Home News Local News EDC grant aims to bring support businesses to Air Center

EDC grant aims to bring support businesses to Air Center

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Submitted Photo State grant funds will be used to ready sites and recruit support businesses for the Maintenance and Repair Organizations (MROs) already at the Roswell Air Center.

A local economic development group has received a grant to bring businesses to the Roswell Air Center that will support the existing maintenance and repair organizations there.

“Our project is about, how do we better position our airport to attract the companies that support the existing companies out there already,” said Michael Espiritu, president of the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp.

The $25,000 Local Economic Assistance and Development Support (LEADS) grant is from the New Mexico Economic Development Department. It will reimburse expenses, with funding available in early August until June 30.

Espiritu said the maintenance and repair organizations (MROs) that dismantle, salvage and repair aircraft at the Roswell Air Center could benefit from having suppliers of avionics, instrumentation, hydraulics or tires at the Air Center.

“We don’t have many of those here, very few,” said Espiritu. “I have a background in that area, so I see that need and they see that need.”

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Espiritu said a local MRO has told him about needing a part repaired and having to go outside the area for the work. Espiritu said that the local MRO paid $25,000 for the part repair, but estimated it would have cost only $5,000 had it been possible for the work to have been done locally.

According to the grant application submitted to the state, the Roswell Air Center has four MROs. The Roswell Air Center website and Federal Aviation Administration website list those as General Airframe Support, Aersale Inc., Dean Baldwin Painting and Cavu Aerospace.

With the grant funds, Espiritu will work with utility companies to prepare “certified,” shovel-ready sites at the Air Center for potential suppliers and will recruit new businesses.

Espiritu also said the project will help the area in terms of workforce development, real estate development and entrepreneurship. He said there could be people in the area who might want to open a welding shop, for example, to serve Roswell Air Center businesses.

According to the state Economic Development District website, the LEADS program is meant to fund public-private projects with sustainable outcomes that will increase the tax base and spur new business growth.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.