Sierra Nevada opens huge hangar at Dayton airport, says it plans to build more

The company’s first aircraft maintenance facility in Dayton will employ about 150 people

Sierra Nevada Corp.’s large new aircraft maintenance and overhaul facility officially has opened at the Dayton International Airport, helping to bring about 150 new jobs.

But local leaders and economic development officials said work on a second facility is getting underway and there’s space for about five of these facilities if the private defense and aviation-focused company continues to grow and invest.

“This is our first step — the first of several hangars we are going to build here, and we have (a) big vision,” said Fatih Ozmen, CEO and co-owner of Sierra Nevada Corp, which is based in Sparks, Nevada.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday afternoon at Sierra Nevada Corp.’s roughly 96,000-square-foot Aviation Innovation and Technology Center, which had a groundbreaking a year ago.

The facility, located on the north side of the Dayton airport property, consists of a large hangar and offices.

Work at the new hangar will be the first time since the 1940s that a private company will perform maintenance, repair and modification work on military planes in Dayton, according to JobsOhio.

Two large planes were parked in the hangar during Wednesday’s event. One was a Boeing 767. The other was a C-17 military cargo plane.

Officials said the hangar could still fit additional aircraft. The new facility is capable of supporting some of the largest aviation projects in the world.

Sierra Nevada Corp. said the center’s annual payroll is going to be nearly $11 million. Company officials said this project is a continuation of Dayton’s legacy as the birthplace of aviation.

“As the birthplace of aviation, Dayton offers an extensive supply chain that already exists and a highly-skilled workforce that’s proven ... as a logistics hub,” said Mark Williams, senior vice president of strategy with the Sierra Nevada Corp.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who attended Wednesday’s event, said Ohio is one of the most military-friendly states in the nation, plus the Buckeye State is a leader in aviation, aerospace and national defense.

Husted said he hopes Sierra Nevada builds “many more” new local facilities and takes on new and larger responsibilities.

JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef said this project embodies how Ohio is the past, present and future of aerospace.

Dayton Mayor Jeffrey Mims Jr. said he hopes Wednesday’s event will be just the first of multiple ribbon-cuttings for new Sierra Nevada facilities at the Dayton airport.

“This is special for us, and one of the reasons why I think you finished this so quickly is so you can get started on the next one tomorrow,” the mayor said with a chuckle. “We hope to be here next year for a grand opening and ribbon-cutting.”

Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, said there is room for about five of these types of facilities. He said he hopes and thinks more are on the way.

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