Thoroughbred Aviation adding 47 jobs at new headquarters

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)Another homegrown Kentucky company is expanding in the commonwealth.

Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance opened its new consolidated headquarters operation Wednesday at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport, a project creating up to 47 full-time jobs over the next three years with an $800,000 investment.

“Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance is a perfect example of how companies of all types can grow in the commonwealth,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “This company has operated in our state for more than 30 years and continues to grow and create quality job opportunities for our residents. I want to congratulate TAM on this new operation and thank its leaders for their continued commitment to Kentucky and our skilled workforce across multiple communities.”

Rocky Adkins, Gov. Beshear’s Senior Advisor, attended Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting at the new location, which will consolidate TAM’s existing presence at Blue Grass Airport, where it has operated since 2018 when the company acquired Mustang Aviation.

TAM maintains and services all inbound and departing commercial flights in Lexington, currently employing 18 people.

Company leaders expect the new operation to add 10 positions over the next 12 months, with target employment of 65 full-time staff members within three years.

Jobs created by this project include aircraft technicians, sheet metal specialists, avionics and administrative positions. TAM recently partnered with Bluegrass Community & Technical College to capitalize on its apprenticeship program and create a local talent pipeline.

The company’s new headquarters at the Blue Grass Airport is in addition to locations in Richmond and the Big Sandy Regional Airport in Martin County, which opened in 2017. TAM also maintains a facility at the Huntington Tri-State Airport in West Virginia and on-call facilities in Danville and Somerset.

“Thoroughbred is excited about our consolidation and expansion at Blue Grass Airport,” said Joe Otte, vice president of TAM. “We are grateful for our partnership with Blue Grass Airport and Commerce Lexington, and the positive business environment they foster. We believe the greater amenities, business diversification and access to commercial flights will enhance our customers’ experience and help our business expand.”

Founded in 1988 as Thoroughbred Helicopters, TAM has grown to include maintenance of aircraft from small Cessna planes to corporate jets, and helicopters from the helicycle to an AS365 N3 Airbus medium utility helicopter.

TAM provides avionics installation, repair and inspections, aircraft painting, interiors, airframe repair and other services for government aircraft and law enforcement agencies, as well as corporate and privately owned aircraft.

In 2017, TAM secured two five-year contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade and maintain two Airbus H120 utility helicopters, along with contracts with numerous other federal, state and local government agencies in Kentucky and surrounding states.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton noted the importance of TAM to the Blue Grass Airport, a vital part of the community.

“Blue Grass Airport and all of the services provided there, like the highly skilled maintenance work done by the technicians at Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance, are vitally important to our regional economy. The Airport helps us grow local jobs and attract new companies,” Mayor Gorton said. “TAM’s growth and the 47 new jobs the company is bringing here also means growth for our city. Congratulations!”

Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc., welcomed the company’s growth in the region.

“We are so excited to see the growth of Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance right here in Central Kentucky,” Quick said. “We appreciate their commitment to Lexington and the surrounding region, as they consolidate operations at Blue Grass Airport to create a variety of well-paying jobs. We enjoyed working with the Thoroughbred Aviation Maintenance team on this expansion project and look forward to more great things in the future.”

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