Ogden is in line to add up to 200 workers if a Swiss company follows through on its plan to add an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility and fixed-based operation services at Ogden-Hinckley Airport.

Jet Aviation said this week that it has signed a letter of intent with Kemp Development Inc. of Ogden to open the facilities, saying Jet Aviation Ogden could be in operation by this fall and add up to 200 people over the next two years.

The company said the move is part of its growth strategy, by adding a Western U.S. facility to its worldwide portfolio. Jet Aviation Ogden, the company said, would augment its Midcoast Aviation facility in Cahokia, Ill., and the newly acquired Savannah Air Center in Georgia.

"This is a very exciting development for Ogden, and we will do whatever we can to make it a reality," Richard McConkie, Ogden's deputy director of community and economic development, said Friday. "We're confident that things can be finalized, and we're very pleased that Jet Aviation has selected Ogden."

The company said its maintenance facility would be 70,000 square feet of hangars and workshops that would provide heavy maintenance, component repair, refurbishment and painting for mid- to large-cabin aircraft.

Jet Aviation's plans include assuming the existing fixed-based operations of Kemp Jet Services. The executive terminal, hangars and offices occupy 51,000 square feet and include the terminal, fueling, a pilot "snooze" room, a pilot lounge, weather and flight planning and an on-site restaurant.

"This facility is ideally located to serve Western U.S. business aircraft operators," Jim Ziegler, Jet Aviation's chief operating officer for the Americas, said in a prepared statement.

The operations would be at the south end of the airport, in space once leased by Adam Aircraft, which filed for bankruptcy in February.

McConkie said Ogden is working to obtain commercial air service at the Ogden airport, and the Swiss company's presence would "be a very favorable step in advancing that goal."

In a news release announcing the letter of intent, Jet Aviation said it "expects to receive the full support of the state of Utah, the city of Ogden and local economic-development offices."

McConkie said no applications have been filed, but he expects a tax-increment package to be prepared through the Ogden Redevelopment Agency. The Governor's Office of Economic Development has yet to receive an application from the company for a financial incentive.

"Jet Aviation brings the resources, global coverage and its 40 years of experience to Ogden," Bryce Gibby, director of business development for Kemp Development, said in a prepared statement. "We are pleased to have reached an understanding and look forward to a long business relationship."

Jet Aviation was founded in Switzerland in 1967. The company's nearly 5,100 employees cater to clients from more than 20 airport facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North and South America.

The company provides maintenance, completions and refurbishment, engineering and fixed-base operations, along with aircraft management, charter services, aircraft sales and personnel services. Its European and U.S. aircraft management and charter divisions jointly operate a fleet of more than 200 aircraft and provided over 65,000 hours in global flight operations in 2007, according to the company's Web site.

The company entered the U.S. market in the 1980s. After family ownership throughout its history, the company was acquired by European private equity firm Permira Funds in October 2005.

In addition to its operations in Savannah and Cahokia, Jet Aviation has facilities in Boston/Bedford, Mass.; Chicago; Dallas; Palm Beach, Fla.; St. Louis; and Teterboro, N.J.


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