(Millville, NJ) Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced that the U.S. Army has chosen the Millville Airport as the location for modifications for CH-47F Chinook helicopters. Boeing Global Services and Support will perform the work and plans to lease two aviation hangars at the airport to perform the necessary modifications . The modern, state-of-the-art hangar facilities, commonly referred to as the ‘Air Castle Hangar’ and the ‘Multi-Use Hangar,’ contain approximately 80,000 square feet of useable space, including office, storage, shop, and interior aircraft parking. The initial term is for four (4) years with two additional option periods of two (2) years each. Earlier today, the DRBA Commission approved Resolution 10-03 at its monthly Board Meeting, which authorized the Authority to finalize terms and conditions of the Lease Agreement with the Boeing Company. Boeing Global Services and Support expects to have the new modification center operational within weeks.
According to James N. Hogan, Chairman of the DRBA, Boeing could be a magnet to attract additional business interest to the Millville Airport complex. “Boeing Global Services and Support is an internationally renowned aerospace business with world class products and services and the DRBA is pleased to welcome them to the Millville Airport,” Hogan said. “With them as an anchor tenant, other companies and businesses may see the same potential for growth and opportunity at the Millville complex that we have known for years.”
Hogan also noted that Boeing is a natural fit for the Millville facility. “One of Boeing’s major customers is the United States Army. What better place to modify Chinook helicopters for the Army than America’s First Defense Airport.”
“Opening the Chinook modification facility at Millville Airport is an exciting opportunity for Boeing Global Services and Support at such an historic location,” said Raymond Haddad, Boeing’s director of Chinook World Wide Support. “The technology improvements to these Chinooks give more capability to warfighters in harm’s way and will undoubtedly save lives.”
“Today’s announcement is outstanding news for Millville and Cumberland County, which have been deeply hit by the economic downturn. The possibility of 100 new jobs in a region long sufferingfrom the decline of our manufacturing base is definitely a welcome announcement,” said U.S. Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “The modifications to the Chinook helicopter are critical for keeping our troops safe in Afghanistan. I have been proud to work closely with Boeing, the Secretary of the Army and the DRBA to ensure these modifications are done in South Jersey. We will now have a greater support role in providing for our men and women in uniform.”
“I’d like to praise and credit the efforts of DRBA Deputy Executive Director Frank Minor and his staff for securing Boeing Global Services and Support and the U.S. Army as new tenants at Millville Airport,” remarked Tim Shannon, Mayor of the City of Millville. “This project strengthens our on-going partnership with the DRBA and we’re excited about the potential for a strong, longterm relationship with Boeing and the U.S. Army. What a great day for the City, our residents and the business community!”
State Senator Stephen M. Sweeney echoed the sentiments of Mayor Shannon. “Landing this facility is an economic boon for the City of Millville and surrounding communities and underscores why it’s important to have agencies like the DRBA involved in economic development in South Jersey,” Sweeney noted. “I want to recognize and commend the tireless efforts of Frank Minor and his staff at the DRBA for making this project happen, despite the current economic environment.”
“This has the potential to be a truly historic moment in Cumberland County history,” said State Senator Jeff Van Drew. “While the state and nation has trended in a downward financial spiral, we are bucking the tide and moving forward. The # 1 issue and challenge for all leaders should be enhanced economic activity and job creation. This is a good beginning. We need to do much more and I am committed to work with the DRBA and Millville to make it happen,” Van Drew said.
According to Freeholder Director Louis N. Magazzu, Cumberland County recognizes the value of teamwork to entice new business and industry to locate or expand in the region. “The project is another example of the cooperative effort between the DRBA, City of Millville and Cumberland County to attract business and commerce to the area,” Magazzu said. “The Cumberland County Office of Employment and Training has been engaged in discussions with both the DRBA and Boeing and is fully prepared to assist with job placement and training.”
When fully operational, the modification center is expected to create approximately 100 jobs, including positions that require an A&P license. The A&P, also known as the Airframe & Powerplant license, is an FAA license that permits individuals to legally perform mechanical maintenance to an aircraft. In addition, Boeing Global Services and Support will be exploring the possibility of purchasing materials and supplies locally that are necessary to complete the modification work at the Airport, which would result in ancillary benefits for regional businesses.
The Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Cape May-Lewes Ferry, the Three Forts Ferry Crossing, and the Salem County Business Center. The Authority also manages five regional airport facilities: New Castle, Millville, Cape May, Civil Air Terminal at Dover, and Delaware Airpark.