Due to its favorable airspace, resources, and proximity to the world’s largest aerospace hub, Japan’s Mitsubishi has chosen to set up shop and create a flight test center in Moses Lake, Washington. This is a big step for Mitsubishi, which has just recently completed Japan’s first commercial passenger aircraft in over 40 years, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. With the help of both AeroTEC and the state of Washington, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation will build a new flight test center that will lead to the development of new infrastructure and creation of jobs in Moses Lake. It will begin test flights out of Grant County International Airport which boasts long, non-congested runways.
Moses Lake, once a very rural area, is now growing rapidly and becoming a core center of heavy industry and high-tech manufacturing. Not only will the addition of the Mitsubishi bring valuable FDI to Moses Lake, but also create around 100 new Washington jobs for the flight-testing project and bring many Japanese pilots, engineers, and technician to the area.
Mitsubishi has joined ranks with the Seattle- based AeroTEC Company, which will provide technical support for flight-testing and aircraft certification services. AeroTEC and Washington State have also invested in helping build a new hanger at the airfield in Moses Lake for Mitsubishi. This hanger will be important in the future of Moses Lake because once Mitsubishi has completed their projects the hanger will be rented out to other aerospace companies for continued use. “Having Mitsubishi join ATA, the aircraft-modification company, at the Grant County International Airport is going to be another jump forward in our ability to support large-scale aviation services,” stated the executive director of the Port of Moses Lake, Patrick Jones.
The announcement was made today at the Farnborough Air Show in London, where Governor Jay Inslee and a Washington State delegation are currently promoting the state’s aerospace industry.