SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. is building a new service center that will create 200 jobs and invest $55 million in Savannah.
"It's a brand new building," said Derek Zimmerman, president of product support for Gulfstream. "The old terminal the Savannah airport has been demolished, and we've broken ground already. We're putting up a brand new structure that'll be right across the airport from our existing service center. That existing service center is the largest purpose-built business aviation service center anywhere in the world, so this will just add to that existing capability."
Governor Nathan Deal announced the facility expansion and job growth on Tuesday.
"With our logistics infrastructure, as well as our transportation network and digital assets, Gulfstream will continue to enhance the services offered to its worldwide customer base," Deal said in a statement. "We appreciate Gulfstream's continued investment in Georgia over the past five decades and look forward to strengthening this partnership in the years to come."
Right now, Deal says aerospace products are the state's number one export largely because of growth and expansion of companies like Gulfstream.
"We've got a dozen facilities around the world, but Savannah's been our heart," Zimmerman said. "It's where we do the most work. It's about half of our overall network capacity, so we're excited to bring additional capacity here. Savannah's been a great community for us. We love to be able to reinvest. We bought a new product support distribution center on recently. This is our new service center, so it's our ability to continue to expand our capability here, bring more customers here to Savannah, and also extend the supply chain network that provides support for that service center and continue to work on the fundamental infrastructure of this community."
The new building will be one of the company's largest individual centers and will be able to fit 13 of its new, largest aircrafts.
"This year we'll be introducing two new products: the G500 and the G600, so part of this is just being ready to support those new aircraft as they enter into service," Zimmerman said.
The facility will create 200 new jobs in Gulfstream's service and support organization. Workers at the new service center will handle airframe inspections and repair, avionics installations and repair, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, engine changes and repairs, interior refurbishment and spare parts exchanges and sales.
Aside from being a major employer, Gulfstream benefits the local economy on a much larger scale, too.
"Customers can take their aircraft anywhere in the world, so having a community and having an infrastructure that supports that type of investment and having the necessary tax background to be able to attract customers here is very important to us," Zimmerman said. "We are excited about that. It's a great opportunity. It's a great industry, and we're proud to be part of it."
The expansion will also include an additional maintenance hangar, customer tower, and a hangar support area with office and shop space.
Zimmerman said the company has already broken ground at the site for the facility, and he expects it to completed and opened in the second quarter of 2019.
Here are more details from Gulfstream about the new maintenance facility: