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.
Police Search for Shooter in Superior Homicide
The Superior Police Department says that they are searching for the person responsible for a homicide Tuesday evening. Police say they responded to a report of shooting at 3706 E. 1st St. just before 7 p.m.
Man Pleads Guilty in Deaths of Parents
An Iron River, Wis., man has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of his parents last winter. 45-year-old James Crain, Jr., entered the plea Tuesday as part of a plea agreement.
Police: Reward Offered for Suspects in 5 Gas Station Robberies
Five recent gas station robberies in Duluth, Superior and Hermantown may be linked, and now Hermantown Police are offering a reward in their search for two suspects. Police say the suspects robbed the Hermantown BP for the second time early Monday morning.
Hibbing Police Looking for Man who Tackled Female Jogger on Mesabi Bike Trail
The Hibbing Police Department says that a female jogger was tackled by a male and held to the ground on the Mesabi Bike Trail Saturday.
Floodwood Man Killed When Vehicle Falls off Jacks
A Floodwood man was killed when the vehicle he was working on slipped off the jacks and fell on top of him. Police say the man was changing a muffler in his garage on Highway 2 in Floodwood. The accident happened on Monday.