Cirrus Aircraft has announced plans to develop a state-of-the-art innovation center at Minnesota’s Duluth International Airport (KDLH). According to the company, the Duluth Innovation Center will feature amenities and flexible workspaces “where engineers will develop the next generation of Cirrus aircraft.” To house the center, Cirrus has acquired the former Northwest Airlines Corp. facility, a 189,000-square-foot building on 39 acres at KDLH, which the company intends to renovate.
“Doubling down with a massive facility such as this underscores our relentless pursuit of continuous innovation that makes owning and operating a Cirrus safe, convenient and easy,” said Cirrus Aircraft CEO Zean Nielsen. “This investment solidifies Cirrus Aircraft’s commitment to continuous innovation. We want talent to think of Cirrus Aircraft, Duluth, and now the new Innovation Center as a special place where the latest and greatest general aviation technologies come to life.”
Cirrus noted that the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) approved the agreement authorizing the sale of the building with a 60-year ground lease in August. Renovations are slated to begin later this month. An expected opening date for the Duluth Innovation Center has not yet been announced.
NOT mentioned was that the former NWA facility had become a financial albatross for the Duluth Airport Authority to heat and maintain it.
The Airport Authority got rid of a financial burden, and Cirrus got the needed office space, “Innovation Center”–and production space. Duluth was able to meet the needs of Cirrus to keep the development center (and the company) in Duluth.
Everybody wins–that’s GOOD BUSINESS.