- Cornelius Frolik Staff Writer
The Dayton International Airport — where employers added hundreds of jobs in the last 18 months — expects another big year of employment gains in 2018, according to city officials.
Employers at the airport have the equivalent of 2,225 full-time workers on their payrolls, and about 600 new jobs were added between the middle of 2016 and 2017, according to an airport job survey.
Hundreds of more jobs are expected to land at the airport next year related to two projects that are estimated to exceed $56 milllion in new investment.
The growth is because of the Dayton region’s strong labor supply, infrastructure and available and attractive sites for new development, said Terrence Slaybaugh, Dayton’s director of aviation.
“The city and our partners have worked for over a decade to position the airport for this type of development — logistics, light manufacturing and warehouse space,” he said.
The recent job growth at the airport has been fueled by investments by Spectrum Brands and PSA Airlines.
PSA Airlines has the full-time equivalent of 962 employees and Spectrum has about 233, according to the airport employment survey, which was completed earlier this year.
Spectrum constructed a $33 million, 570,000-square-foot distribution, manufacturing and research center near the airport, off U.S. 40.
PSA Airlines has added planes and workers and is expected to add more positions because of projected airline industry growth and aircraft deliveries, airport officials said.
“This is probably the largest job growth in the region that’s happening,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
The jobs at the airport are completely new, which is notable since sometimes attention is given to the movement of jobs between communities in the region, which actually do not lead to net new jobs, Whaley said.
More new jobs look to be on the way at the airport.
A second building is under construction next to the Spectrum Brands by Northpoint Development, which will be about 500,000 square feet, Slaybaugh said.
About 350,000 square feet of the estimated $31 million building will be occupied by a consumer goods company for primarily logistics warehousing operations, he said.
The company, which Slaybaugh declined to identify, is expected to employ about 200 workers. The building’s remaining 150,000 square feet of space is available for lease.
A third building is proposed for a 34-acre site on the north side of the airport, which would offer about 434,000 square feet of space.
A tenant plans to occupy more than half the building, employing about 150 workers, Slaybaugh said.
Though he declined to identify the company, Slaybaugh said the business line is consumer products, and activities on site will include logistics and warehousing with some assembly packaging.
The third building is expected to cost about $25 million.
The sites open for development at the Dayton International Airport are very attractive for the logistics and distribution industry, said Mitch Heaton, vice president of economic development for the Dayton Development Coalition. They are close to Interstates 70 and 75, they are ready-to-build and they are in a Foreign Trade Zone, Heaton said.
“Combine the location with the support the region can provide employers with hiring and training employees through our educational partners and OhioMeansJobs, the airport sites are extremely competitive,” Heaton said.