Company to bring 600 jobs to KCI maintenance base

Friday, December 20, 2013 | 8:30 a.m. CST; updated 4:00 p.m. CST, Friday, December 20, 2013

KANSAS CITY — An aviation maintenance and overhaul firm from Washington plans to bring about 600 new jobs to a maintenance base at the Kansas City International Airport, with the possibility of up to 1,000 jobs in the future.

Aviation Technical Services, based in Everett, Wash., announced plans Thursday to invest $57 million and lease 607,000 square feet at KCI's Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul base. The firm said it plans to hire 540 new employees and 40 contract workers at KCI within three to five years, The Kansas City Star reported.

The KCI workers will service wide-body and narrow-body commercial and military transport jet aircraft with work ranging from painting fuselages to airframe maintenance. ATS, which expects to begin work in Kansas City by next spring, will handle more than 150 aircraft a year when it is fully operational, president and CEO Matt Yerbic said.

ATS has facilities in Everett and Moses Lake in Washington. The new operation is the first outside Washington state for the company.

"We truly are excited about this opportunity," Yerbic said. "We look to be good partners with the community and look to grow in Kansas City. This is the first major growth step this company has taken in a long time."

The city didn't offer any tax incentives to ATS, but the state will provided about $10 million in job training assistance.

The overhaul base encompasses is currently occupied by Jet Midwest, Frontier Airlines, ExpressJet, Republic Airlines and Smith Electric Vehicles.

The Kansas City Council must approve the lease with ATS.

"ATS had many options for its expansion and the fact that they chose Kansas City shows that our city continues to set itself apart from its peers," Mayor Sly James said in a statement. "I'm thrilled to welcome ATS, and these new jobs, to our community."

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