Chevron Is Coming To Picayune

The Chevron Corporation will soon have a larger presence in Picayune. The company is relocating its aviation maintenance operations to the Picayune Municipal Airport, bringing with it nearly 80 high paying jobs.

Using a corporate helicopter as a backdrop, Chevron leaders announced they are pulling up stakes in Louisiana and nailing them down in Picayune. Company officials say moving the aircraft maintenance facility here was an easy decision to make. "One of the things we were concerned with is the security of these air crafts and being able to support our customers which is the oil field group in production and drilling in the Gulf Of Mexico we were looking for a safe place to do our maintenance that we were not interrupted by storms and basically it came down to let's find a place that we'd evacuate to and not from" said Chevron Maintenance Operations Manager.

A lineup of dignitaries turned the ceremonial shovels Thursday to break ground for the maintenance hanger where Chevron's helicopter fleet will get routine maintenance or major repairs. Work on the complex is already underway. Chevron will employ about 80 mechanics and other workers, with an annual payroll of more than 6 million dollars. Picayune's Mayor Woody Spiers sees the move as a good sign for the city's future. "This kind of validates this new airport we took a lot of flack for building the new airport but with Chevron as the anchor here we feel like not only this will be a viable airport but it will be a viable air industrial park. When you have a fortune 500 company such as Chevron who believe in Picayune enough to come here, I think that tells other fortune 500 companies and other business that Picayune is a place to be".

If you're wondering how much Chevron relies on its helicopter fleet. Last year Chevron choppers logged 27 thousand flight hours and transported more than 357 thousand passengers to and from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. The helicopter facility in Picayune will be finished in March of 2002.