The Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation (SSMADC) and Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) are working on a joint initiative that will see further expansion of hangar facilities at the airport, with the goal of generating 25 high-end jobs. At Monday’s City Council meeting, the SSMADC received $250,000 from the Municipality’s Economic Development Fund. Expected to be leveraged with funding from senior levels of government, the investment will be used towards a $5.8-million airport expansion initiative.
The SSMADC is expanding the hangar facilities that are currently occupied by JD Aero Technical Inc., an airplane repair, maintenance and overhaul provider that services airlines around the world. The company, which currently employs 50 full time and up to 100 with seasonal positions at its Sault Ste. Marie location, is now at capacity. More space will enable the firm to increase its client list and staff contingent. This partnership between SSMADC, senior levels of government, SSMEDC and JD Aero is the second such initiative. When completed, it will result in more than 80,000 square feet of aviation hangar space to accommodate the industry.
“Moving in this direction is a game changer for the airport and places us at a level that provides increased opportunities to service the aviation industry globally,” said Terry Bos, President and CEO of the SSMADC. “We realize it is a very competitive industry, and with our recently-approved Business and Land Use Master Plan as a tool, we are prepared to meet added growth through a strategic planning model to optimize our success. We are very grateful to the partnerships we have formed in getting to this point and are looking towards further opportunities to grow the industry.”
The current airport expansion project is part of a successful, multi-year partnership between the SSMADC and SSMEDC. In 2015, this initiative resulted in the signing of a formal strategic partnership to develop the airport site with additional industrial and commercial components, as identified in the airport’s Business and Land Use Master Plan.
“There’s significant opportunity at the Sault Airport, and we look forward to continuing to work with the SSMADC on rolling out more initiatives in the months and years to come,” said Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Business Development of the SSMEDC. “Our organization has identified the airport as an economic development priority. We’ve seen a number of successes in recent years, and we expect this trend to continue.”