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Company got $173M contract, expected to locate at SARA

South Alabama Regional Airport Manager Jed Blackwell couldn’t keep the good news to himself when speaking to the Andalusia Rotary Club Tuesday.

“We have a new company that will be leasing the Standard Aero/Vector facility,” Blackwell said.

The company notified the South Alabama Regional Airport Authority earlier this year that it would vacate SARA.

“As soon as they said they were leaving, (Covington County Economic Development Commission Executive Director) Rick Clifton and Mayor (Earl) Johnson got to work,” Blackwell said. “They have a lease in place that is contingent upon the company receiving a government contract.”

That contract – for $173 million over five years – was just awarded, Blackwell said. It is for upgrades to military aircraft.

“This will pay us great dividends in the future,” Blackwell said.

The airport cannot yet announce the company’s name, he said.