HEBRON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined local officials from Boone County and leaders from F&E Aircraft Maintenance (FEAM AERO) to celebrate the groundbreaking of the company’s new three-bay hangar at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), creating nearly 250 full-time positions, including at least 124 Kentucky-resident jobs, with a $40.2 million investment.
“The momentum we are seeing across the commonwealth is not possible without existing companies continuing to invest and to believe in our communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “This expansion will provide a huge boost to the Northern Kentucky economy and provide incredible job opportunities for the region. I am thrilled to be here today celebrating this groundbreaking and am excited to see FEAM AERO continue to succeed here in Kentucky.”
In March, FEAM AERO announced a 150,000-square-foot, three-bay hangar at CVG to house Boeing 767 aircraft. The location will include 15,000 square feet of back shop space, 5,000 square feet of office space and 175,000 square feet of ramp access. Jobs created at the new hangar will include aircraft mechanics and technicians, ground support equipment mechanics, administrative personnel and management positions.
Leaders at the company, which currently employs 300 people at CVG, noted the new operation will provide ample aircraft maintenance capacity and resources for its growing airline customer base in support of cargo operations such as Amazon and DHL. Additionally, alongside further initiatives currently in planning stages related to aircraft maintenance training, the new facility will provide viable employment opportunities for the next generation of aircraft mechanics throughout the region.
“We have accomplished great success through our partnership with CVG and the public support from the state of Kentucky,” said Fred Murphy, founder and CEO of FEAM AERO. “We look forward to growing our local economic impact by creating meaningful careers within the region and bringing our best-in-class standards of quality and safety to the already thriving cargo ecosystem at CVG.”
Founded in 1992, FEAM AERO is a leading provider of aircraft line maintenance services in the United States. The company operates maintenance bases at 36 locations in the United States, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, including two hangar facilities, and employs more than 1,300 technicians and engineers companywide. FEAM AERO aims to deliver more flight time and less downtime to customers with services that include line maintenance, technical training, global aircraft-on-ground support, technical support services and base maintenance.
Candace McGraw, CEO of CVG, highlighted the strong partnership between FEAM and CVG and looks forward to their continued success.
“Our airport is now the 18th largest cargo airport in the world,” said McGraw. “It’s thanks to partners like FEAM who continue to support the incredible growth of cargo operations and career opportunities at CVG. We congratulate FEAM as they prepare to build their second state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance hangar in the Northern Kentucky region.”
Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore congratulated FEAM AERO on the groundbreaking for its second maintenance, repair and overhaul hangar facility in Northern Kentucky.
“Air cargo continues to grow at a significant rate at CVG. In September, CVG reached a new landed weight record with nearly 1.2 billion pounds of aircraft landing at the airport,” said Judge Moore. “As freight volume at CVG continues to increase, FEAM AERO’s services to our two air hubs are critical in keeping the global supply chain moving.”
Northern Kentucky Tri-ED CEO Lee Crume noted FEAM AERO is a global leader in the aviation maintenance industry and appreciates the company’s continued investment in the region.
“FEAM has consistently grown it’s presence at CVG and already employs 300 people in Northern Kentucky; we’re thrilled they are adding more than 100 high-wage jobs in the region,” said Crume. “FEAM has maintenance bases throughout the United States and Europe, and we are proud they chose to expand in Northern Kentucky.”
FEAM AERO’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.
The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with nearly $7.5 billion invested and more than 13,000 full-time jobs created just through September.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear’s administration has welcomed $21 billion in investments that are creating 40,000 jobs, including the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for five consecutive months, holding at or below 3.9% since April 2022.
In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s Rainy Day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.
Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Kentucky lead the entire nation in job growth for the month of August and tied with New Hampshire for the largest jump in employment growth for September.
In September, Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state. September was also the third highest revenue month on record with more than $1.4 billion reported, marking the seventh month this year with collections topping $1 billion.
And from September 2021 to September 2022, Kentucky added 81,700 new jobs. Except for a four-month recovery period after the initial COVID-19 shock, this is the largest number of new jobs added in 20 years.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with FEAM AERO under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide tax incentives based on the company’s investment and annual job and wage targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved FEAM AERO for tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, FEAM AERO can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
For more information on FEAM AERO, visit FEAM.aero.
A detailed community profile for Boone County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.