Midcoast Adds 200 Jobs, Plus Big-Jet Hangar

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Midcoast Aviation, a private jet completion and refurbishing company, is responding to a growing business jet market (and an accompanying recent-year revenue surge of roughly 20 percent per year) through a $17.5 million expansion and the hiring of additional workers. The company's St. Louis Downtown Airport headquarters will see the addition of a new 125,000-square-foot hangar this year capable of providing enough space to handle up to two aircraft the size of a Boeing 757 at any given time. Some 200 new technicians salaried at close to $50,000 per year will be added to a current 1,100-member workforce to manage additional workflow. Midcoast's expansion comes with thanks in part to competitive offers that resulted in $4 million in incentives made available by the state of Illinois, including a mix of sales tax exemptions, a $2.6 million tax credit for job creation spread over 10 years, job training and facility improvement funds. Midcoast was bought by Jet Aviation last year and topped $200 million in revenue for 2006. "Business has been very good, and the skyline for business looks even better," Vice Chairman Gary Driggers last week told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Midcoast's President, Kurt Sutterer, in a recent interview told Aviation Week the company plans to focus on consolidation with a focus on strategic locations and completions work, which he forecasts could grow at 20 to 25 percent per year through 2011. The company intends to focus on midsized and larger business jets.