MOSES LAKE — The Boeing Company and the Port of Moses Lake signed a six-month lease Thursday, allowing Boeing to temporarily move into the former Japan Air Lines hangar at the Grant County International Airport.
Initial air worthiness tests will be conducted by current Boeing employees for the Boeing 747-800 Freightliner in Moses Lake, according to a Boeing spokesperson.
Although new employees won’t be hired in Moses Lake, Boeing’s work brings new people to the area, eating in local restaurants and staying in Grant County, said Craig Baldwin, the port’s executive manager.
“This will be a good thing for Moses Lake,” he commented. “It will be a benefit to the hotels, restaurants and shopping centers, so they’ll be here spending money.”
On average, about 100 employees are expected to arrive with each test aircraft, he said. It’s expected between one to four airplanes will be based in Moses Lake during the testing, causing the number of Boeing employees in the area fluctuates as well, Baldwin added.
Boeing’s hangar rent to the port is $26,492.50 per month, plus a monthly leasehold tax of $3,401.64, according to Baldwin.
The port has been working with Boeing on many angles, with the 747 program, the 787 program and other programs, he noted.
It’s his understanding testing for the Boeing 787 takes place in Western Washington, he said.
“Boeing does quite a few tests in Moses Lake,” stated the Boeing spokesperson. “The Grant County International Airport is ideal because of the length of the runway and minimal conflicts with other aircraft in the surrounding airspace.”