Southeast Alabama community looks to give aerospace sector a lift

Southeast Alabama community looks to give aerospace sector a lift Main Photo

17 Jul 2023


A major Australian helicopter firm, McDermott Aviation, and its longtime U.S.-based business partner, Isolair Inc., announced plans to open at the Andalusia airport last fall and have been busy setting up operations.

So far, the companies have brought 26 new jobs to the area and are planning to add more, said Rick Clifton, president and CEO of the Covington County Economic Development Commission.

“McDermott Aviation and Isolair locating at our MRO hangar is a big boost for our airport and our community,” said Jed Blackwell, executive director of the airport. “The jobs they offer will create opportunities for workers throughout our region.”

Aerospace and aviation represent a target sector for the economic development efforts of Southeast Gas, an Andalusia-based utility represented at this week’s Paris Air Show, the industry’s most important business event in 2023.

“Aerospace has played an important role in the economic vitality of Southeast Alabama since the Wright Brothers opened the first civilian flight school in Montgomery in 1910,” President and CEO Greg Henderson said. “Since then, we have seen the industry transform the region through the almost immeasurable impacts from Army Aviation at Fort Novosel and the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.

“The Paris Air Show is an incredible opportunity for Southeast Gas to partner with the State of Alabama in order to build upon the already impressive momentum we have in the aerospace industry,” he added.

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