We celebrated the groundbreaking of Clay Lacy’s $20 million expansion at the airport, one of the largest private investments in the CAA’s general aviation airport system.
On hand for the July 19 event were Connecticut aviation leaders; state officials; administrators, instructors, and students from CT Aerotech; and Clay Lacy team members.
“We’re breaking ground on what will be one of the finest FBOs (fixed-base operators) and aviation facilities in the country,” said Brian Kirkdoffer, President and CEO of Clay Lacy Aviation. As its East Coast headquarters, “It will expand and enhance all of the services that we provide. Oxford will be an incredible economic and employment engine, attracting and supporting the finest aircraft and flight operations in the world.”
The first 11-acre phase will feature a passenger terminal, executive offices, and a 40,000-square-foot hangar, with a focus on sustainable facilities and operations. Clay Lacy’s commitment to job creation and economic growth for the Oxford community will result in 200 new high-paying jobs with an annual payroll in excess of $32 million and 420 indirect jobs during the construction process. The new full-service FBO and maintenance facility is expected to be completed in the winter of 2023.
“Investments like this serve a very significant role in the overall economic development mission” of the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA), said its Executive Director, Kevin Dillon, A.A.E. The partnership with Clay Lacy will have region-wide benefits. “It elevates the stature and status of the airport and allows us to attract activity all over.”
All of the facilities under construction will be built in accordance with Clay Lacy’s Sustainability Strategy, and will be certified carbon neutral. The facilities include solar panel provisions, electric vehicle (EV) charging, electric aircraft charging, efficient building design, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The 16-acre site is able to accommodate additional phases, including an additional investment of $20 million that would add an additional 80,000 square feet of hangar and office space.
In an effort to foster the next generation of aviation professionals, Clay Lacy Aviation announced the establishment of an annual scholarship and internship program with CT Aerotech, which operates a two-year Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Technology program in Hartford, Connecticut.
Clay Lacy has worked with CT Aerotech, a Connecticut-based aircraft mechanics school, to develop technicians to enter the aviation industry. With a history of hiring Aerotech graduates, Clay Lacy executives – including Buddy Blackburn, SVP of the new Oxford FBO, and Chris Hand, SVP Northeast – announced a new annual scholarship and internship program for students pursuing FAA certifications as airframe and powerplant technicians, providing $16,000 in annual scholarships and $10,500 in on-the-job internships.
Following the groundbreaking, attendees toured the current facilities, including a Bombardier Global 5000 that is part of Clay Lacy’s managed aircraft fleet. Clay Lacy currently has private charter, aircraft management, and maintenance services at KOXC.