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SHREVEPORT, La. -- An aviation company announced plans Thursday to launch a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at the Shreveport Regional Airport, eventually creating 60 new jobs. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and Advanced Aero Services President Mike Anderson made the joint announcement. The facility will serve commercial airline customers at an existing hangar on the airport property. 

AAS plans to have the jobs in place by next year. The average annual salary will be $49,600 plus benefits, according to a news release from the governor's office. 

Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project’s initial phase will result in 77 new indirect jobs, for a total of 137 new jobs in Northwest Louisiana. Future phases include plans to build a narrow-body MRO hangar that would boost employment substantially. 

“Aerospace represents one of Louisiana’s key industries today, and an important sector for growing Louisiana’s economy in the future,” Edwards said in the news release. “In Shreveport, we have substantial assets that include the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program and its assistance to AAS in finance and capacity building, and Southern University at Shreveport’s Airframe and Powerplant Maintenance Program to provide workforce talent. Here at the intersection of one of Louisiana’s greatest aerospace assets – Barksdale Air Force Base – and our emerging I-20 Cyber Corridor, we welcome AAS and its vision to create a center of excellence in aviation service.”  

After establishing operations over the next two years, AAS plans to secure financing for a narrow-body MRO hangar that will open the path to further growth. With that facility in place and business objectives met, AAS would grow to as many as 500 jobs by 2024 and 1,000 jobs later in the decade. At 1,000 jobs, the Advanced Aero Services operations would support an additional 1,280 new indirect jobs, for a total of 2,280 new jobs in Northwest Louisiana, the governor's news release states. 

“We look forward to building out the aviation services offered at Shreveport Regional and making this region our base of operations,” Anderson said in a statement. “Advanced Aero Services’ mission is to provide a strong foundation of safe, high-quality MRO services through solid process, innovation and motivated employees.” 

Anderson formerly managed $150 million in annual MRO services for another aviation company. Initial services to be offered in Shreveport include aviation-parts manufacturing, airline maintenance and modifications that support major and regional airlines, original equipment manufacturers and leasing companies, business and commercial aircraft supplemental-type certificate engineering development, and government program support. The future hangar will enable AAS to provide MRO services for larger transport aircraft.

“Shreveport Regional is in close proximity to six major airline hubs serving North America and international destinations,” Perkins said in the news release. “Thanks to Barksdale Air Force Base and Southern University at Shreveport Louisiana’s Aerospace Technology Center, Shreveport has a well-trained labor force that is ready to support the expansion of this key industry. Louisiana Economic Development’s suite of incentives and the low cost of doing business in Shreveport make our area an attractive location for this growing industry.”

LED began discussions with AAS about a potential MRO center in Shreveport two years ago. To secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered AAS the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, a workforce training program. In addition, the company is expected to utilize LED’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs. 

AAS will begin MRO operations in the existing 30,000-square-foot Hangar 5, located in the Shreveport Regional Airport’s Aeropark and near industrial property along the shorter of the airport’s two runways, where the future building will likely be constructed. 

“This exciting project has been in development for about two years. We thank the former and current city administrations for their help and recognize our Shreveport Regional Airport leadership for their support,” EAP Executive Director Dave Smith said in the news release. “AAS is a great example of industry, city and federal government and university collaboration for economic development. This successful EAP model is launching and growing companies in North Louisiana.”  

Hiring for the project, supported by LED FastStart, is expected to begin by late February or early March, with MRO operations beginning later in the spring. The North Louisiana Economic Partnership is supporting AAS and its integration into the Shreveport community and the regional business landscape.

“North Louisiana Economic Partnership congratulates AAS on locating its new maintenance and repair operation at the Shreveport Regional Airport,” NLEP President Scott Martinez said in the release. “The opening of an aviation MRO in Shreveport proves why we are AEROready. Our community has all the assets, training programs and skilled workforce to ensure aviation and aerospace companies succeed globally.”

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