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California business starts aviation work at International Air Center

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GRG Aircraft & Leasing has begun work in Roswell. The company currently specializes in buying decommissioned aircraft, such as this Boeing 767-300, to resell the parts. It has plans to become a maintenance and repair operation, as well. (Submitted Photo)

A southern California aviation-related business is expanding to Roswell, having begun some work here this week with plans to hire local employees in the future.

GRG Aircraft & Leasing Inc., based out of Moorpark, California, began working with General Airframe Support Inc. a couple of days ago on the tear-down of a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft that GRG has purchased so that it can resell the parts, said company owner Glen Granat.

GRG Aircraft has been in business since 1997 and also has operations in Mojave and Victorville in California. General Airframe owner Isaac Sheets said that he has been working with Granat and some of his partners for a few years.

Granat said his company would like to grow at the Roswell International Air Center, becoming a maintenance and repair operation (MRO) and eventually having its own facility or its own local Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) workers.

In the short-term, Granat and Sheets plan to build a new tear-down or “crunch” pad at the airfield, a project that has been discussed as a priority for the airfield by city staff for a while.

GRG also plans to be part of a “145 station,” or a certified Federal Aviation Administration repair station, that would allow for the inspection and evaluation of parts for immediate resale. At the current time, GRG has to use a third-party vendor for parts certification.

“We are looking forward to doing business and bringing some new jobs and opportunities,” Granat said. “To do business in Roswell just makes sense to me, from leasing property to tax benefits. Out in California, it is very difficult, very expensive.”

He also said that Air Center Manager Mark Bleth and other city of Roswell staff have helped to make the decision.

“He really likes the environment here in Roswell,” said Bleth, “and the Part 147 school at Eastern and the availability of space, so we have all the ingredients that he needs to grow this part of his business.”

The part 147 school refers to the FAA-certified aviation maintenance program offered by Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell.

Bleth and Air Center Director Scott Stark said the Air Center now offers a range of aviation businesses that can help the industry develop in the region. These include several MROs, a commercial airline service, flight training and flight testing operations, and an aviation research and development business.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.