Dozens of people filled just a small corner of a new cargo maintenance hangar Wednesday welcoming the first facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Aiport large enough to make complicated repairs on huge planes.
Fred Murphy of FEAM Aero, CEO of the company that owns and operates the 103,000-square-foot, $19-million hangar, points to a gigantic plane behind him. "This is a big hangar and this airplane that you are looking at right now is a 747-400. It can hold any of the 747 series or it can hold multiple smaller aircraft."
Client Atlas Air, which leases planes to companies like DHL and Amazon, convinced FEAM to build the facility here. Before the project began, Murphy joked with the media that his company was a long shot to win the contract. CVG gave the project the secret name of Grindstone, a come-from-behind horse who won the Kentucky Derby in 1996.
CVG CEO Candace McGraw anticipates this is one of many big cargo hangars that will be built on airport grounds. She points to DHL's global hub and the hub for Amazon Air. "I think there's definitely a business need, a good cause where we can justify additional hangars. So I'd love to see that."
McGraw says CVG is becoming an "epicenter of cargo." FEAM has hired 200 people and looks to hire another 100 aircraft mechanics, making $60-70,000 to start. Atlas Air plans to hire 600 more people in Northern Kentucky.