First Tenant of Future Presque Isle Aerospace Research Park

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:31 AM EDT
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More information on the Aerospace Research Park that will be coming to the Presque Isle International Airport in the future. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.

“This grant basically lays the foundation, its going to do the infrastructure to put in the roads, the light, the parking lot, bring the water in. build the first building, with the possibility based on the plans we submitted to add another 10 buildings or so”

Kim Smith Resource Development and Public Information Officer for the City of Presque Isle is talking about the new Aerospace Research Park that will soon be at the Presque Isle International Airport. The first tenant of the research park will be Valt Enterprises, who already works out of the airport.

“Valt is a developer of Small Launch Systems for both Sub Orbital and Orbital Applications” - Karl Hoose – President, Valt Enterprises

To put it simply, Valt develops hypersonic vehicles with an objective of deploying satellites about the size of a loaf of bread. Valt has been conducting research and development and moved their headquarters to Presque Isle over a year ago.

“We’ve been talking right along with Scott Wardwell, the director of the airport, for quite a while on planning and basically growing our aerospace business up here, but Aroostook County is unique for us because of the low population density so we’re heavily into flight testing our vehicles and so we’re able to do that up in Northern Maine and Presque isle is just a very good staging area for the launch sites that we’re actually looking at now.” says Hoose.

“This is something totally new to Aroostook County, it further helps us diversify our economy, it also will provide opportunities for math and science students” - Scott Wardwell – Director, Presque Isle International Airport

Kameron McGill, Human Resource Director for Valt says they currently have around 15 employees, but once they’re able to expand they’ll be looking to hire around 126 additional people.

“The Positions we will be looking for are a lot of engineering positions specifically Aerospace and Mechanical we’re also going to be looking for technicians and CNC Machinists. I’ve actually started to work with Northern Maine Community College and trying to partner up with them to discuss how we can fill the gaps that inevitably will exist as Valt expands” says McGill

“We anticipate that when all of the buildings are built and occupied with Aerospace related tenants, that it will be about 400 jobs for this community. It’s going to bring young families to the area which is going to reverse some of our outmigration that we’ve been experiencing in recent years, it’s going to increase statistically the education level and the median income by bringing these young skilled people to the area.” says Smith.

“So it’d be a huge investment on the industrial park and the airport to increase the activieis that are up there, so we’re very excited about the grant, huge, huge opportunity.” - Martin Puckett – City Manager, Presque Isle

While they’re not quite ready yet to break ground on the new research park, everyone involved in this project is excited to finally see it get off the ground.

“It’s going to make a really big impact, not only in Aroostook county but in the state of Maine in general” says Hoose.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8