GSO: An airport on the grow

The Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, N.C., has landed a couple of major league tenants, including Honda, which has located a worldwide headquarters at the airport where it will manufacture the HondaJet.

The company, expected to make a $100 million investment in its facility at the airport, plans to eventually employ 600. Honda, which has already hired 400 workers, expects to deliver the first jets in 2011.

FedEx will open a major hub operation at the airport this summer in a $300 million facility that will eventually employ 1,500 people and serve 63 aircraft per day. The FedEx mid-Atlantic hub facility has the capacity to sort 24,000 packages an hour.

“We believe these two events will put our airport on the map with both the aircraft manufacture and repair industry and with the cargo and logistics industry,” says Henry Isaacson, chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority.

Other tenants at the airport include TIMCO Aviation Services. The repair station employs about 1,800 people at its 600,000-square-foot facility. TIMCO operates four additional facilities across the country. Comair operates a regional maintenance facility at the airport, as does Cessna Citation, which provides repair services for Cessna owners from across the central Eastern Seaboard.

Workers to fill these aviation jobs are trained at the T.H. Davis Aviation Center, which is located on the airport campus. The school, which is adding 60,000 square feet at its center near the airport, has the capacity to turn out up to 125 aviation mechanic graduates a year in more than 35 degree programs.

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