News and Events


APEX Attends MRO Americas Conference

Thursday, April 14, 2011

From April 12-14, 2011,
APEX President & CEO, Rob West attended Aviation Week's 2011 MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition in Miami, as part of an ongoing initiative to market the former NWA aircraft maintenance facility in Duluth and expand the region's aircraft/aerospace industry cluster. 

The MRO industry (short for maintenance, repair & overhaul) has grown exponentially alongside the commercial airline industry, creating hundreds of high-paying jobs for engineers and maintenance personnel across the U.S. and the rest of the world. Although there was a time when many of these jobs were being outsourced to new start-ups outside the U.S., there has been a shift in this trend over recent years as policy-makers, trade groups and industry experts continue to raise concerns over safety issues linked to overseas MRO operations. 

Now in its 16th year, Aviation Week's MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition allows airlines and MRO providers to test, assess and purchase the latest products and services on the market, as well as prototypes of new technologies which promise to revolutionize the aviation maintenance industry. Not only does this event help APEX to maintain its expertise and better position northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin on the cutting edge of this growing industry, but there is also no better place to secure valuable face-time with airline industry leaders, MRO service providers, and growing product manufacturers - all of whom could achieve great success in locating operations in the Duluth area.

This event comes at a crucial time, as APEX and its member businesses work together with the City of Duluth, DEDA and the Duluth Airport Authority to expand the region's aircraft/aerospace industry.  Using the Duluth Aviation Campus as an anchor for this growing regional cluster, APEX and its affiliates have formed a detailed strategy to revitalize existing assets like the former NWA maintenance base and other unoccupied buildings in strategic locations across the region. 

Other key priorities in this initiative include the retention of current employment levels at Cirrus Design, diversification of the customer base for regional manufacturers who serve the aerospace industry, and support for the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce's efforts to expand the presence of the 148th Fighter Wing and attract other military operations to the region.

If you would like to learn more about the Duluth Aviation Campus, CLICK HERE.