The City of Kissimmee’s Economic Development Office highlighted aviation company Sandpiper Turbine, LLC’s large growth at Kissimmee Gateway Airport during a Commission meeting held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

In 2018, the City Commission adopted the Aerospace Advancement Initiative, which is a program designed to grow aviation companies at the Kissimmee Gateway Airport. “Sandpiper Turbine, LLC is an example of the caliber of the employer the program is designed to attract and demonstrates the value of aerospace jobs to the community,” said Kissimmee’s Director of Economic Development Belinda Ortiz Kirkegard.

Sandpiper Turbine, LLC is a maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) service company that specializes in turbine aircraft. William Whalen opened his doors in June 2018 at Kissimmee Gateway Airport – almost out of necessity. Whalen’s plane was being serviced at one of the facilities when the company came across hard times and dissolved. Whalen saw an opportunity, hired the mechanic of the shop, and opened Sandpiper, LLC.  In just one year, the operation has grown from a single mechanic to now nine employees, with four of those employees being hired within the last 90 days when the company expanded into their hangar facility located at 3955 Merlin Drive.

The company’s recent expansion was approximately a $2 million investment and doubled its workforce. Their current average wage is almost $77,000 (which is 217% above the 2019 Osceola County average wage).

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