Airport and SSMEDC landing high-end jobs

April 27, 2016

Airport-April2016

 

The Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC) and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) are working on a joint initiative that will see further expansion of hangar facilities at the airport, with the goal of generating 25 high-end jobs. At Monday's City Council meeting, the SSMADC received $250,000 from the Municipality’s Economic Development Fund. Expected to be leveraged with funding from senior levels of government, the investment will be used towards a $5.8-million airport expansion initiative.
The SSMADC is expanding the hangar facilities that are currently occupied by JD Aero Technical Inc., an airplane repair, maintenance and overhaul provider that services airlines around the world. The company, which currently employs 50 full time and up to 100 with seasonal positions at its Sault Ste. Marie location, is now at capacity. More space will enable the firm to increase its client list and staff contingent. This partnership between SSMADC, senior levels of government, SSMEDC and JD Aero is the second such initiative. When completed, it will result in more than 80,000 square feet of aviation hangar space to accommodate the industry.
"Moving in this direction is a game changer for the airport and places us at a level that provides increased opportunities to service the aviation industry globally," said Terry Bos, President and CEO of the SSMADC. "We realize it is a very competitive industry, and with our recently-approved Business and Land Use Master Plan as a tool, we are prepared to meet added growth through a strategic planning model to optimize our success. We are very grateful to the partnerships we have formed in getting to this point and are looking towards further opportunities to grow the industry."
The current airport expansion project is part of a successful, multi-year partnership between the SSMADC and SSMEDC. In 2015, this initiative resulted in the signing of a formal strategic partnership to develop the airport site with additional industrial and commercial components, as identified in the airport's Business and Land Use Master Plan.
"There's significant opportunity at the Sault Airport, and we look forward to continuing to work with the SSMADC on rolling out more initiatives in the months and years to come," said Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Business Development of the SSMEDC. "Our organization has identified the airport as an economic development priority. We've seen a number of successes in recent years, and we expect this trend to continue."
About the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC)
The SSMADC is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based entity incorporated on April 26, 1996, and took over ownership and operation of the airport on March 28, 1998. The Sault Ste. Marie Airport is the only regional-sized airport that is not directly affiliated with a municipality. The SSMADC achieved a record fiscal year passenger traffic level in the most recently completed fiscal year March 31, 2016 with 202,557 passengers. The year 2015 also saw a record number of aircraft movements at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport with a total of 66,693. Online: www.saultairport.com. 
About the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC)
The SSMEDC works to attract new firms and investment to the community. The organization also assists local entrepreneurs – current and aspiring – in their startup and growth projects. Between 2010 and 2015, SSMEDC activity generated 194 business startups and expansions, which led to more than 1,700 jobs being created or retained in Sault Ste. Marie. Online: www.sault-canada.com. 

The Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation are working on a joint initiative that’s expected to generate 25 high-end jobs.

It was announced today that the airport is receiving $1.8 million from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. The investment will be used towards a $5.8-million expansion of the hangar facilities occupied by JD Aero Technical, an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul provider. With more space, the company is able to grow and meet the needs of its newest clients, WestJet and Horizon.

“JD Aero has quickly expanded at the Sault Airport to become a cornerstone tenant for the SSMADC growing from three employees to more than 100 employees in less than 10 years,” said Terry Bos, President and CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation, the non-profit organization that operates the local airport.

By growing its hangar facilities and services, JD Aero is expanding its full-time permanent workforce from 50 to 75 employees. This brings the total full-time and part-time employees to approximately 110 jobs.

Meanwhile, at the April 11 Sault Ste. Marie City Council meeting, the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation received approval for $250,000 from the Municipality’s Economic Development Fund. Expected to be leveraged with additional funding from senior levels of government, the investment will be used towards the 10,000-square foot hangar expansion initiative.

"Moving in this direction is a game changer for the airport and places us at a level that provides increased opportunities to service the aviation industry globally," said Bos. "We realize it is a very competitive industry, and with our recently-approved Business and Land Use Master Plan as a tool, we are prepared to meet added growth through a strategic planning model to optimize our success. We are very grateful to the partnerships we have formed in getting to this point and are looking towards further opportunities to grow the industry."

The current airport expansion project is part of a successful, multi-year partnership between the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. In 2015, this initiative resulted in the signing of a formal strategic partnership to develop the airport site with additional industrial and commercial components, as identified in the airport's Business and Land Use Master Plan.

"There's significant opportunity at the Sault Airport, and we look forward to continuing to work with the SSMADC on rolling out more initiatives in the months and years to come," said Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Business Development of the SSMEDC. "Our organization has identified the airport as an economic development priority. We've seen a number of successes in recent years, and we expect this trend to continue."

About the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC)
The SSMADC is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based entity incorporated on April 26, 1996, and took over ownership and operation of the airport on March 28, 1998. The Sault Ste. Marie Airport is the only regional-sized airport that is not directly affiliated with a municipality. The SSMADC achieved a record fiscal year passenger traffic level in the most recently completed fiscal year March 31, 2016 with 202,557 passengers. The year 2015 also saw a record number of aircraft movements at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport with a total of 66,693. 

About the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC)
The SSMEDC works to attract new firms and investment to the community. The organization also assists local entrepreneurs – current and aspiring – in their startup and growth projects. Between 2010 and 2015, SSMEDC activity generated 194 business startups and expansions, which led to more than 1,700 jobs being created or retained in Sault Ste. Marie.

PHOTO: Following the April 27 funding announcement are (L to R) SSMADC Secretary and Board member Douglas Lawson, NOHFC Board member James Caicco, SSMADC President and CEO Terry Bos, MPP David Orazietti, NOHFC Board member Ella-Jean Richter, and Dan Holingsworth and John Febbraro from the SSMEDC.

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