North Carolina’s rapidly growing aviation industry

North Carolina’s rapidly growing aviation industry

Writer: Joshua Andino

2 min read April 2023 — A $12.5 million investment and 85 new jobs are coming to Greensboro, just outside Piedmont Triad International Airport. 

Maintenance, repair and overhaul company (MRO) TAT Piedmont Aviation is expanding its operations with a $12.8 million investment that will create 85 jobs and expand its service capacity at its Guilford County facilities, according to the Monday announcement. The expansion marks the continuation of the state’s aviation and aerospace industries, which continues to develop as the state experiences continued growth. 

“Aviation and aerospace companies of every stripe are choosing North Carolina as the best place to grow their business,” said Gov. Roy Cooper in the announcement.  “The state’s investments in workforce training for this industry are really paying off, which is why good employers like Piedmont Aviation continue to expand and grow in North Carolina.”

TAT Piedmont Aviation is a subsidiary of Israeli TAT Technologies, and provides auxiliary power units (APU’s), landing Gear and machining, plating and grinding services for both commercial and military partners. The expansion is anticipated to provide a yearly $4.3 million economic impact as a result of increased salaries, which will on average round out to $51,706. 

“With our extensive history in North Carolina and especially Greensboro we are excited to be able to announce our next growth initiative here in 2023,” said Marty Cervellione, general manager of TAT Piedmont Aviation. “With our new APU MRO capabilities and state of the art test facility we are very optimistic for the future growth of our footprint in this area.”

Helping facilitate the growth is a performance-based $200,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which provides assistance to local governments to help drive economic growth and job creation. The money is often disbursed as companies meet specific targets around job creation and capital investment to qualify. Additionally, local governments must provide a matching grant in order to qualify.

The move comes as the state’s aviation industry sees rising demand. North Carolina already hosts firms such as Lockheed Martin, Collins Aerojet, GE Aviation and a number of others, while just last month Charlotte International Airport was forced to close a number of security checkpoints as it continues its ongoing $3.1 billion capital improvement project. Similarly, Raleigh-Durham International Airport just opened a new $37 million, 558,000 square foot remain overnight (RON) apron for up to 8 planes, the latest addition in an ongoing expansion process 

The airports’ expansion and the growth of the aviation and aerospace industries present in North Carolina, including TAT Piedmont Aviation, are no mistake, local officials say. “Industry expansions like we’ve seen recently don’t happen by accident,” said N.C. Senator Michael Garrett in the press release. He added, “Many people and organizations have been working hard behind the scenes for many years to prepare our infrastructure and our workforce systems to support growing aerospace companies like Piedmont Aviation.”

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders noted that talent – and the collaboration required to harness it, were also a factor of the decision. “We’re enjoying momentum with this industry because companies like TAT Piedmont Aviation recognize and appreciate both our existing workforce and the state’s commitment to keep our talent pipeline strong for their industry,“ she said.

Partners listed in the release included the state Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Duke Energy, the N.C. Community College System, the city of Greensboro, Guilford Technical Community College, Guilford County, the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

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