[caption id="attachment_218060" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Satys Aerospace may take over nearly 40,000 square feet of space at the Wilmington Airport vacated by Dassault Falcon Jet last year. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
NEW CASTLE – More than a year after Dassault Falcon Jet closed its operations at the Wilmington Airport, officials are nearing a new lease that could bring dozens of jobs back to the hangar off U.S. Route 13.In July, the Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA), the bi-state agency that manages the airport’s operations, unanimously approved a draft lease with Satys Aerospace, a French multinational company that specializes in the painting of aircraft.A DRBA spokesman declined to comment on the deal this week, saying that the lease has not been finalized and negotiations are continuing. A request for comment to Satys, which is headquartered just outside of Paris, was not returned this week.According to the resolution that authorized the negotiations, Satys is seeking to lease a 38,000-square-foot hangar at the Wilmington Airport, located at 191 N. DuPont Highway, that was previously occupied by Dassault. The DRBA is concurrently negotiating with Dassault to release the property from its lease, which is still under contract until the end of 2024. Satys reportedly agreed to pay more than $1.02 million annually for the space in an initial 15-year lease while holding a 10-year extension option. Rent would increase annually as pegged to the consumer price index and reset to fair market value in the first year of an extension.While it’s not yet clear how many jobs might be created if Satys is able to finalize a lease for the space, the DRBA resolution noted that the company is seeking enough parking spaces for about 40 employees.Founded in 1986, Satys has 52 sites in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa that employ about 2,600 people. Aside from painting aircraft, Satys also completes surface sanding, sealant applications and manufacturing of interiors for the aerospace and rail sectors.A lease in Delaware would seemingly fit into the plans Satys CEO Christophe Cador who said the company planned to invest 350 million Euros by 2025 to build new paint hangars or surface treatment plants, expanding its market presence.It would be a welcome addition to Wilmington Airport’s commercial operations after Dassault Falcon, the longtime private jet hangar operator, closed its facility in February 2022 after a year of contentious negotiations with its employee union. The closure impacted upward of 131 employees of Local 1542 of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).The commercial aerospace industry quietly employs several hundred people around the state of Delaware, including at the Wilmington Airport, Summit Aviation and Delaware Coastal Airport.
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