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New aviation business to land at Roswell airport

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

An Arizona-based aviation company has its sights set on Roswell, where it plans to bring 360 jobs over a five-year period, according to a news release from the state’s Economic Development Department.

Ascent Aviation Services, an airplane repair and maintenance company, will be expanding its operations to the Roswell Air Center.

Ascent Aviation Services will be providing aircraft maintenance, reclamation and fueling services for a number of aircraft at the air center, which is storing 500 unused jets and private planes.

The company will receive up to $4 million in funding from the state’s Local Economic Development Act, while Chaves County has pledged another $3 million for utility and infrastructure improvements, the release said. Ascent, meanwhile, plans to invest $18 million into the Roswell location. Over the course of 10 years, Ascent Aviation Services is expected to bring $545 million in total economic impact to the Land of Enchantment.

“Bringing 360 jobs to a rural community, a city like Roswell, is going to be huge,” said Alicia Keyes, cabinet secretary at the New Mexico Economic Development Department. “We’re hoping that it’s the impetus for even more.”

The company plans to hire 130 employees in its first year in Roswell, paying an average salary of $54,000 a year.

“With its clear blue skies and competitive business climate, New Mexico continues to attract top-tier aerospace companies,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in the release. “The Roswell Air Center is a unique economic driver that will, with the support of my administration, continue to bring high-quality and high-paying jobs to the area, and I am glad to welcome Ascent Aviation to the state.”

Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh said in a press release that Roswell is aiming to be a “global leader in the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul industry.”

The aviation company is on track to lease 10 acres and construct a maintenance hanger for “wide-body jets.” David Querio, Ascent Aviation Services president, wrote in the press release that local and state leaders eased the expansion process.

“The state and county incentives show that New Mexico has a strong desire to bring in new businesses and create good jobs,” Querio wrote in the release. “There can be a lot of pain associated with this type of expansion and everyone from Cabinet Secretary Keyes and Economic Division Director Mark Roper on down, including additional personnel from the State of New Mexico, Chaves County, and the City of Roswell, have all shown a desire to help. That has made this expansion possible.”

Ascent Aviation Services employs about 500 people at the Pinal Air Park in Marana, Arizona, and at the Tucson International Airport, spanning across five aircraft hangars and 1,230 acres.

Outside of aircraft maintenance, Ascent Aviation Services plans to provide scholarship and internship opportunities for students studying aircraft maintenance at Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell and Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque.

“Wherever possible we are looking to provide training and assistance so we can grow our own mechanics,” Querio wrote in the release. “We know the importance of bringing something of this magnitude to Roswell.”