Tucson Is The Place Where Planes Go To Heal

The dry climate cuts down on corrosion and makes it possible to work on planes outdoors. No earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or other natural threats makes it a safe place to store valuable equipment outdoors.

"Our placement rate for structural-repair program (graduates) has been around 98 percent for 17 years."

And he says he gets calls from employers all over the country, some from places that pay more than Tucson.

Maintaining, repairing and storing planes around Tucson

--Evergreen Air Center Inc.

Location: Pinal Airpark, just north of Marana off Interstate 10

Web site: www.evergreenac.com/

Employees: 610 full-time-equivalents, with anticipated hiring of 250 more in early 2007

What do they do? Maintenance, repair and overhaul, storage and recycling of commercial airliners and air freighters.

What's new? Evergreen modified a Boeing 747 as the Evergreen Supertanker, a forest- fire-fighting water bomber the company is marketing.

--Hamilton Aerospace Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Global Aircraft Solutions.

Location: 6901 S. Park Ave., Tucson International Airport

Web site: www.globalaircraftsolutions.com

Employees: 300, no immediate plans for expansion

What do they do? Maintenance, repair and overhaul, interior modifications and sale of commercial airliners.

What's new? Doing a strong business in reselling U.S. air carriers' older planes overseas.

--DunnAir Business Jet Completion Center

Location: 1555 Aero Park Blvd. at Tucson International Airport

Web site: www.dunnair.com/

Employees: 51, with additional hiring as needed, mostly of former Bombardier workers.

What do they do? Interior refurbishment and painting of corporate and private luxury aircraft.

What's new? Just starting up, increasing marketing effort by visiting air shows with new luxury corporate jet mockup.

--Bombardier Aerospace, factory service center

Location: 1255 E. Aero Park Drive (Tucson International Airport)

Web site: www.bombardier.com

Employees: 650; some hiring, in particular looking for structural repair technicians.

What do they do? Maintenance, repair and overhaul, service, interior modifications and painting of Bombardier's corporate and regional jet series aircraft.

What's new? Strong sales of Bombardier's corporate and regional jets suggests plenty of customers for firm's Tucson service center.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

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