High tech jobs are coming to Upshur County thanks to a new business locating there on Thursday.
Airtech, LLC is a Cincinnati, Ohio based company that has provided an array of services for large, general aviation, and business jet aircraft. Now it’s opened a West Virginia location at the Upshur County Regional Airport to service, maintain, and repair aircraft. Company officials said it’s an under serviced area.
“So it allows us to expand, and capture some of the eastern West Virginia-Virginia-Maryland business jet customers as well,” said Mark Davis, Airtech LLC founder.
The Buckhannon operation will operate as an FAA Part 145 Certified Repair Station providing 24-7 operations, scheduled maintenance, and annual inspections. Five to 10 people will be employed initially, and with the five-year lease between the company and the Buckhannon-Upshur Airport Authority, airport officials would like to see that number grow.
The partnership between the company and the airport authority enables the authority to look toward meeting and fulfilling parts of their master plan. That plan was developed and finalized in early 2015. The authority hopes to extend the current runway to accommodate larger aircraft, and build up to 75,000-square-feet of additional facilities.
“Expansion wise we’re going to expand the runway. We’re going to go over 5,000 feet on the runway. The FAA said you have to so many emplanements for operations to justify spending federal dollars to expand that runway,” said Bill Thomas, president of BUAA.
“It will on its own bring in additional larger aircraft and that ultimately means for us additional maintenance services that we’ll be able to provide,” Davis said.
Davis said when deciding to expand the operation, he felt coming home to West Virginia was where they wanted to be.
“We feel we’ll be able to not only operate in this location, but expand hopefully outside to a larger hangar capable of handling larger aircraft. What that means is more jobs to the area and to economy,” Davis said.