Gulf Avionics, a full-service avionics maintenance and repair operation (MRO), has located its headquarters and operations at the Kerrville/Kerr County Airport in Texas’ Hill Country region, which runs between the state’s central and southern sections. The company will service aviation clients from the greater San Antonio area and plans to create 50 avionics and aerospace jobs in the next five years.
After a year-long site selection process, the MRO chose Kerrville and has moved into 7,000 square feet of space at one of the airport’s hangars.
“Kerr County is positioned in a very unique space within Texas. The beauty and expanse of the Hill Country lends itself to those that enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the feel of wide-open spaces,” said Chris Todtenhausen, vice president of business development for Gulf Avionics and RBR Aviation. “We devoted nearly a year in our search for a better location, which now provides easy access to a large group of targeted customers, and we expect to continue growing.”
Gulf Avionics, an official dealer for manufacturers including Garmin, Honeywell, Trans-Cal, and PS Engineering, will be offering inspection and general maintenance assistance to hundreds of aircraft owners and operators as it grows its presence in Kerrville and throughout the Austin-San Antonio corridor, home to 4.5 million people.
The new Kerrville headquarters is now servicing tenants on the field and having customers fly in from nearby areas. The company has started the process of recruiting talent and hiring local employees. The new jobs, specifically the avionics technicians, will earn upward of $75,000 in annual wages, which will infuse more than $16 million into the local economy.
“This sector is growing incredibly fast, as leading aviation companies see numerous cost and workforce benefits, as well as our supply-chain network’s added value, to locating along this well-known corridor,” said Gil Salinas, executive director of the Kerr Economic Development Corporation (KEDC). “Our work in further developing this industry cluster is in alignment with Governor Greg Abbott’s vision of making Texas No. 1 in the aviation, aerospace and space sectors nationally.”
Gulf Avionics is part of a holding company named E.H. Caddis & Co. which also owns Dallas-based RBR Aviation.
“We’ve already had some initial discussions between executives of Gulf Avionics and our other new aerospace company, Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing,” Salinas added. “There’s some real synergies starting to develop between the two companies and it’s just exciting to help foster the growth of our aerospace cluster, which is aligned with the community’s 2050 ‘Your Vision Comprehensive Plan.’”
Last year, the KEDC announced that Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, a North Dakota-based Tier-1 aerospace component manufacturer, is moving into a 40,000-square-foot facility at the Airport Commerce Park. The company will be creating 400 jobs, $8 million in capital investment and generating $82 million in economic output to the area.
“Kerrville welcomes Gulf Avionics with open arms, as the company is set to create dozens of jobs and become a statewide leader in avionics services,” said Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn. “It’s clear to us that companies are seriously looking at relocating to Kerr County, a rapidly growing commercial hub and home to manufacturers, medical facilities and the aerospace sector.”
The Kerrville Airport, Gulf Avionics’ new home, is a public-use aviation facility serving the Hill Country region with a 6,000-foot primary runway and an additional 3,600-foot crosswind runway.
Within a one-hour flight of Kerrville, are more than 1,500 aircraft owners and operators, which is up to five times the same market breakdown for cities of comparable size to Kerrville.
“We are very excited to see Gulf Aviation expand to Kerrville. Their comprehensive approach to aircraft maintenance will offer a variety of services that support corporate and general aviation in many areas. This diversification will bring both jobs and valued clients to the Kerrville area,” said Mark Mosier, board president of the Kerrville/Kerr County Airport.
Kerrville’s growing aviation and aerospace cluster is centered around the airport and the Airport Commerce Park, both of which are home to Mooney International Corporation, Dugosh Aviation (aircraft maintenance), the Hill Country Aviation Flight School, Aeromax USA (aircraft appraisal) and Air Evac EMS.