City of Carmel, Republic Airways announce plans to construct a new aviation campus for Republic, with headquarters and crew training facility along Meridian Corporate Corridor in Carmel
Date: September 20, 2021
Contact: Nancy Heck
CARMEL, IN – The City of Carmel and Republic Airways have jointly announced that Republic Airways plans to move its training activities and corporate headquarters to Carmel, Indiana. Republic, one of the largest regional airlines in the U.S., will be part of a redevelopment project along the Meridian (U.S. 31) Corporate Corridor. In addition to its headquarters, the site will include a high-tech training facility for pilots, technicians, flight attendants and other positions within the airline, the expansion of an adjacent hotel and a new parking garage wrapped with commercial amenities on the first floor and multifamily living above.
The investment for the initial phases will bring approximately 1,900 new jobs to Carmel with estimated annual wages of $150 million and will allow the company to consolidate training centers currently located in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Indianapolis and a number of other locations. Republic operates a fleet of 220 Embraer aircraft and 6,000 aviation professionals located across 12 crew and maintenance bases, providing nearly 1,000 daily flights to 100 cities in 40 states, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America.
“We are proud of the new investment we are bringing to Carmel. This project ensures Republic is positioned to attract and retain, the most talented and trained professionals in aviation, by creating a space designed specifically to meet the needs of our associates and to reduce inefficiencies,” said Matt Koscal, Republic Airways Chief Administrative Officer. “Locating in the city of Carmel indicates our desire to provide a first-class corporate campus and training facility as this city is often listed among the best places to live, work and raise a family.”
An increase in the daily flow of instructors, pilots, technicians and flight attendants in training and others who work at the corporate headquarters will breathe new life into a commercial development that was impacted by upgrades made to U.S. 31. These changes resulted in the loss of direct access from the highway due to the federal highway guidelines about spacing highway exits at least one mile apart.
“This has been an exciting project to be a part of as the economic impact of this project will benefit the City of Carmel, its residents and small businesses for many years to come. Republic Airways’ enthusiasm to partner with local schools and engage in the community and its workforce development initiatives makes this a great fit for Carmel and the State of Indiana,” said Tom McGowan, President and COO of Kite Realty Group Trust, the master developer of this project along with Pure Development.
Another positive impact will be an increase in employment opportunities and diversification of Carmel’s industry sectors that will help further stabilize our workforce. Carmel has been able to weather economic downturns in the past because we have a wide variety of businesses in our community better insulating us from a crisis of a specific sector.
“We are excited to welcome Republic Airways to Carmel. We are especially pleased that their state-of-the-art training facility will bring opportunities for career and workforce development in an industry sector that is not available elsewhere in the area,” said Mayor Jim Brainard. “The ancillary increase in commerce from supporting trades and other industries will further improve our economy. We are also looking forward to the new residents this will bring to the community who can enrich our lives through participation in volunteer outreach and other citizen engagement.”
The City of Carmel will also invest in the project through a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) bond that will be considered for approval by the Carmel City Council. The TIF bond will be used for infrastructure improvements, which will benefit and support both the public and the private corporate employees and visitors. Site development, parking facilities, streets and other infrastructure improvements will be funded by the increase in property tax revenues from the new building. The bonds will be backed solely by Republic Airways and the City of Carmel, and its taxpayers will have no liability.
Airline employees in training will be able to live on site during the course of their training. Brainard added that the training center will have a positive impact on local restaurants and retail businesses.
The 105,000 square-foot training facility will be three stories tall and visible to travelers on nearby U.S. 31, providing passersby with a unique view of pilot-training simulators through large bay windows that will face the highway. Within the development, an “eagles nest” viewing deck will allow visitors, school students and other aviation partners a unique view of the excitement of aviation.
Construction will begin with the training facility, which will include 20 classrooms, 94 workstations, two cabin trainers and eight flight simulators. After the corporate headquarters is constructed, four more classrooms will be added along with two more flight simulators. The hotel adjacent to the training center will be expanded to 274 rooms and used exclusively as accommodations for trainees, visiting instructors, business partners and colleagues traveling to the aviation campus.
A key part of the development will be the City of Carmel’s role in financing the construction of a new parking garage to serve both employees and visitors. The garage will not only be convenient it will also allow for more land to be developed in revenue-producing projects, as opposed to open, sprawling parking lots. In addition, the parking garage will be wrapped with commercial amenities on the first floor and multifamily living above, providing shopping and dining options for the thousands who will work in and visit Republic Airways’ facilities. These buildings will be operational 365 days a year. Training and recertification classes are scheduled consistently throughout the year.
Kite Realty is developing the site, and RATIO Architects has designed the buildings with a fresh modern architectural style reflective of technical nature of the facility. Amenities will include outdoor courtyards, rooftop terraces, recreational spaces and other gathering places that will provide places for employees and visitors to meet, relax or simply take a break from the busy working and training environment.
“We want to thank both the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the City of Carmel for their commitment to making Indiana an aviation destination. Today’s announcement builds upon Republic’s partnership with the IEDC to bring affordable flight and technician training to Indianapolis through our LIFT Academy. Taking this partnership to the next level with the City of Carmel and the State of Indiana further enhances Republic’s ability to show students the various career opportunities available within aviation. Providing a clear pathway to fulfilling careers directly from high school is a priority for Hoosiers and the aviation industry and Republic offers a wide variety of opportunities,” said Koscal.
About Republic Airways: Founded in 1974, Republic Airways is one of the largest regional airlines in the U.S. Republic operates a fleet of more than 220 Embraer 170/175 aircraft and offers scheduled passenger service with daily flights to 100 cities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Central America. The airline provides fixed-fee flights operated under its codeshare partners’ brands: American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express. The airline employs over 6,000 aviation professionals. Learn more at www.rjet.com.
In May 2018, Republic opened the Leadership In Flight Training (LIFT) Academy, a commercial aviation pilot and maintenance technician training school in Indianapolis. LIFT uses state-of-the-art training technologies that combine flight, flight simulator, online and in-classroom training. Graduates have a defined pathway to a job as a pilot or aircraft technician at Republic. Learn more at www.flywithlift.com.