American Airlines to Invest $2M, Bring 60 Jobs to LR

A subsidiary of American Airlines Group said Tuesday that it will invest $2 million to establish a new aircraft maintenance facility at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock.

Envoy Air Inc. plans to bring 60 new jobs to the Adams Field operation over the next five years. The facility, which includes a 37,000-SF hangar formerly operated by Hawker Beechcraft, will provide maintenance support for the carrier’s fleet of 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, airport officials and Jay Murray, Envoy’s vice president of maintenance, announced the project during a news conference at the hangar.

“Our new maintenance base in Little Rock will provide scheduled overnight maintenance for up to four E175 aircraft and provide line maintenance for the 15 daily American Eagle flights from Little Rock to American’s hubs in Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago,” Murray said in a news release. “This new facility will be staffed by Envoy employees, including mechanics, inventory control clerks, management and support personnel.”

The project is receiving $500,000 from the governor’s quick action closing fund, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Envoy said it will invest $2 million to make modifications to the facilities to accommodate the larger E175 jets. Envoy’s use of space adjacent to the hangar brings the total size of its Adams Field footprint to 47,626 SF, according to airport spokesman Shane Carter.

Envoy expects the new facility to be operational by the end of the year.

Ron Mathieu, the airport’s executive director, told Arkansas Business that Envoy has a five-year lease contract with the airport with two options to extend the deal for five more years. Envoy will pay $21,131.25 per month for the space.

Envoy already operates a maintenance base at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. It established the base in 2004 and expanded it in 2007.

Hawker Beechcraft announced in November 2012 that it would close its jet completion center at the airport, part of a post-Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Fly Arkansas, a fixed base operator, took over parts of the former Hawker operation last year.

 

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