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Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation paint hangar opens at ATW

The 73,000-square-foot facility looks to improve efficiency

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October 3, 2023

GREENVILLE – Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation – an aircraft company that designs, develops, manufactures, markets and services business jet aircraft – recently completed construction on a new paint hangar at Appleton International Airport (ATW).

The custom-designed, 73,000-square-foot facility accommodates the exterior paint process for up to 48 aircraft per year (about four per month), representing an investment of more than $55 million.

The expansion, Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream, said is part of Gulfstream’s multi-year plan announced in 2021 – aimed at supporting growth that has increased operations and created more jobs in the region. 

“This latest expansion in Appleton is another example of our continued investment in people and facilities as we expand to meet the demands of the growing Gulfstream fleet,” he said. “The opening of this new paint hangar means we can provide more convenience and options to Gulfstream customers.”

The increased workforce, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson said, is part of the bigger impact on the Fox Valley region.

“The Appleton International Airport is responsible for well more than $700 million of economic activity, supporting more than 3,000 jobs,” he said. “These expansions over the last few years have significantly increased operations – it’s because of investments like this.”
Supporting the demand
John Kenan, vice president of completions at Gulfstream, said the aviation company is seeing continued demand from customers around the world – and with that came the need to expand facilities to support that fleet growth.

“The new paint hangar will allow Gulfstream the ability to perform the entire aircraft completion process in Appleton, which will add another level of convenience for our customers,” he said. “Before this expansion, we would fly the aircraft to a different facility to paint them and then bring them back to be completed and delivered to the customer.”

Kenan said Gulfstream first announced the paint hangar expansion in June 2022.

“The Boldt Company was our general contractor for this new facility,” he said.

Kenan said Gulfstream strives to build the talent pipeline in the Greater Appleton community and invest in the local workforce.

Gulfstream invested in a $40 million expansion to its service center in 2019 at the Appleton International Airport (ATW). Submitted Photo

“This expansion, along with our 2021 Appleton expansion announcement, has added more than 200 jobs in a wide range of roles, including engineers, mechanics, avionics technicians and highly skilled trade and craftspeople,” he said.

Both expansions, Kenan said, piggyback off the opening of Gulfstream’s new MRO facility at ATW in August 2019.

“This (2019) expansion to our existing Appleton service center was part of a $40 million investment,” he said. “At the time, it was the largest expansion Gulfstream had undergone since the 20 years we’d been in Appleton.”

The expansion added a nearly 190,000-square-foot hangar northeast of the airport terminal that houses up to 12 Gulfstream G650/650ER twinjets, as well as offices, back shops, general support space and a new sales and design center.

The most recent expansion, Kenan said, further supports Gulfstream’s continued growth.

ATW impact
Though the Gulfstream arm of ATW isn’t a large-scale option for travelers, Airport Director Abe Weber said “the new paint hangar still has a huge benefit to the airport.”

“As with all the investments Gulfstream has made at ATW – the paint hangar, the 2019 MRO expansion and other improvements – it has a direct and indirect benefit to the airport,” he said. “As Gulfstream has grown and developed here, that’s allowed us to generate additional revenue on our airfield, and in turn, that allows us to enhance services back to our community and Northeast Wisconsin.”

Weber said additionally, as Gulfstream continues to grow, ATW can capture more lease revenue.

“As we’re seeing more aircraft and more aircraft operations at the airport, that elevates our standing and shows growth and development to our airport as a whole,” he said.

Weber said he has toured the new paint hangar, and – “it’s gorgeous.”

“It’s a state-of-the-art painting facility,” he said. “The things they can do in there meet their brand of having the most technologically advanced business jets. We’re excited that work is being done in the Fox Cities.”

How it works
Kenan said the paint hangar uses a proprietary paint booth design developed by Gulfstream in conjunction with Wisconsin-based paint booth manufacturer, Global Finishing Solutions.

“This is a highly advanced, custom-designed, painting system and will help us exceed our goals for quality and excellence,” he said.

John Kenan

Other recent Gulfstream facility investments include:
A new aircraft completions center at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia Heights, Illinois.A ew repair and overhaul shops at Farnborough Service Center in EnglandAn all-new service center at Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, TexasService center expansions are also underway in Mesa, Arizona and Savannah
Expanded its fleet
Committed to the continued advancement of the industry, Kenan said Gulfstream – which has produced more than 2,000 aircraft since 1958 – partners with local high schools to promote skilled-based careers in the aviation field.

“We have a youth apprentice program where we’ll bring high school students in as juniors and seniors and let them work part-time during school and full-time in the summer so they can see if this is something they’d like to do for a career.”

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