Arizona's already-robust aviation industry got a boost Tuesday as two aircraft makers separately announced investments in the East Valley.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., which makes business jets, said it will construct a new service center at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, its first facility in Arizona.
The $70 million facility in Mesa, which is scheduled to open in 2023, will expand the company's ability to provide maintenance, repairs and overhaul capabilities for aircraft in the western U.S. Nearly 3,000 Gulfstream planes are in service worldwide.
Gulfstream will begin operations in temporary hangar space early next year and eventually will create more than 200 jobs in Mesa. Openings for skilled aircraft technicians and other jobs will be posted starting Nov. 10 at https://careers.gulfstream.com/.
Separately, Cirrus Aircraft, a maker of personal planes, officially opened an innovation center in Chandler that focuses on avionics and electrical and software engineering for aircraft. The facility already is in operation and is part of the company’s product development team, responsible for advancing new technologies and designs.
With this expansion, Cirrus aims to hire 16 employees to join its engineer team in Chandler. Career opportunities can be viewed at cirrusaircraft.com/careers. The Chinese-owned company, headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota, makes piston-powered planes, personal jets and a whole-plane parachute system.
Operations start next year
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is an established business-aviation hub. The new Gulfstream facility there will include hangar space, back shops and employee and customer offices. The company said it is designing the facility with sustainability in mind.
As the company's fleet has grown, Gulfstream has invested in new service and support centers, Mark Burns, the company's president, said.
Arizona an aviation center
Gov. Doug Ducey said Gulfstream's expansion in Mesa further cements Arizona's status as an aerospace and defense leader.
Arizona ranked as the seventh most attractive state in which to manufacture aerospace products, according to a 2020 report by PwC. Arizona scored above average in all six of the criteria by which states were examined — costs, labor availability, infrastructure, industry scope, economy and tax policy.
Georgia was the highest-ranked state, followed by Ohio, Washington, Texas, North Carolina, Indiana and Arizona.
Arizona had been ranked as high as fourth in the 2018 PwC report.
Some of Arizona's largest aerospace and defense employers include Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Boeing and General Dynamics, the parent company of Gulfstream.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Gulfstream, Cirrus announce aircraft facilities in Arizona