AAR to hire 300 at airport hangar

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AAR Corp., the Wood Dale, Ill., company that took over the abandoned United Airlines repair base three years ago, said it hopes to add more than 300 workers this year in Indianapolis.

Mayor Greg Ballard is expected to attend a press conference early this afternoon announcing the expansion.

AAR currently has 925 employees working in eight bays of the former United base at Indianapolis International Airport.

The new workers will be hired through a U.S. Army program called Army Partnership for Youth Success that channels former Army personnel into civilian work. AAR will rely on Purdue University and Vincennes University to supply most of the training.

AAR is looking at occupying two additional bays at the maintenance facility, one of which could be dedicated to aircraft painting, AAR spokesman Chris Mason said.

AAR’s main customers here are United Airlines and Southwest Airlines and an “unnamed international freight carrier” thought to be FedEx.

Although AAR has several aircraft maintenance centers, including its main facility in Oklahoma, its Indianapolis business has been soaring and is responsible for a 40-percent jump in AAR’s total maintenance revenues in the last six months of 2007, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Manpower is the constraint right now,” Mason said. “We have enough work to hire that many people tomorrow.”

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