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Governor Deval Patrick today joined elected officials and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. leaders to announce the company plans to build a new maintenance hangar at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport. The expansion project will create 200 construction jobs, 100 new full-time positions and maintain Gulfstream’s current 130-member workforce in the Gateway City.
Gulfstream, which is investing $20 million in the hangar that will accommodate their new G650 jets, selected Massachusetts thanks to a partnership with the Patrick-Murray Administration and the City of Westfield. In addition to state-approved investment tax credits and tax increment financing, the project will benefit from a $3 million MassDOT Aeronautics Division grant for roadway improvements along the airport’s perimeter and the construction of a new parking apron, Governor Patrick announced today.
“Massachusetts is leading the nation in economic recovery, thanks to companies like Gulfstream that are expanding right here in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Patrick. “Because of our investments in innovation, education and infrastructure, Massachusetts is a great place for business, and I thank Gulfstream for adding these 100 new jobs, and the economic benefits that will follow.”
“Our Administration continues to work in partnership with municipalities as well as the private sector to spur economic growth and job creation across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “Gulfstream’s expansion is a significant investment in the City of Westfield that will put local residents back to work and support the region and state’s long-term growth.”
“In the second quarter, we had the largest number of orders for new aircraft since the economic downturn began,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream Product Support. “At the same time, flying hours have increased, resulting in record-setting service demand. This expansion is part of our long-range plan to ensure our service network remains well-positioned to serve our customers and our growing installed fleet, especially in the heavily traveled Northeast U.S corridor.”
Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport (BAF) is home to Gulfstream Aerospace’s Northeast Aircraft Repair Service Center. Over the past several years, Gulfstream has investigated expanding their current facility at BAF. The company has an extensive aircraft product line that includes medium to large cabin business jets and expects their newest aircraft, the G650, to enter service next year. Gulfstream will construct a new 100,000 square foot hangar with office space as well as 120,000 square foot aircraft parking apron to meet the aircraft maintenance demands of the new G650 as well as their existing aircraft product line.
“Today is a very exciting day for Westfield, for the Pioneer Valley and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Senator Michael Knapik, “Gulfstream is a worldwide leader in corporate aviation and I am pleased the Patrick-Murray Administration and local leaders have put together a package that allows for Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport to remain the home for this impressive new endeavor.”
“I would like to thank all our partners who worked collaboratively to make sure Gulfstream knew they would be very welcome to grow here in Westfield and in Massachusetts,” said Representative Don Humason. “Gulfstream’s expanded facility and new employees will be good for our city and good for the Commonwealth. As chairman of the Massachusetts Legislative Aviation Caucus, I am proud to say that Massachusetts is a state where aviation and aviation-related businesses are taking off!”
“On behalf of the citizens of Westfield I’d like to thank Gulfstream for their confidence in Westfield and our workforce in selecting Barnes Regional Airport for their expansion. The City of Westfield and the Commonwealth worked closely with Gulfstream to ensure this expansion happens in Westfield. I am confident that we will continue to have a positive relationship with Gulfstream Aerospace for many years to come,” said Mayor Daniel Knapik of Westfield.
The impact of Gulfstream on the local and state economy is significant. According to the Massachusetts Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study, the civilian airport operations generate over $69 million of total economic output for the region. Recognizing Gulfstream’s existing economic value and the new job creation potential associated with the expansion project, the Patrick-Murray Administration approved a $1.4 million Economic Development Incentive Program tax credit as well as the City of Westfield’s $4.2 million 15-year tax increment financing agreement last week to persuade Gulfstream to invest in Massachusetts.
"MassDOT's Aeronautics Division is making strategic investments in general aviation airports across the Commonwealth, recognizing their critical role in local and regional economic development and job creation, and we are especially pleased to support Gulfstream's expansion project in Westfield," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.
“This collaboration brought about approximately 100 Gulfstream jobs increasing the company’s workforce by nearly 80 percent,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein. “We welcome the high quality jobs developed through this model program for Massachusetts’ talented workforce.”
"Once again, Massachusetts has proven to be the right place to locate and grow a business. Having worked closely with Gulfstream as mayor, I am pleased to join Governor Patrick in welcoming the company's expansion in Westfield, where this infusion of permanent, new jobs will be a significant boost to our local economy," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., a resident and former mayor of Westfield.