The North Carolina Global TransPark (NCGTP), a 2,500-acre, multimodal industrial park, has unveiled details regarding the launch of its most recent tenant, a new, commercial aerospace, electrostatic painting and coating facility. The company, Jetstream Aviation, was established by aviation company LGM Enterprises. NCGTP says their commitment is a critical step in the industrial park’s plan to serve as an innovation and transportation hub in the U.S. NCGTP says the announcement, debuted by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, further positions the site as a destination for companies in the multi-billion-dollar maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry.
Jetstream, a $10.5 million public/private partnership, will serve as an essential facility in the southeast region of the U.S., performing the high-end electrostatic painting of jet fleets as well as opening operations to paint and coat other aircraft components on the market. The Jetstream facility is expected to break ground in spring 2019 and anticipated to open for aircraft customers beginning in 2020.
“The launch of Jetstream is a prime example of how MRO businesses are viewing the NCGTP as a strategic location for their operations,” said Allen Thomas, executive director, NCGTP. “This key asset fills a major need in North Carolina as a driver of economic development and supports the positioning of our state as a major aviation manufacturing and industrial hub. With Jetstream pointing the way, we expect that other MRO companies, machine shops and support facilities will follow suit and plant their roots here.”
Two significant costs facing the commercial aviation industry are the maintenance and cycled refurbishment of aircraft. Aerospace companies frequently perform maintenance at their own facilities and are then required to reassemble and send aircraft to areas where specialized paint facilities are located before shipping them back to complete the jobs, at significant expense. This includes current NCGTP tenants, who are presently required to send aircraft outside of North Carolina for painting and coating services.
“Jetstream will be an essential resource in the Southeast for aviation companies seeking to reduce their electrostatic painting and overall maintenance costs,” said Jim Segrave, owner, LGM Enterprises. “The capabilities offered by the NCGTP, including its 2,500-acre facilities, attractive geographic positioning and access to multimodal transportation in Eastern North Carolina, make it the ideal location for this new venture.”
As part of the public/private partnership, the NCGTP will own the facility while Jetstream, a private entity, will run and market the asset and perform all daily operations. The enterprise is anticipated to create 145 new jobs in MRO- and aviation-related services, while the average salary for positions with the company will be approximately $59,000.
“We will build on the launch of Jetstream and position NCGTP as an attractive location with significant growth opportunity for any MRO seeking to locate their business in our world-class park,” said Thomas.
The headquartering of Jetstream at the NCGTP was made possible in part through incentives from North Carolina government entities, including the JDIG program, Department of Transportation, and N.C. Global TransPark Foundation. North Carolina, a right to work state, was ranked #1 on Forbes’ “Best States for Business” list in 2018. Additionally, PriceWaterhouseCoopers ranks North Carolina as the #4 state for aerospace manufacturing in the U.S.
Through the efforts of the NCGTP, the following partnerships were aligned and attained for this key economic development project: City of Kinston, N.C., N.C. Global TransPark Foundation, Golden Leaf Foundation, Lenoir County, North Carolina Department of Commerce, North Carolina Division of Aviation (NCDOT), North Carolina Community College System (Lenoir Community College), private investment and the USDA.