State Funds Project to tee up Large-Scale Aerospace Manufacturing Opportunities in Moses Lake

Posted on Jan 29, 2015

Port of Moses LakeAdvanced permitting project will build on growing aerospace industry momentum at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake.

The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced the award of $350,000 to Grant County to complete an environmental review of 400 acres of undeveloped land at the Grant County International Airport.

Jeff Bishop, Executive Director for the Port of Moses Lake said that no specific tenants have been identified for the 400 acres but the proposed development includes a number of potential buildings totaling as much as 2.6 million square feet. The sites will be available to aerospace and other advanced manufacturers that would benefit from being near one of the largest airports  in North America.

“Moses Lake and Grant County International Airport have a long history in supporting the aerospace industry in Washington,” said Bishop. “We have proven our ability to provide a highly capable workforce and low-cost renewable power, as well as the land to support advanced industries. This grant provides us with the opportunity to get ahead on the permitting process and attract even more companies here.”

Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce also expressed his support of the project. “The land around Grant County International provides some of the greatest opportunity in Washington for large-scale aerospace manufacturing,” said Bonlender. “This funding will help get this property ready to go so companies can hit the ground running when they choose to establish new or expanded operations in our state.”

In recent years, the Port of Moses Lake has attracted significant interest from the international aerospace community. In 2013, Everett-based Aviation Technical Services established a VIP aircraft completion center now employing approximately 80 people . Last year, Seattle-based AeroTEC partnered with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation of Japan to conduct flight test and certification operations for the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) there. A new 65,000-square foot hangar  is under construction to support the effort and the Port anticipates as many as 200  MRJ and its supply chain engineers to establish residence in Moses Lake throughout the multi-year project. Moses Lake is also home to BMW/SGL’s carbon fiber production facility, which is undergoing an expansion making it the largest facility of its type in the world .

Port of Moses Lake“I am very pleased that Grant County was able to compete and successfully win funding for this project,” said Senator Judy Warnick, 13th District—Moses Lake. “This funding will build on the work we are doing to attract more business to the area around our airport, and provide more family wage jobs. The area will be an innovation hub for aerospace manufacturing and will bring so many benefits to the district and state.”

Jonathan Smith, Executive Director for the Grant County EDC and board member for the Washington State Aerospace Partnership said, “It is great to see this project started. There is a growing amount of aerospace activity in the state and this prepares Grant County to participate in that growth.”