Scappoose, Ore. — Under clear blue skies and with nearly 100 project leaders, dignitaries and supporters on hand, Oregon Aero, Inc. broke ground on a brand new, 22,000-square-foot facility that will not only expand its production capability, but also help boost economic activity throughout the region.
“This is a great opportunity to look ahead,” said Mike Dennis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oregon Aero, “to feel optimism and to be energized about the future.”
On hand for the lunchtime event were scores of officials and representatives from the wide range of agencies that helped bring the project to fruition, including the Port of St. Helens, the city of Scappoose, Columbia County and the state of Oregon. Also in attendance were state Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, state Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, and U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore.
“This is a great opportunity for the city of Scappoose, for Columbia County and really for the entire state of Oregon,” Bonamici said. “This not only builds the tax base, but it provides job opportunities. And it is a great example of a company committed to keeping manufacturing right here in the United States.”
The $1.5 million hangar, which is being financed by the State of Oregon and the Port of St. Helens, will house operations for the development and manufacturing of Oregon Aero’s advanced, maximum-comfort, safer aviation seating systems and aircraft interior upgrades. It will accommodate a wide range of fixed-wing and rotor-wing aircraft and be home to the company’s FAA-approved repair station and its customer service department.
When contractor J.H. Kelly completes the facility — projected to be in late February 2013 — Oregon Aero will lease it from the port. The company anticipates that the expansion will provide opportunities for new and additional business, increased exports and more jobs.
“This will help bring real dollars to Oregon,” said Tony Erickson, Chief Operating Officer for Oregon Aero. He also noted that the new facility, which will also have a conference room for hosting events, will allow the company to move its Engineering Department, currently located in St. Helens, to Oregon Aero’s headquarters at the Scappoose Industrial Airpark. The move will improve efficiency and also eliminate driving between the two sites.
With the new building, Oregon Aero will nearly double its overall square footage to approximately 50,000 square feet.
Beyond the increased opportunities for new business and exports — Oregon Aero already exports to more than 50 countries — officials expect the expansion to provide greater economic and employment benefits to the city, the county and the state.
“This is putting Oregon in a leadership role in aviation,” Witt said, “but as Oregon Aero grows the aircraft industry, it also grows our community.”
About Oregon Aero, Inc.
A leader in engineering, testing, certifying and manufacturing advanced seating systems for aircraft and other applications, Oregon Aero, Inc. is known for providing The Ultimate in Flying Comfort™. The company — AS9100 certified and home to an FAA-approved Repair Station — also specializes in headset upgrade kits, aviation and ballistic helmet upgrade kits and pilot accessories. All Oregon Aero® products are developed and manufactured in the U.S.A.