Kentucky – FEAM AERO to Expand Presence at CVG Airport

FEAM AERO to Expand Presence at CVG Airport, Create 124 High-Wage Kentucky Jobs with $40.2 Million Investment

Aircraft maintenance company currently employs 300 in Northern Kentucky

FRANKFORT, KY (STL.NewsKentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced F&E Aircraft Maintenance LLC (FEAM AERO), a provider of aircraft maintenance and engineering services, will locate a 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.

“We continue to see existing Kentucky businesses grow and create quality jobs throughout the state, and FEAM AERO is the latest example of a company with a vision for the future in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said.  “These well-paying positions will benefit well over 100 Kentucky families while also improving support for two of our major air hubs at CVG Airport.”

FEAM AERO will construct a 150,000-square-foot, three-bay hangar at CVG to house Boeing 767 aircraft, with work expected to begin in June of this year and completed by the end of 2023.  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, in concert with 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 are not only excited for the opportunity to continue growing our relationship with CVG airport, but we are also thrilled in continuing to exceed our customer expectations, delivering them more value at such a critical time in aviation,” said FEAM AERO owner and CEO Fred Murphy,  “while at the same time staying true to our values in putting people at the heart of everything we do by investing and growing the FEAM team in the surrounding communities.”

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 U.S., United Kingdom and 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 Airport, said the company’s latest investment furthers efforts to grow the airport’s economic impact.

“We congratulate FEAM on their success and business growth,” McGraw said.  “They have been a terrific partner in which we share a vision to further develop needed infrastructure and services to support continued growth of cargo carriers at CVG.  The airport’s current strategic plan outlines the transformational impact we can make for our region, and this project does just that through job creation and capacity building to grow and diversify cargo operations.”

Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore congratulated FEAM AERO on the announcement of a new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hangar facility in Northern Kentucky.

“Aviation maintenance is a high-growth subcluster in our supply chain management and support services industry in Northern Kentucky,” said Judge/Executive Moore.  “We welcome these new, high-paying jobs that will keep an increasing amount of air cargo moving in and out of CVG.”

Northern Kentucky Tri-ED CEO Lee Crume noted FEAM AERO’s continued investment at CVG is a significant contributor to the strength of the aviation sector in the Cincinnati region and the commonwealth.

“We have tremendous assets in the Amazon Air and DHL air cargo hubs at CVG driving significant growth in aviation maintenance with highly technical and high-paying jobs being created by FEAM AERO,” Crume said.  “We are using our Target Industry Analysis to identify new manufacturing operations that support the expansion of companies like FEAM, so that components and parts are easily accessible in the region.”

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.

Earlier this month, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup rankings for 2021 placed Kentucky atop the South Central region, and third nationally, for qualifying projects per capita.

Gov. Beshear recently announced that on Jan. 28, S&P Global Ratings revised Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive from stable and affirmed its “A-” credit rating.  S&P cited a reduced reliance on one-time items to balance the budget and a higher balance in the state’s rainy-day fund as primary factors influencing the change.

That follows a 2021 during which 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.

In September, Gov. Beshear, Ford Motor Co. Executive Chair Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and Dong-Seob Jee, president of SK Innovation’s battery business, announced the single largest economic development project in the history of the commonwealth, celebrating a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs and places Kentucky at the forefront of the automotive industry’s future.

Kentucky also saw an all-time, record-setting budget surplus in fiscal year 2021 and entered 2022 with an estimated $1.9 billion more than budgeted.

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.  The performance-based agreement can provide up to $1.75 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $40.2 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 124 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $38.50 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved FEAM AERO for up to $300,000 in 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.