- Matt Sanctis Staff Writer
A Springfield aircraft repair and maintenance firm might be eyeing an expansion in Kansas, according to a Kansas newspaper.
The Fort Scott Tribune recently reported city officials there recently discussed an economic development proposal to bring Spectra Jet to the Fort Scott Municipal Airport. Spectra Jet is based in Springfield, where it recently began work on a potential $3.5 million investment to build additional ramp space and expand a hangar at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
Spectra Jet opened in 1998 and specializes in Learjet and Challenger inspections, modifications and repairs, according to its website.
Officials at Spectra Jet declined to comment to the Springfield News-Sun on any possible expansion plans. Officials at the Fort Scott Municipal Airport and Rachel Pruitt, director of economic development at Fort Scott, also declined comment.
The Fort Scott Tribune story quoted Pruitt as saying the Springfield company is expanding into Fort Scott and relocating eight jet engine mechanics there.
“This has a huge impact on a community,” Pruitt told that newspaper. “Kansas is barely in the top 10 states in money brought in through the aviation industry.”
Springfield city officials signed a 45-year agreement with Spectra Jet last year that allowed the company to build additional ramp space. Company officials have said they also have plans to expand existing hangar space and build a two-story administrative office.
The company was made up of only two employees around 2003 when it started, but has steadily grown and had more than 20 employees as recently as last year.
Along with Spectra Jet, the Springfield municipal airport also provides a home to various other businesses, including unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer SelectTech Geospatial and Champion City Aviation, which offers flight instruction classes.
The Springfield airport sees about 45,000 take-offs and landings a year, a figure that’s up moderately from a few years ago when the airport saw closer to 35,000 to 40,000 of those activities.