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Aviation company to create 100 new jobs at Griffiss

By Eric Reinhardt


ROME — Strategic Global Aviation plans to create at least 100 new jobs as it begins operations at Griffiss International Airport in Rome.

The company has signed a 5-year, $1.96 million lease to occupy Building 101 at the county-owned airport that was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. announced on Dec. 18. 

The lease includes an option to renew the agreement for an additional five years at a cost of just over $2 million ($2,019,000).

Strategic Global Aviation will occupy 61,440 square feet of Hangar Bay 3 of Building 101, along with 5,500 square feet of office space in the administrative offices section and 29,538 square feet of back shop space in the building’s center core.

Strategic Global Aviation is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOB) formed in 2017. It performs aircraft maintenance, modification and inspection predominately to military aircraft, and also provides aviation consulting and management.

“Bringing aircraft maintenance and services back to the hangars at Rome is a huge win for Oneida County and is important to maintaining our workforce and facilities for the future,” Picente said in a statement. “The work Strategic Global Aviation performs is not limited to simply maintenance. It provides a range of services and specializes in exclusive contract work to modify military aircraft that truly sets it apart from others in the industry.”

Defense contract jobs

Once operational in early 2020, Strategic Global Aviation will begin work on a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to modify C-130 aircraft. 

The company will create 50 jobs in the first phase of this contract. It will then create another 50 jobs in the later work phases as additional contracts come online. The jobs will carry an average wage of $35 per hour, plus benefits.

The federal government has established goals to award at least 3 percent of all contracting dollars to SDVOBs each year. New York State has established its own goal of 6 percent of procurement expenditures to be made with SDVOBs by state agencies, public authorities and public-benefit corporations.

“The SDVOB program is important in that recognizes those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and sustained injuries associated with that service, and assists them in achieving the American dream they have selflessly volunteered to protect,” Picente added.

County energy work

Building 101 has been unoccupied since Premier Aviation closed in the summer of 2018. Oneida County recently assumed ownership of the building from the 394 Hangar Road Corp., and has implemented a $15.3 million energy “overhaul of multiple buildings” at Griffiss, including Buildings 101 and 100. 

The project is converting the facilities from steam to natural gas in an effort to make operational costs more affordable.

“Transitioning from steam to natural gas has made these facilities a more attractive option to potential tenants, and was a key factor in securing a lease with Strategic Global Aviation in Building 101 as it significantly reduced what the cost of its utilities would be,” Picente said. “With the renovations in the hangars, the construction of the Open Innovation Campus and our growing work with drone companies, Griffiss International Airport is in the midst of a transformation. Strategic Global Aviation is another important part of our future success.”

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