Louisiana Aviation Company Plans $2.5M Expansion

NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — A Louisiana company that specializes in painting commercial aircraft plans to spend $2.5 million to expand its services and, in the process, create 100 new jobs, state officials said Thursday.

The new jobs at New Iberia-based Aviation Exteriors Louisiana will have an average salary of nearly $57,000, plus benefits, Louisiana Economic Development said in a news release. Currently, the company has 83 people on its payroll.

Aviation Exteriors said it will develop a new aircraft hangar at Acadiana Regional Airport near New Iberia with extensive tooling and equipment so it can offer the new services, including aircraft maintenance and repair, The Advocate reported.

“This project represents a significant advancement of Iberia Parish’s continuing efforts to diversify its economy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Acadiana Regional Airport is a vital asset for the area, and as Iberia Parish grows its aviation industry, it attracts more quality jobs for the parish’s skilled workforce. We welcome this expansion as AvEx positions itself for continued growth and greater success.”

The state offered Aviation Exteriors an incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart and a performance-based grant of $2 million for upgrades to a 60-year-old aircraft maintenance hangar that the company will lease from the Iberia Parish Airport Authority. The company also is expected to participate in the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.