AAR Corp. Announces 500 New Jobs for Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles

State will establish Aircraft MRO Center of Excellence for aviation training at SOWELA Technical Community College

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal and AAR Corp. Chairman and CEO David Storch announced the company will establish a 750-job aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operation at Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles. The aviation contractor will retain approximately 250 former employees of a predecessor, Aeroframe Services, while creating 500 new direct jobs with an average salary of more than $46,600 a year, plus benefits. LED estimates the project will result in an additional 526 new indirect jobs in the area, for a total of more than 1,000 new jobs.

Based in the Chicago area, AAR is a global provider of products and services to commercial airlines and is also ranked among the Top 100 defense contractors in the world. The company’s aircraft MRO business is the largest independent business of its kind in the United States.

The company will occupy approximately 520,000 square feet of MRO service and administrative space, plus another 118,000 square feet in Hangar H, a new high-bay, wide-body aviation hangar currently under construction at the airport. Louisiana committed $17.5 million toward construction of the $21.5 million Hangar H. The new hangar made Chennault a particularly attractive site for AAR’s major expansion into Louisiana.

Gov. Jindal said, “Today is a great day for Calcasieu Parish and our entire state. Chennault continues to be one of the biggest economic drivers in Southwest Louisiana and our entire state. In addition to a world-class workforce and an outstanding business climate, Louisiana offers extraordinary sites like Chennault International Airport that make our state a leader in logistics and infrastructure. All of these resources contribute to Louisiana’s economic momentum, and AAR is one of many companies that have taken notice as they continue to invest here, creating more great opportunities for our people.”

“We appreciate the tremendous support from the Governor, the State, the Chennault International Airport Authority, local officials and the Louisiana Economic Development team in making this world-class facility available,” Storch said. “We look forward to meeting and engaging the talented pool of aviation professionals from the area and helping to extend Lake Charles’ position as an aviation center of excellence for Louisiana. The Lake Charles facility builds upon AAR’s position as the top provider of aircraft maintenance services in North America, adding capacity while enabling the company to expand its capabilities, bring our industry-leading value proposition to more customers, and create jobs.”

AAR is a leading provider of products and services for the aerospace, government and defense industries. Headquartered near O’Hare International Airport, AAR employs approximately 7,000 people at more than 60 locations in 17 countries. The company provides aviation services for large commercial airlines, including American, Delta, United and Southwest Airlines; cargo carriers, such as DHL, UPS and FedEx; and governments and militaries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Turkey and others.

“The AAR presence will expand the types and numbers of aircraft that will be worked at the Chennault facility,” said Executive Director Randy Robb of the Chennault International Airport Authority. “Since AAR is the largest aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul organization in the United States and the third-largest in the world, Chennault anticipates significant growth in both jobs and commerce at the site. AAR selected the Chennault location based upon the fact that the facilities met their needs and because of the apparent teamwork they observed between the State of Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish, the City of Lake Charles and Chennault.”

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