HBS Opens in Mesa, Closing VNY Service Center

 - January 7, 2009, 11:50 AM

Hawker Beechcraft Services will become the second major business jet OEM service center to leave California when it closes its Van Nuys Airport facility on March 31. Last year, Cessna Aircraft announced that it is closing its Long Beach service center and moving those operations to a new facility in Mesa, Ariz. Hawker Beechcraft opened its new facility in Mesa on Monday, joining Cessna as well as Embraer’s new business jet service center at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. “We are on a roll here,” said Mesa Office of Economic Development director William Jabjiniak. “What’s drawing these facilities to Mesa is a favorable tax climate and the cost of doing business is less.” Jabjiniak also credited local technician school Chandler-Gilbert Community College as a source of high-quality workers. No local financial incentives were offered to attract the service centers, he added. All Van Nuys Hawker Beechcraft employees were offered the opportunity to move to Mesa, and a “good percentage” made the transfer, according to Hawker Beechcraft Services vice president Andy Plyler. “The overall economic conditions in California made it very hard for a services business to compete,” he said.