Con­tact: Katie Spillman 

Phone: (727) 2360284

Email: katies@​themooreagency.​com

$32.5M Project Maple” at North­west Flori­da Beach­es Inter­na­tion­al Air­port to Spark Eco­nom­ic Growth, Diversification 

Pre­mier Avi­a­tion to open loca­tion here, cre­at­ing 250 high-wage jobs  

Pana­ma City, FL (Sep­tem­ber 13, 2023) — In a boon for region­al eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, an inter­na­tion­al avi­a­tion main­te­nance, repair and over­haul (MRO) com­pa­ny will soon break ground at North­west Flori­da Beach­es Inter­na­tion­al Air­port (ECP), bring­ing more than $32.5 mil­lion of cap­i­tal invest­ment and cre­at­ing 250 high-wage jobs in the next four years. 

Pre­mier Avi­a­tion USA Over­haul Ser­vices (Pre­mier Avi­a­tion), which is head­quar­tered in Que­bec City, Cana­da will open its sec­ond loca­tion in Bay Coun­ty, Flori­da. The project, dubbed Project Maple” in a nod to the company’s Cana­di­an roots, is the result of two years of efforts by ECP and Bay Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Alliance to expand the region’s avi­a­tion sector. 

Fam­i­ly is our most impor­tant core val­ue, and we are over­joyed to be expand­ing in Bay Coun­ty and cre­at­ing new oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to pros­per in their home­town,” said Syl­vain Per­ron, pres­i­dent of Pre­mier Avi­a­tion. We look for­ward to being part of this com­mu­ni­ty and are eager to break ground and estab­lish our­selves as the region’s leader in air­craft maintenance.” 

This project could have gone any­where in the Unit­ed States and Pre­mier Avi­a­tion chose Bay Coun­ty,” said Hol­ly Melz­er, chair of the North­west Flori­da Beach­es Inter­na­tion­al Air­port Board of Direc­tors. With major cus­tomers in the South­east, the com­pa­ny rec­og­nized that our cen­tral­ized loca­tion would be an advan­tage, as is our proven capac­i­ty to train tal­ent in the air­craft main­te­nance sector.” 

This is a mile­stone moment along our jour­ney to fur­ther diver­si­fy our community’s employ­ment base, par­tic­u­lar­ly with high-wage, high-skill jobs,” said Patrick Jones, chair of the Bay EDA Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee. Pre­mier Avi­a­tion will be an excel­lent asset to the region and will com­ple­ment the accel­er­at­ed growth at our airport.” 

To pre­pare new hires, Haney Tech­ni­cal Col­lege will facil­i­tate tai­lored cours­es in avi­a­tion main­te­nance. Haney cur­rent­ly trains stu­dents in both avi­a­tion air­frame mechan­ics and avi­a­tion pow­er­plant mechan­ics. The 40 to 50 avi­a­tion mechan­ics trained each year have had to leave the com­mu­ni­ty to find work with­out main­te­nance, repair and oper­a­tions ser­vices, but that won’t be the case much longer. 

Pre­mier Avi­a­tion plans for the Bay Coun­ty oper­a­tion to become the cen­ter of excel­lence” on Embraer and ATR prod­ucts: the ERJ 145, EMB 175190 and the ATR42/72 series air­craft, which range in pas­sen­ger capac­i­ty from 40 to 106 seats. The com­pa­ny esti­mates it will hire 10 employ­ees in 2024 and 80 in each sub­se­quent year through 2026. Wages are antic­i­pat­ed to be over 115% of the Bay Coun­ty aver­age. Over­all, approx­i­mate­ly $13.75 mil­lion of pri­vate pay­roll will be added to the region annu­al­ly. Pre­mier Avi­a­tion plans to work close­ly with Career­Source Gulf Coast on their hir­ing and recruit­ing plans. 

Con­struc­tion has not yet begun on the two-bay, nar­row body hangar but is expect­ed to ramp up quick­ly, with com­ple­tion by sum­mer 2025. Half of the funds will come through Tri­umph Gulf Coast, a non­prof­it that over­sees expen­di­ture of eco­nom­ic dam­age funds from the 2010 Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon oil spill. The oth­er half will come from Space Flori­da and Pre­mier Avi­a­tion through a con­duit financ­ing struc­ture. Space Flori­da will own the facil­i­ty and long-term lease the facil­i­ty to Pre­mier Aviation. 

This major invest­ment from an avi­a­tion MRO is a step toward the estab­lish­ment of the Avi­a­tion Cen­ter of Excel­lence at ECP, with a goal to pro­vide a ready pipeline of work­force for future main­te­nance, repair and oper­a­tions ser­vices. As one of the newest inter­na­tion­al air­ports in the Unit­ed States with 3,000 devel­opable acres, glob­al air traf­fic net­work, and devel­op­ment-ready sites adja­cent to a 10,000-foot run­way, the air­port is well posi­tioned to attain its goal. 


About North­west Flori­da Beach­es Inter­na­tion­al Air­port

Northwest Flori­da Beach­es Inter­na­tion­al Air­port (ECP) is locat­ed less than 30 min­utes from Pana­ma City Beach, Pana­ma City, and the beach­es of South Wal­ton. Today, with ser­vice from Amer­i­can Air­lines, Delta Air Lines, South­west Air­lines, and Unit­ed Air­lines, ECP’s air­line part­ners pro­vide dai­ly flights to world­wide des­ti­na­tions, includ­ing year-round and sea­son­al non­stop flights between ECP and Atlanta (ATL), Austin (AUS) Bal­ti­more (BWI), Char­lotte (CLT), Chica­go (MDW/ORD), Dal­las (DAL/DFW), Den­ver (DEN), Hous­ton (HOU/IAH), Indi­anapo­lis (IND), Kansas City (MCI), Nashville (BNA), St. Louis (STL), Wash­ing­ton DC (DCA), and more. ECP pro­vides North­west Flori­da with first-class facil­i­ties and was strate­gi­cal­ly devel­oped for major eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties. ECP is the gate­way to vis­i­tors seek­ing North­west Florida’s famous beaches. 

About Bay Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Alliance

The Bay Coun­ty Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment Alliance (BayE­DA) is Bay County’s eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment enti­ty. Pub­licly and pri­vate­ly fund­ed, BayE­DA serves Bay Coun­ty in the mis­sion of sup­port­ing the exist­ing busi­ness­es in Bay Coun­ty and in the recruit­ment of new busi­ness to Bay Coun­ty. BayE­DA sup­ports the exist­ing pil­lars of the econ­o­my and is ded­i­cat­ed to grow­ing and diver­si­fy­ing the Bay Coun­ty economy. 

About Pre­mier Avi­a­tion

Pre­mier Avi­a­tion is a lead­ing full-ser­vice provider of air­frame main­te­nance with all back shops under one roof. Head­quar­tered in Cana­da at the Que­bec City Inter­na­tion­al Air­port (YQB), Pre­mier Avi­a­tion is Trans­port Cana­da, FAA, EASA and ANAC certified/​approved. Pre­mier Avi­a­tion pro­vides world-class cost-effec­tive­ness and val­ue-added MRO ser­vices to air­craft oper­a­tors and lessors by main­tain­ing all region­al air­craft types, such as, but not lim­it­ed to: ATR, DeHav­il­land, Embraer and MHI RJ (Mit­subishi).