Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Hangar deal moves forward

Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development agency, approved development of agreements for $35 million in financing and lease arrangements with the company that will provide new training helicopters for Naval Air Station Whiting Field. The agreements will cover $20 million for construction of a 100,000-square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul hangar, and an additional $15 million in equipment and tooling. It will be provided by Space Florida through a lease-back arrangement with AgustaWestland Philadephia Corp., according to Matt Chesnut, director of business and economic development for Space Florida. Plans call for the facility to be in place by the middle of next year, according to Chesnut. The maintenance facility will be at Whiting Aviation Park, adjacent to NAS Whiting Field. The facility is expected to bring 50 new jobs to Santa Rosa County, each with an average annual salary of $42,000, according to Space Florida. AgustaWestland is part of Italy's Leonardo, which in January was awarded a $176.4 million contract to provide the Navy with an initial order of 32 new TH-73A training helicopters, derived from the TH-119. Whiting Field is currently using the Bell TH-57. (Sources: Pensacola News Journal, 07/18/20) Previous