Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport introduced its first maintenance repair and overhaul facility on Tuesday. PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, has added GSP to its maintenance locations that also include two in Ohio and one at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
PSA Airlines will service planes for American Airlines overnight in a 30,000-square-foot workspace that includes 15,000 square feet of office space. The company has 58 employees and Ron Cotterman, PSA Airlines maintenance manager at GSP, said plans call for increasing that number to 74. PSA Airlines has partnered with Greenville Technical College’s airframe and power plant program to get the FAA certified employees it needs.
Michelle McCallum, a development officer with the Greenville Tech Foundation, said shrinking state support requires the school to seek business partners to assist in the training and development of their students.
“We go and look for partners who want to help us bridge the gap financially in student scholarships, equipment for our programs and professional development,” she said. “We rely more and more on our community to help us provide the education we need to fill the pipeline and provide the opportunities for our citizenry.”
Dave Edwards, president and CEO of the GSP Airport District, said partnering with Greenville Tech, and possibly other schools, helps fill the workforce needs.
“We want to continue to raise the attention of aviation and aerospace in the Upstate, and the opportunities that are out there for the younger population,” he said, adding that getting high schools into the mix would help educate the future workforce on the aviation opportunities that exist in the Upstate.
Edwards also said PSA Airlines is the first of what could be additional opportunities for airline companies at GSP. He said the hardest part of the process is “getting over the hump on the first one.”
“While we’ve done some maintenance and repair previously, it was done for general aviation so this is the first commercial aviation MRO facility that’s ever been sited here at GSP,” he said. “This gives us the opportunity as we go out and do business development to say ‘PSA saw this as a great opportunity, we think you’ll feel the same way.’ From an economic development and a business development point this helps us with some of that additional recruitment.”