Company Clears Barrier To Building In Albuquerque
New Mexico may have
another personal jet manufacturer setting up shop
in-the-not-too-distant future. Englewood (CO)- based Aviation
Technology Group (ATG) got preliminary approval last week for
$15.25 million in funding from New Mexico's State Investment
Council's Direct Investment Program.
The council's Private Equity Advisory Committee unanimously gave
the go-ahead to consider investing $6.25 million in the
manufacturer, which plans to build a manufacturing plant in
Albuquerque if the funding is approved. The full council voted
Tuesday on whether or not to proceed with the funding but results
of the meeting were not available by ANN's deadline.
ATG is asking the state to provide half of a $12.5 million round
of funding to be used to develop a prototype of its Javelin jet
aircraft. The balance of the investment already has been committed
by other investors, Bye told the committee. The firm eventually
will seek a larger round of financing to cover the cost of FAA
ATG is developing a lightweight, two-engine, two-seat jet, which
appears to mix the lines of the F-18 and T-38. Described as the
Porsche of personal jets by company president George Bye, the
Javelin would cost an estimated $2.5 million.
A military trainer version, aimed at replacing decades-old
fleets of F/A-18s, would cost around $6 million. Civilian markets
include air taxi services, organ transport and sport flying, Bye
ATG is shopping for
incentives from several states, including New Mexico and Alabama,
as the company plans to build its manufacturing plant next year. If
it receives New Mexico incentives, including the funding
recommended by the State Investment Council's advisory committee,
Bye said the firm will build its plant at a planned 300-acre
Aerospace Technology Park on Albuquerque's Westside. That park is
proposed as a home for Eclipse and an array of aircraft
Deirdre Firth, a senior economic developer for the city of
Albuquerque, said the city has been working with ATG to help ease
its possible transition into the state.
"The mayor has instructed our staff to help put together
packages to build the aviation industry structure in New Mexico,"
she told the committee.