For Full Story: The Pulse

Article By: Derek Cosson

 

The first aircraft bound for VT MAE’s new $46 million maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility — a UPS Airlines Boeing 757 — has landed at Pensacola International Airport.

City spokesman Vernon Stewart confirmed the landing but directed other questions to VT MAE. A representative for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The landing Friday is the culmination of a five-year effort by Pensacola leaders to recruit the company, a subsidiary of Singapore-based ST Engineering Aerospace. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward first travelled to Singapore in 2013 in a bid to convince VT MAE to expand its operations, long based in nearby Mobile, to Pensacola. Company officials joined him in Pensacola in February 2014 to announce a deal.

Once fully operational, the 173,000 square foot hangar is expected to support some 400 jobs paying between $30,000 and $58,000 annually — but that could be just the beginning. Hayward has asked Triumph Gulf Coast, the board controlling hundreds of millions of dollars in BP oil spill settlement dollars, for $135 million to help fund a massive expansion of VT MAE’s footprint. Two proposed additional phases for the project would add three additional hangars, a distribution warehouse, and an office building — some 775,000 square feet in total.