Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has announced plans to build a new service center at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in response to its growing customer fleet’s needs for maintenance and service. The service center is expected to open in the second quarter of 2019 and create about 200 jobs.
Gulfstream will invest approximately US$55 million to build the 202,000-square-foot/18,766-square-meter maintenance, repair and overhaul facility on the east side of the airport. The building will include hangar space, offices and back shops, and will complement the main Gulfstream Savannah Service Center, the world’s largest purpose-built business jet maintenance facility.
“This expansion of our customer service and support organization is the result of the strong and steady fleet growth we’ve had for several years and the arrival of the Gulfstream G500 and G600 in the coming months,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “As we’ve announced recently, we’re also growing to meet customer needs in Appleton, Wisconsin, and Van Nuys, California. These new facilities will keep us well-positioned for support, maintenance and refurbishment of the Gulfstream fleet, which is now at nearly 2,700 aircraft and continues to grow.”
Attending the expansion announcement event were state and local dignitaries, including Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter. The event was held at Savannah Technical College’s Aviation Training Center, whose students will play a key role in Gulfstream’s growth.
Said Burns: “Our Savannah expansion is also the direct result of our strong partnership with Savannah Technical College. The school’s aviation programs, which have provided us with more than 500 knowledgeable and skilled employees over nearly 20 years and continue to grow, will help us meet the workforce needs this expansion creates. We are proud to continue our work together to provide outstanding training and careers in a dynamic industry that’s essential to the economy in Savannah and throughout our great state.”
When the new service center, named Savannah Service Center East, is completed, Gulfstream will have more than 1 million sq ft/92,903 sq m of dedicated customer-support hangar space, offices and back shops in Savannah. Like the existing Savannah service center, the new Savannah location will offer a wide range of services, including aircraft-on-ground resources, hourly and calendar-driven airframe inspections, avionics installations and interior refurbishments.
“We appreciate the assistance and cooperation we have received from Savannah Technical College, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the Savannah Airport Commission and the city of Savannah in supporting our site expansion,” Burns said.
In addition to Savannah, Gulfstream operates service centers in Brunswick, Georgia; Long Beach, California; Cahokia, Illinois; Appleton; Dallas; Las Vegas; Westfield, Massachusetts; West Palm Beach, Florida; Beijing; Sorocaba, Brazil; and Luton, England.
Savannah Technical College’s aviation technology division offers associate degree, diploma and certificate programs in aircraft structural technology and aviation maintenance, including airframe and powerplant. The aviation maintenance technology program is certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The college’s nearly 30,000-sq-ft/2,787-sq-m Aviation Training Center at its Crossroads campus near Gulfstream includes labs, classrooms and a 5,000-sq-ft/465-sq m-hangar. Students also benefit from hands-on training with resources donated by Gulfstream, including a Gulfstream G100 business jet that the college has used since June 2014.
“Gulfstream is the reason Savannah Technical College is able to provide quality aerospace-related programs for our students and a highly skilled workforce for our region,” said Dr. Kathy Love, president, Savannah Tech. “Thank you, Gulfstream, for your confidence in Savannah Tech and in our graduates. We congratulate you on your past and future successes in the great state of Georgia.”