BRUNSWICK — The composite aircraft manufacturer that’s a key part of the redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station is looking to build a composites plant in New Hampshire’s North Country, potentially siphoning away some of the 300 jobs it hoped to create in Brunswick.

Kestrel Aviation still plans to do final aircraft assembly in Brunswick, but it’s looking to put a separate facility in Berlin, N.H., where it may be eligible for additional federal incentives, Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, said today.

The Forecaster newspaper quotes Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier as saying he hopes to get additional tax credits in return for putting a composites operation in Berlin or other locations. The company is seeking millions of dollars through the New Market Tax Credit program.

If that effort falls through, then there’s no assurance that the company can keep its promise to build aircraft in Brunswick as promised, Klapmeier told the newspaper.

Levesque said he’d prefer to have the satellite plant in Brunswick or somewhere else in Maine, but he said the company is still committed to Brunswick.

“They have people here. They have a lease. They have financing here,” Levesque said. Kestrel has a 10-year lease on a hangar where it intends to build aircraft, he said.

Kestrel is an important element of redevelopment efforts at the former base, which is now called Brunswick Landing. Other companies planning to locate here include Molnlycke Health Care, Maine Tool and Machine, and information technology company Resilient Communications.


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