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Ascent Aviation looks for new hangar partner

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Ascent Aviation Services has ended negotiations with Western LLC regarding its local hangar. (Submitted Photo)

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The Arizona aviation firm planning an expansion to Roswell is heading in a different direction concerning a new wide-body hangar it plans to occupy.

Ascent Aviation Services has announced its intentions to locate some of its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations at the Roswell Air Center by summer 2022, hiring about 100 mechanics and support personnel upon opening and as many as 360 employees within five years. But its negotiations with developer Western LLC of Elizabeth, Colorado, have ended.

Originally Western and Ascent had planned for Western to build the hangar on city-owned property at the Roswell Air Center.

Brad Henderson, president of Western, said that the two companies could not agree on the financial aspects of the deal, in which Ascent Aviation would have been the tenant of the hangar owned by Western.

“It really came down to just not being able to reach financial terms on the lease-back of the facility,” Henderson said. “I look forward to serving them in the future at some point. We just couldn’t put this deal together for them.”

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Henderson said he thinks the Roswell Air Center has a lot of potential and is talking now with another possible partner for a local project.

“Hopefully in the future we are helping you guys develop that airport into what it can become,” he said.

David Querio, the president of Ascent Aviation, said it would be “premature” to discuss his current negotiations about the future hangar.

Scott Stark, director of the Roswell Air Center, told members of the city of Roswell Airport Advisory Commission on Thursday that Ascent might use a fabric-covered structure able to withstand wind gusts of up to 120 miles an hour. Such structures are in use around the world for commercial and military aircraft hangars, cargo and raw materials storage, indoor sports facilities, emergency relief operations and other purposes.

Ascent Aviation has MRO operations at the Tucson International Airport and at Pinal Air Park in Marana, Arizona. Its expansion to Roswell is a project being funded by Ascent, New Mexico Local Economic Development Act funding of up to $4 million, city funds and up to $3 million of state capital outlay funds awarded to Chaves County that will be used for site work.

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

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.