By Tiffany Sukola, April 25, 2013, Columbia Basin Herald
A Seattle-based aircraft testing and certification company is getting ready to set up shop at the Grant County International Airport.
AeroTEC President Lee Human signed a five-year lease with the Port of Moses Lake this week for a 22,800 square-foot building at the airport.
Human said initial operations will create about four to six new jobs. He plans to eventually increase that to about 20 or more positions.
AeroTEC was founded in Seattle in 2001, according to the company’s website. They provide flight testing, data analysis and Federal Aviation Administration certification services.
Human said AeroTEC’s Moses Lake location will be used specifically to test airplanes.
Whenever a change is made to an airplane, it must be re-certified to make sure it meets FAA regulations.
“We look at the product, whether it’s a wing or an engine, and see if it is compliant with the rules,” he said.
Significant ground and flight testing is necessary because AeroTEC has to prove to the FAA the airplane is safe, said Human.
Before signing the lease with the Port of Moses Lake, Human said AeroTEC carried out that testing at other airports around the country. The Moses Lake facility will give AeroTEC a more permanent place to conduct all of its testing, he said.
Human said the company chose to locate in Moses Lake because of the airport’s facilities.
“The facilities here are world class,” he said.
“The port’s commitment to maintaining and improving the facility is one of the things that are making this work for us today.”
Human said the company also chose Moses Lake because other aerospace companies, like Aviation Technical Services, are located in the area and compliment the work AeroTEC does.
“We’re very happy to be a part of the Moses Lake community, and particularly the area’s aviation community,” said Human. “We’re looking forward to bringing more business to Moses Lake.”
Port Executive Director Pat Jones said AeroTEC has conducted testing at the airport before. He said he is glad the company decided to join the area’s growing aviation industry by leasing a building.
“We’re really excited that a company like AeroTEC, which has a fantastic reputation in its industry, is willing to commit to a permanent presence in Moses Lake,” he said.