COVINGTON COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - On the north end of the runway at the South Alabama Regional Airport between Andalusia and Opp, Jed Blackwell is all smiles on who’s moving in; Dyncorp.
There will be 45 jobs right off the bat from a company that will maintain and repair the TH-57 Naval helicopters.
“It’s a Bell 206 helicopter and it’s more utilized for transport and things like that," said Blackwell, who is the airport’s executive director.
This is significant in more than ways than one. For a long time, the county struggled with renting out the massive hangars next door. A Huntsville company moved in earlier this year and now Dyncorp a few yards away. Finding a tenant for the building took months of hard work.
“We worked on it everyday almost and some days all day and had several meetings with the Dyncorp people," said Andalusia mayor Earl Johnson.
”A lot of times in an area like ours nothing comes back. It’s gone and that’s what was really good about Dyncorp," said Covington County Economic Development Director Jacob Morgan.
Operations begin on January 2 with the goal of hiring up to 80 people later on.
“It’s a gradual process," said Blackwell.
The contract with the Navy is worth $152 million for Dyncorp. It’s good for the company, good for Covington County, Andalusia and Opp. Christmas has come early.
The contract is a two-year deal with an option for two additional years.