Good news from the Department of Economic Development: Arizona-based Ascent Aviation Services will be expanding its operations into New Mexico. The company will be expanding into the Roswell Air Center that was formerly a strategic bomber base for the US Air Force until 1967. The 13,000-foot long runway at the Air Center is suitable for larger, heavier, wide-body planes and will make Roswell a one stop shop for maintenance, paint, or repairs – especially now with more than 500 planes stored at the facility. Ascent, along with the current aircraft support businesses, will make the Roswell Air Center a full-service operations center for maintenance, repair and overhaul.
The Roswell facility is planning to hire 130 New Mexican employees in the first year and gradually increase to 360 by 2025. Ascent workers are expected to earn an average salary of $54,000 per year. The state has pledged $4 million on support from the LEDA job creation fund, Chaves County has agreed to an additional $3 million in utility and infrastructure improvements, and Ascent itself will $18 million into the Roswell location. Over the next ten years the entirety of the project is expected to have a statewide economic impact of $545 million. NMBC is delighted to see Ascent putting up the lion’s share of funding into this facility as an indicator that they intend to follow through on the promises being made. However, with a nearly $2 billion gap in funding NM can’t afford anymore LEDA mishaps that leave us on the hook for broken promises and lost jobs. These LEDA funds need to be contractually tied to strong clawback provisions and clear goals for jobs created and tax revenue produced. Read more about the project HERE.