Aerospace Infrastructure Growing in Spokane

By Jennifer Ferrero

Today, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, traveled to Spokane to announce the opening of Aero-Flite at the Spokane Airport.

Their website states, “Aero-Flite, Inc. is the largest private operator of water scooping aircraft in North America. An industry leader since 1963, we specialize in providing rapid, reliable aerial fire suppression service to our customers in the United States and Canada.”

There were many boards and groups involved in bringing Aero-Flite to Spokane, which will mean the generation of 65 jobs in the short-term; and maybe more as their fleet grows in this location.

Barry Marsden, president & CEO of Conair, the parent company for Aero-Flite, was on-hand for the inauguration of their new airport hangar on Electric Road near the Spokane Airport.

They came to Spokane due to the ability to find skilled labor, training institutes and the quality of life, according to Marsden.

There is a need for a central hub of aircraft to fight fires, because of the increase in Northwest wildfires, Marsden said.

Inslee pointed out that Spokane is the home for more that 100 aerospace companies. He said one benefit of the Aero-Flite location is that it will provide jobs for area families.

Mayor David Condon said that businesses like Aero-Flite coming to Spokane provides the jobs we need for the region. He added, “Spokane has become a region that attracts jobs.”


Pictured: Four engine reliability providing excellent short field performance along with multiple system redundancy. The RJ85 provides excellent low speed and high speed performance making this aircraft an ideal airtanker in any terrain. To the airtanker operator, this means fire fighting excellence.


Governor Inslee making an announcement

Pictured: Governor Jay Inslee in Spokane on November 20, 2014 to announce Spokane as the chosen location for a division of Conair Aerial Firefighting – Aero-Flite.


Barry Marsden

Pictured: President and CEO of Conair of Canada and their choice to locate their Aero-Flite division in Spokane.



About COEAerospace

The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing of Washington state is a conduit for collaboration and engagement between industry and K-12 and post secondary higher education. We work to develop the talent pipeline and economic infrastructure to facilitate continuous innovation and growth for aerospace and manufacturing in our state and beyond.
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