Ascent Aviation Services Expanding to New Mexico
Arizona-based Ascent Aviation Services has announced plans to expand to the Roswell Air Center in New Mexico. It will join companies such as AerSale, CAVU Aerospace and Dean Baldwin Painting that already are located there.
The Roswell Air Center is a former strategic bomber base for the U.S. Air Force that closed in 1967. It has a 13,000 ft. long runway suitable for widebodies and the site is now used by airlines and leasing companies for the storage of unused aircraft. According to the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp., the 500 aircraft parked there often need maintenance, paint or repairs and sometimes need to fly elsewhere for those services.
“The Roswell Airport is an incredible facility with a large volume of aircraft already parked there as a result of COVID-19 and other factors limiting operations,” says David Querio, president of Ascent Aviation Services. “Sometimes those planes have limited options for heavy maintenance and service and have to be ferried out. This facility will provide an option to keep those jobs and revenue in New Mexico.”
Ascent plans to hire 130 new employees in the first year at Roswell and a total of 360 over the next five years. It also plans to offer scholarships and internship opportunities for students studying aircraft maintenance at Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell and Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. “Whenever possible we are looking to provide training and assistance so we can grow our own mechanics,” adds Querio.
Ascent’s leased space will cover 10 acres and it plans to construct a maintenance hangar large enough for widebody aircraft. The company already has two facilities in Arizona at Pinal Air Park in Marana and at Tucson International Airport spanning 1,230 acres, five hangars and approximately 500 employees.
It plans to invest $18 million into the New Mexico location, with additional funding coming from the local government. The State of New Mexico’s Economic Development Department has pledged up to $4 million to support the project through its Local Economic Development Act job creation fund. Chaves County has also committed an additional $3 million in utility and infrastructure improvements.
According to the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp., the project is expected to have a statewide economic impact of $545 million over 10 years.