Updated: 04/29/2014 5:40 PM
Created: 04/29/2014 5:13 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
The AAR maintenance facility in Duluth is reaching a milestone just 18 months into their operation.
Tuesday, AAR celebrated completion of their 100th aircraft. They also announced plans to add jobs and a long-term partnership with their customer, Air Canada.
AAR reopened the old Northwest maintenance base back in November of 2012. It stood empty two years ago, but hundreds of employees, local leaders, and aviation representatives packed the hangar to celebrate the milestone.
AAR and Air Canada, however, announced they won't be stopping at 100.
"We are done negotiating and will be signing a 5-year, long-term agreement with Air Canada," said Dany Kleiman, Vice President for Repair & Engineering with AAR Aviation Services Group.
For the employees, a 5-year agreement means stability.
"Jobs. It's good, good for our career and looking into the whole future," said support tech, Jacob Johnson.
Project Manager Chris Rankila started at the facility when it was still under Northwest operation. When that closed he was transferred to Indiana, but now he is back home in Duluth at AAR and building a new home here.
He said this long-term partnership will keep them growing.
"We've got people from New York, we've got people from San Diego, we've got people from Canada, and Miami. They're coming up here looking for places to live and they're bringing their families," he said.
Now, they'll be looking for more employees. AAR announced Tuesday they will be adding a fourth maintenance line in September. Currently, they work on three planes at a time. The fourth plane will create another 55 positions.
"It's room for advancement for people that are here and room for more jobs for people that want to come here," said Trent Butterfield, a lead technician.
The four lines of maintenance will run through 2019.
Minn. DNR Increases Target Wolf Harvest
The Minnesota DNR is increasing the target harvest for this fall's wolf hunt from 250 to 280. The DNR says the latest population survey estimates that there were 2,423 wolves living in Minnesota this past winter, which is 212 more animals than estimated the previous winter.
Update: Teen Killed in Douglas Co. Crash
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says a Lake Nebagamon teenager was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Wednesday afternoon. 15-year-old Seth N. Stariah, a passenger in one of the vehicles, was pronounced dead at the scene.
U of M Reaches Milestone with Ash River Neutrino Detector
The University of Minnesota is celebrating a milestone in creating an experimental particle detector that it says could eventually yield important information about the beginning of the universe.
Missing Employee Found at Soudan Underground Mine State Park
Authorities have located 76-year-old Adrienne De Vries at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park. De Vries is an employee of the park, and lost her way when walking down a trail. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department says she was transported to Ely Hospital to get checked as a precautionary.
Sky High: Northlanders Blast Off on New Flyboard
Here in the Northland, we're used to lakes, but a new toy is changing how we enjoy the water. The flyboard is making its Twin Ports debut. It's a water jet pack on a board that is hooked up to a jet ski. The water launches you up to 55 feet in the air.