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Ascent Aviation Services of Arizona has chosen the company that will supply and erect its hangar, and the city of Roswell and Chaves County have signed the legal agreement that will allow site work for the hangar location to begin at the Roswell Air Center.
David Querio, president of Ascent Aviation Services based in Arizona, said that Rubb Building Systems will provide and assemble the hangar. The company is interviewing several companies as it prepares to select a general contractor for the project.
Ascent Aviation had announced in late September 2020 that it would open a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operation in Roswell, employing as many as 100 maintenance and support staff the first year and as many as 360 within five years. The company has two MRO operations now at the Pinal Air Park in Marana, Arizona, and near Tucson International Airport. Querio has said that the company expects to invest about $18 million in Roswell during its initial 10 years.
“The hangar will be paid for fully either with Ascent funding or funding that Ascent arranges for this purpose,” said Querio.
He and City Manager Joe Neeb both said that the long-term land lease for the hangar site is still being negotiated.
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According to the Rubb Building Systems website, the company creates and assembles fabric structures used for many purposes such as hangars, baggage claim structures, sporting facilities, port authority warehouses and military buildings. Its past aviation clients have included Hawaiian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Chicago Rockford International Airport, United Airlines and Delta Airlines. The company has been in business for 40 years and has its U.S. headquarters in Sanford, Maine.
With Ascent’s choice of the hangar provider, the city and county signed a Memorandum of Understanding to spend $3 million of county funds for site work to prepare the airfield location for the structure, expected to be on the west side of the airfield.
“By signing the MOU, the city was able to initiate a task order with Armstrong Consultants to prepare the site plan for this project,” Neeb said.
The site work will include utility upgrades, pouring a concrete foundation for the hangar, adding lighting and creating a parking lot. Completing site work is expected to cost $8 million, Neeb said.
He said that the remaining $5 million for the planned Ascent Aviation site will come from $4 million in Local Economic Development Act funds provided by the state for the project and from money provided by the city and Ascent Aviation.
The $3 million involved in the MOU comes from a $5 million state capital outlay award for airport infrastructure provided to Chaves County by the 2020 New Mexico Legislature and the governor. The other $2 million of that funding is the subject of a prior MOU between the two local governments. Neeb said that money is being used to improve water and sewer lines from the new water tower on the east side of the air center, around the runway, and along the southeast side of the airfield.
Querio said that work on the hangar could begin by November or December, with construction expected to take about five months.
The company has leased a building at the air center to store equipment until the hangar is finished and is seeking an information technology professional for its Roswell operations.
Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.