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.
Duluth Aviation Partnership to Benefit Workforce, City, Industry
A new partnership announced Monday between the city of Duluth, the airport and Lake Superior College is aimed at strengthening the aviation industry and filling jobs that companies say they desperately need to fill. The plan calls for a financial investment from the city and Duluth airport to remodel Hanger 103...
Prosecutor: Ferguson Announcement Coming at 8 p.m.
The St. Louis County prosecutor's office has announced plans for an 8 p.m. news conference to announce whether a grand jury has indicted a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Weekend Fire Closes CASDA's Emergency Shelter
A small grease fire over the weekend has led to major damage at the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse (CASDA) in Superior. The shelter was at capacity, but the clients have been able to find other places to stay.
Glensheen Mansion Gears up for Christmas
Volunteers and staff at Glensheen are getting the 39-room mansion ready for Christmas. It's almost time for the public to come and see the efforts, with the final touches of shimmer and shine being put in place this week.
Why Black Friday Deals Start on "Gray Thursday"
When you're looking to score a holiday deal, that doesn't mean you have to wait until Black Friday. About 15 retailers in the Twin Ports area are opening on Thanksgiving Day.