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Clay Lacy breaks ground at Waterbury-Oxford
Clay Lacy has served the private aviation needs of the northeast US since 2016. Now it is celebrating the start of a $20m expansion at Waterbury-Oxford airport in Connecticut plus a feeder internship with CT Aerotech.
Clay Lacy president and CEO Brian Kirkdoffer and CFO Brad Wright with Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development commissioner David Lehman, Clay Lacy senior VP Northeast Chris Hand, COO Dave Lamb and senior VP Oxford FBO Buddy Blackburn, Waterbury-Oxford airport airport manager Willie McBride and Connecticut Airport Authority executive director Kevin Dillon AAE.

Clay Lacy Aviation has it strengthened its commitment to the northeast US and its economic future by celebrating the groundbreaking of its $20 million expansion at Waterbury-Oxford airport in Connecticut. And to foster the next generation of aviation professionals, the company has established an annual scholarship and internship programme with CT Aerotech, which operates a two year Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Technology programme in Hartford. On hand for the ground breaking were Connecticut aviation leaders; state officials; administrators, instructors and students from CT Aerotech; and Clay Lacy team members.

“We're breaking ground on what will be one of the finest FBOs and aviation facilities in the country,” says president and CEO Brian Kirkdoffer. “It will expand and enhance all of the services that we provide. Oxford will be an incredible economic and employment engine, attracting and supporting the finest aircraft and flight operations in the world.”

The first 11 acre phase will feature a passenger terminal, executive offices and a 40,000 sq ft hangar, with a focus on sustainable facilities and operations. Clay Lacy's commitment to job creation and economic growth for the Oxford community will result in 200 new high paying jobs with an annual payroll in excess of $32 million and 420 indirect jobs during the construction process. The new full service FBO and maintenance facility is expected to be completed in the winter of 2023.

“Investments like this serve a very significant role in the overall economic development mission of the Connecticut Airport Authority,” says executive director Kevin Dillon AAE. “It elevates the stature and status of the airport and allows us to attract activity all over.”

David Lehman, commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, spoke of the larger importance of Clay Lacy's Oxford development: “Businesses both in state and out of state want to know what options are out there for private aviation. This delivers that. This is another selling point for the state of Connecticut and the growth that we foresee in the economy.”

Clay Lacy has also worked with CT Aerotech to develop technicians to enter the aviation industry. With a history of hiring Aerotech graduates, Clay Lacy executives, including the new Oxford FBO SVP Buddy Blackburn and SVP Northeast Chris Hand, have announced a scholarship and internship programme for students pursuing FAA certifications as airframe and powerplant technicians, providing $16,000 in annual scholarships and $10,500 in on-the-job internships.

“We've established a great pipeline to support Connecticut and its economy,” says CT Aerotech principal John Ryan. “This scholarship programme just further strengthens that resolve to put people here in Connecticut to work and get these jobs.”

All the facilities under construction will be built in accordance with Clay Lacy's Sustainability Strategy and will be certified carbon neutral. The facilities include solar panel provisions, electric vehicle charging, electric aircraft charging, efficient building design and sustainable aviation fuel. The 16 acre site is able to accommodate additional phases and an additional investment of $20 million, that would add an additional 80,000 sq ft of hangar and office space.

Following the groundbreaking, attendees toured the current facilities, including a Bombardier Global 5000 that is part of Clay Lacy's managed aircraft fleet. Clay Lacy currently has private charter, aircraft management and maintenance services at Oxford.

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