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The Business View – December 2015/January 2016 / News You Can Use
Twenty-five years ago Singapore Aerospace bet big on Mobile, announcing the Asian Pacific-based company’s first North American investment. The strategy was to establish a foothold to serve the North and South American markets, expand into commercial aircraft maintenance and meet worldwide demands for third-party aircraft modification work.
The former U.S. Air Force Hangars 1 and 2 at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley (then known as Brookley Field) were restored to operational status and the company, now operating under the name VT MAE, began with 36 employees.
Today, the company is one of the area’s largest employers, with more than 1,000 employees, including technical, engineering and administrative personnel, comprised mainly of licensed Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) aircraft mechanics. Operations expanded to include all six of the former Air Force base hangars, and VT MAE built hangars 7 and 8.
The company now has nearly 900,000 square feet, and has redelivered more than 4,600 Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed and Airbus airframes to its major passenger, freight carrier, charter operator and leasing customers. In November, VT MAE employees began working on its first Boeing 777-300 maintenance program for one of the largest U.S. airlines.
“This represents an on-shoring of work,” said Bill Hafner, VT MAE’s president and CEO. “Previously this contract was performed in the Asian region, and now it is here in Mobile,” he added.
The facility celebrated its 25th anniversary on Sept. 12, marking a double milestone – one for VT MAE and the other for the area’s aerospace industry efforts. Also in September, FedEx and VT MAE officials celebrated the 100th passenger-to-freighter conversion for the U.S.-based global courier service. “VT MAE’s capabilities are a linchpin in our aerospace cluster.
Their international reputation and credibility are vital parts of our burgeoning aerospace center of excellence along the Gulf Coast, said Troy Wayman, the Chamber’s vice president of economic development.
Click here to read The Business View – December 2015/January 2016