September 5, 2013

Ex-Brunswick base lands deal with aircraft company

Tempus Jets plans to hire 25 full-time workers within the next four months and 50 more next year.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
State House Bureau

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Tempus Jets, an aircraft overhaul company, will move its current operation in Newport News, Va., to what's now called Brunswick Landing, the site of the decommissioned 3,200-acre Navy base in Brunswick, Maine.

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Tempus Jets CEO Scott Terry speaks at a press conference at the former Brunswick Naval air station on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, where Tempus will relocate part of its business.

Photo by Ben Sturtevant/Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority

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Levesque said Tempus Jets is so far using only the Pine Tree Development Zone incentive. It could later seek other incentives, such as state-backed loans or federal development grants and credits.

"I commend our Department of Economic and Community Development for working so closely with Tempus Jets and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority to respond quickly and capably to meet the company's needs and to help pave the way for this exciting new project," LePage said in a prepared statement.

Tempus Jets was founded in 2007. In addition to aircraft refurbishing, it is involved in aircraft sales and chartering.

Terry, the CEO, said the deal could prompt the company to further expand at Brunswick.

"It is our intention to do business in Maine for a long time to come," he said in a prepared statement.

The deal could be another positive development for the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which says it has created 220 jobs at the former Navy base while drawing about $100 million in private investment. It has suffered setbacks, too, related to a larger involvement with Kestrel Aviation, the manufacturing startup.

Kestrel Aviation's arrival at Brunswick Landing in 2010 was lauded by public officials and the redevelopment agency as a key development in an effort to replace the estimated 4,800 jobs and $330 million in annual income associated with the Navy, which completed the base closure in 2011.

Kestrel Aviation negotiated with state officials over a proposed manufacturing facility that would have provided hundreds of jobs, but the company instead set up shop in Wisconsin, which effectively defeated Maine in a bidding war by offering larger incentives.

Kestrel Aviation still employs about 35 people in Brunswick through a 20-year lease with the redevelopment authority, which receives about $85,000 a year in rent from the company.

Wednesday's announcement by Tempus Jets was attended by U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, who is now running for governor.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said in a joint statement, "Today's announcement is not only fantastic news for the Brunswick area, but it's also a tribute to the exceptional work of the Maine Regional Redevelopment Authority, which has striven tirelessly to transform the former Brunswick Naval Air Station into a center of economic innovation."

This story has been corrected to show that Terry was a navigator on P-3 Orions, not a pilot.

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

smistler@pressherald.com

Twitter: @stevemistler

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