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State considering $250K for hangar renovation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico is considering $250,000 in economic development incentives for an aviation firm to renovate the former headquarters of Eclipse Aerospace.

Albuquerque-based CSI Aviation is requesting the Local Economic Development Act funding from the state. The project also requires city approval because the hangar is on city-owned land at the Albuquerque International Sunport.

The Albuquerque Development Commission approved the project on March 29, and it is scheduled to come before the City Council in May, according to the state Economic Development Department.

The company received approval from the city in 2017 for $500,000 in LEDA funds to construct a new hangar. Since then, the project has shifted to renovation of an existing 36,995-square-foot hangar, requiring a new round of city and state review for what would be half as much funding.

CSI Vice President Mark Ramthun said in a statement that the use of existing vacant space “made more sense to both the city and CSI Aviation.”

He said CSI was “pleased to partner with the city of Albuquerque to enable the company to expand its needed medical flight services statewide.”

CSI’s other lines of business include contracts with U.S. federal agencies as well as executive charter operations, according to the documents.

The company, which had 60 full-time local employees and more than $10.6 million in payroll as of December, estimated it will create and maintain an additional 60 full-time jobs over the next decade. Those jobs include positions for pilots, maintenance personnel and administrative staff, among others, with an average annual wage of $50,000.

Another 50 jobs are estimated to be created through the $960,000 construction project. New aircraft acquisitions and equipment are estimated to cost CSI about $5 million.

The development commission filings show clawbacks in place should CSI not deliver on its promises. If it doesn’t maintain 60 full-time employees through 2028, it will refund 10 percent of what it has received at that point, a penalty imposed each calendar year.

CSI says it will refund 100 percent of the funding if it ceases operations in Albuquerque before the end of five years; 60 percent of the funds before the end of six or seven years; and 25 percent before the end of eight to 10 years.

CSI is also a participant in the state’s Job Training Incentive Program. This month, the company was approved for $73,498 for training associated with five employees with an average hourly wage of $28.33, according to the state Economic Development Department.