Maine Aviation Industry Poised for Take Off

Media Contact: Doug Ray, douglas.ray@maine.gov, (207) 624-9802

AUGUSTA – Maine’s aviation industry has experienced a rapid climb since 2011 – and it is showing no sign of a descent anytime soon.

During the most recent legislative session, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) successfully lead the charge to extend the sales and use tax exemption for aircraft and parts out to 2033, despite an attempt by some legislators to shorten the exemption, which was due to expire in 2015.

DECD and industry leaders believe extending the exemption now is critical to ensuring competitiveness in and continued success of the industry. Several companies are currently considering expansion projects and making other major capital investments. Those efforts could have easily been thwarted if not for LD 279, “An Act to Sustain Maine’s Aviation Industry by Extending the Exemption from Sales and Use Tax for Aircraft and Parts.”

“This exemption is absolutely critical to sustaining and building upon the success the industry has already experienced since 2011 when I signed the original exemption into law,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This is a great example of good public policy that not only makes Maine more competitive in the aviation industry, but leads to the generation of new revenue and creation of high-quality jobs.”

Many aviation companies across Maine are experiencing tremendous growth. C&L Aerospace in Bangor, for example, has quadrupled its workforce in less than two years and is now preparing to hire as many as 70 additional people.

C&L CEO Chris Kilgour applauds the LePage Administration’s efforts and believes the passage of LD 279 will help companies like his attract more business from across the globe. “What this law does is send a positive message to the aviation community, thus attracting more aircraft and keeping these planes from going elsewhere to be serviced and maintained,” said Kilgour.

At Northeast Air in Portland, extending the exemption provides a sense of security. “We now know that Maine will remain a player in the highly competitive aviation industry and that our investments in new infrastructure, technology and employees will pay off in the not so distant future,” said Vice President Mark Goodwin.

“Extending the exemption will help ensure that Maine airports from Limestone to Sanford are utilized to their potential and that high-quality aircraft mechanics are trained and hired,” said DECD Commissioner George Gervais. “It’s truly a win-win proposition for Maine.”

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