CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — The Okaloosa County Commissioners Board voted Tuesday, Sept. 20 to approve a $16 million expansion by Gulf Air Group at Bob Sikes Airport.

Gulf Air Group is an aerospace industry business repairing, maintaining aircraft and related equipment and conducting research and development activities.

Gulf Air Group expansion:

  • Main Hangar – 57,000 square feet
  • Warehouse for in/outbound cargo – 3,000 square feet
  • Turboprop Hangar – 10,500 square feet
  • Metal shop adjacent to the main hangar 3,750 square feet
  • Access alleyway behind Main Hanger for a total of 16,907 square feet
  • 20,646 square feet of ramp offset in from of Main Hangar
  • 5,500 square feet of loading and truck turnaround area beside and in front of the Turboprop Hangar
  • Bring in 55 new jobs (25 immediately from the operation base in Andalusia, Ala.)
Source: Okaloosa County Commissioner meeting

The expansion is a result of Gulf Air Group’s decision to bring half of its operation base to Okaloosa County from Ala. Okaloosa Airports Director Tracy Stage said CEW in Crestview has been equipped to handle this expansion for years.

The Economic Development Council One Okaloosa said the construction was slated to cost around $9 Million. After prices for construction costs increased, the new constitution will be around $11 Million.

One Okaloosa asked the board to approve an ad valorem tax exemption for Gulf Air Group of $387,000 over the next 10 years. The board approved the motion 3-1.

Gulf Air Group will have 12 months to begin construction on the expansion. Okaloosa County added many measures the company has to reach to keep the agreement, such as job fill requirements and construction timelines.

The 55 new jobs will make a total of 157 for Gulf Air Group. One Okaloosa said Gulf Air Group is going to pay an average salary of $89,000 a year for the 55 new jobs, 179% greater than the current Okaloosa County average income of $49,622.

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