Regions Economic Development: Dothan Regional Airport

Commercial Jet lands in Alabama’s Wiregrass, bringing up to 500 new jobs, thanks to renovation of hangar facility.

Alabama landed a major new employer when Commercial Jet announced it would move into a large hangar facility at the Dothan Regional Airport, bringing 500 new jobs to the area by the end of 2017.

But before Commercial Jet could begin operations in Dothan, the local hangar needed a series of renovations and repairs. The Dothan-Houston County Airport Authority, which was working with local and state leaders to recruit Commercial Jet to the facility, turned to Regions to help finance the hangar upgrades. Regions allocated $6 million from the Regions Economic Development Loan Pool for the hangar renovation project.

Upon establishing the loan pool in February of last year, Regions earmarked $1 billion to provide economic development capital and support job growth in the state of Alabama in 2013. In September, Regions exceeded its billion-dollar commitment. Preliminary estimates show loan pool activity topped $1.3 billion by the end of the year. Based on initial data provided by participants, loan pool financing is supporting approximately 2,000 new jobs in addition to existing jobs at more than 350 companies and entities throughout the state.

“The whole area pulled together as a team to make this project a success, and Regions was a valuable part of that team,” said Art Morris, director of Dothan Regional Airport. “These new jobs will have a very significant impact on our community.”

Commercial Jet provides commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services and passenger-to-freighter conversions for leading airlines and aircraft owners around the world.

Morris said before Regions was chosen to finance the hangar upgrades, a local committee considered multiple financing proposals from different banks.

“Regions actually had the best offer and the most capability to provide what we needed – and when we needed it,” he said.

Lamar Brooks, city president for Regions Bank in Dothan, said Regions executives had toured the hangar site and recognized its potential for attracting new industry and additional jobs.

(Pictured: Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley with company, local and state officials in front of the first plane rebuilt by Commercial Jet, Inc., in Dothan, Ala., on Monday, July 8, 2013.)