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HADCO plans major developments with local airport

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The Huntington Airport is a certified AEROready community. According to these standards, the airport has at least 10 acres of land available for economic development and is certified by the Federal Aviation Association. The Huntington Area Development Council will develop the land. Partnering with local organizations like the Center for Business and Economic Research and Robert C. Byrd Institute, there are many potential routes for growth.

David Lieving, president of HADCO, said one of the main duties of the organization is to provide business attraction, and one way they are trying to attract business is using the facilities Huntington already offers, like the airport.

“What are we well-suited for and what do we have advantages of that would be attractive for a business to come to Huntington,” Lieving said. “We have a lot of people that know how to work with metal.”

Though these skills have typically been used for mining purposes, Lieving said, “Those are the same skill sets that would transfer easily to aircraft maintenance and repair.”

“We’ve been working with the Robert C. Byrd Institute, and they have a lot of expertise in training and teaching people skills in metal manufacturing,” Lieving said. “With that capacity already here, we think it would transfer easily and be attractive to people who do aircraft maintenance.”

Adam Phillips, business development specialist for HADCO, said it does not stop at maintenance.

“We’re talking about companies that could be suppliers of parts and framework of the materials needed to be in that industry,” Phillips said.

CBER, another partner of HADCO, is also assisting with the future of this space.

“CBER (is) involved with another feasibility study for this Aerospace program,” Lieving said. “Dr. Gilbert helped initiate that. He has interest in looking at this.”

The study is being conducted for Marshall University to see if there is any practical data suggesting this program is both needed and beneficial.

“On the business attraction side, we look at what assets we have in our community” Lieving said. “Marshall University is one of the biggest assets we have. We have an airport that is growing that has nearly 100-acres of land that is not being utilized. We have people that have some skill sets that can work. We just need to refine those skill sets and transfer that skills toward a newer industry that has growth potential, which I think is aerospace.”

Trey Delida can be contacted at [email protected]

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