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Smith Field to anchor aerial-inspection firm

Haverfield International Inc., headquartered in Gettysburg, Pa., will establish one of its four U.S. regional operations at Smith Field airport in Fort Wayne.

Members of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority approved the lease agreement with Haverfield on Monday.

Haverfield bills itself as the leading provider of aerial power line inspection and construction support services nationally and abroad.

Sean Connolly, Haverfield’s general manager of the North Central Region, moved to the area in 2001, working on his own for Haverfield.

“It’s exciting to be part of the continued growth of our company as we build a regional office in this community,” Connolly said.

In addition to Fort Wayne and Gettysburg, the company has operations in Denton, Texas, and Valdosta, Ga.

Haverfield has repaired and built high-power lines for almost every utility company in the U.S., Connolly said.

Haverfield’s power line pilots and aerial line workers and aircraft mechanics live and work across the country. The Fort Wayne operation is expected to attract several specially trained and skilled workers, Connolly said.

Five of the company’s 26 helicopters will be based in Fort Wayne, he said. Haverfield is looking for experienced MD500 helicopter pilots and mechanics, as well as electric transmission line workers.

Connolly could not give an approximate number of employees who will work out of the Fort Wayne operation. The staff works all over the United States, he said.

“It’s an evolutionary process, so it’s hard to say, but we do plan on growing our presence in Fort Wayne,” Connolly said.

The five-year lease for the former Smith Field terminal building at 426 W. Ludwig Road is $1,625 monthly.

Haverfield plans to update and remodel the interior of the 3,000-square-foot building beginning Nov. 1 and move in when renovations are completed, Connolly said.

Airport officials were glad to hear Haverfield chose Fort Wayne for its regional operation.

“We are excited to have Haverfield join us at Smith Field airport and to be bringing new opportunities,” said Scott Hinderman, executive director of the airport. “Haverfield will be able to draw upon the talented students from the Ivy Tech Aviation Center, also at Smith Field.”