{{featured_button_text}}

SIOUX CITY -- A Sioux City-based airplane maintenance company is expanding its business in Salina, Kansas.

In a statement released Tuesday, 1 Vision Aviation announced that it has leased a hangar at Salina Regional Airport, where it plans to employ 50 workers when it begins occupying the 128,000-square-foot hangar on July 1. Within three years, the company, which does maintenance and repairs on commercial, corporate and private planes, expects to employ up to 450 workers.

According to the statement, a lack of suitable hangar facilities at Sioux Gateway Airport in conjunction with a growing list of airline customer contracts necessitated the expansion to Salina. The company said operations at its Sioux City facility won't be affected by the expansion.

Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty said the city would like to continue to work with 1 Vision Aviation to grow jobs, but he said it's difficult to compete with an existing large hangar. He said the city is doing everything it can to try to find a way to construct new hangar space for companies at the airport. 

"This is a company that's growing and we'd like them to grow here," Dougherty said Wednesday. "The challenge has been being able to finance a very large hangar. We looked at many different options. We've offered different types of assistance. The state of Iowa has been helpful. We've looked at education and training options."

+32 
+32 
Fourth Street Mall
+32 
+32 
Aalfs Manufacturing Co.
+32 
+32 
WIT timeline 1970
+32 
+32 
WIT Archival Photo
+32 
+32 
Biking at Briar Cliff

According to Bob Grimm, 1 Vision Aviation's accountable manager, the company has been in talks with the City of Sioux City for more than two years about constructing a $5 million hangar at Sioux Gateway Airport. Grimm said 1 Vision Aviation proposed either that the city sell the company land on which the company would build a new hangar, or that the city build a new hangar that the company would then lease.

"We tried and tried and tried to get those agendas pushed forward and we just never got any traction with them on anything," Grimm said.

Grimm said 1 Vision Aviation, which currently employs 48 people, has "maxed out" its facility in Sioux City. He said employees are working on four airliners outdoors and three indoors. Last year, Grimm said the company proposed setting up a tent hangar behind its current hangar. He said the city told the company that it could erect the tent hangar about a block away from its current location.

"The restrictions were so onerous that that wasn't going to work, either. The final straw was, 'We're going to be doing construction here at the airport. We need that space to stage construction equipment. You're going to have to move your tent over into this grass area,'" Grimm said. "I can't tow an airplane into the grass and work on it."

Grimm said the company searched for a large hangar outside of Sioux City and found one in Salina. He said mostly skilled licensed airframe and powerplant mechanics will be hired to work at the hangar.

"Everything that we wanted our city to do for us, Salina did that in a matter of days. They provided money. They provided infrastructure. They're helping us find people," he said. "The welcome wagon is hit full force. They want us in Kansas."

Coming soon: Subscribe to our Politics email!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

More video from this section

2
0
0
1
6

Load comments