NAS Brunswick, Maine, is slated to close next year. I and many others consider it one of the most bone-headed, regressive and utterly contemptible moves that Congress has ever done, and that’s saying a LOT. Having said that, however, at least civilian aviation will be able to use a portion of the facility.
In a move announced today, Kestrel Aircraft will be moving onto the base to manufacture General Aviation aircraft. Our local newspaper, The Times Record, has the story.
By Seth Koenig, Times Record StaffPublished:Friday, July 23, 2010 2:25 PM EDT
BRUNSWICK — The founder of one of the most successful small aircraft companies in the world is planning to launch a $100 million airplane manufacturing project in Brunswick.
Base redevelopment officials, town leaders and state dignitaries assembled at Augusta State Airport this morning to announce the arrival of Alan Klapmeier, co-founder of Cirrus Aircraft Corp. Klapmeier’s new firm, Kestrel Aircraft, expects to ultimately hire more than 300 workers to build airplanes on Brunswick Naval Air Station property.
“It’s a $100 million deal and they’re announcing that they’ve selected Maine as the location where they will build these airplanes,” said Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, the group guiding the civilian reuse of the 3,200-acre base.
This is good news for the home front, in that it represents a potential hiring of 300 workers whose salaries will help strengthen a local economy already hard hit. It also means potential business for local suppliers, vendors, and all the other businesses that every industry relies on locally. I’ll keep you posted as this develops.
Kestrel Turboprop here