Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Talks to Move Galaxy Group under Way

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Talks to Move Galaxy Group under Way

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

Efforts to bring an aviation modification and manufacturing firm to Shawnee could pay off today, that is if the deal has not yet been signed.

"Pretty definitive" talks between Shawnee economic development officials and officers of the Galaxy Group Inc., headed by Shawnee astronaut L. Gordon Cooper and based in Van Nuys, Calif., started Thursday, according to Pendleton Parish, a Galaxy partner.

"From what I have (heard), things look pretty good," he said. "We are ready, and I feel they are, too.

"We are to meet today (Thursday) to discuss what we have been working on. We sent them (Shawnee officials) some information about what our company needs Tuesday, and they have responded by asking more questions. Now, we're going to discuss all that."

Although Parish made no definite statement, he indicated that an agreement could be signed if the talks prove fruitful.

Shawnee officials were in nearby Anaheim, Calif., Thursday for an economic development trade show and were scheduled to take time off for their talks with Galaxy.

The two groups have been working about two years to complete a deal which would bring the company to Shawnee to employ as many as 3,000 people within a few years.

Plans call for the company to be developed in stages. These are: First stage would be to develop a center to modify twingine pistonwered and turboprop aircraft to accept a new, quieter, more fuelficient turboprop engine. This project would employ up to 70 people at capacity. Second stage would be conversion and certification of the Lockheed Jetstar fourgine executive jet into an aircraft powered by two jet engines to improve efficiency and increase the plane's range. About 100 people would be employed during this stage. Final stage, and one which would provide the bulk of employment, would be manufacture of a short take off and landing cargo plane called the Galaxy Star, a plane designed by the Galaxy Group.

Plans are far enough along to build two prototypes, Parish said.

Cost of operations, date of start up and date of reaching employment capacity have not been disclosed. …

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