accommodate up to seven wide-body or 10 narrow-body aircraft, and construction is under way for an additional 118,000 square feet of space. AAR currently operates a parts logistics and distribution center at Chennault International in support of the U.S. Air Force’s KC-10 program as part of a team led by Northrup Grumman.
“The AAR presence will expand the types and numbers of aircraft that will be worked on at the Chennault facility,” explains Executive Director Randy Robb of the Chennault International Airport Authority. “Since AAR is the largest aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul organization in the United States and the third-largest in the world, Chennault anticipates significant growth in both jobs and commerce at the site.”
“Lake Charles is very proud to welcome AAR to Southwest Louisiana and to be a part of its global aerospace network,” says Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach. “This announcement is also great news for the men and women who have worked so hard in recent years to prove to the aviation industry that we can compete in the business of maintaining and repairing airplanes. Our commitment as a city is to build on that track record and do whatever we can to continue to support Chennault as a regional center of aviation excellence.”
This expansion strengthens AAR’s value proposition for its commercial airline customers, a spokesperson says, by becoming the company’s sixth aircraft repair facility in its nationwide 1MRO Network, joining facilities in Indianapolis, Miami, Oklahoma City, Duluth, Minnesota, and Hot Springs, Ark.