October 27, 2006, Sandpoint, ID…Quest Aircraft Company was awarded the annual Business of the Year award from the Bonner County (Idaho) Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC) as a result of their tremendous job growth during the past year. In the past twelve months, employment at Quest has grown by 82%, making it the fastest growing company in Bonner County over this period.
Mark Williams, Executive Director of the BCEDC said, “Very few people expect a rural county like Bonner County to have such high technology manufacturing as Quest employs. They are doing a phenomenal job of engineering the plane while managing meteoric growth.”
Williams continued, “Quest's growth is representative of our robust manufacturing sector. Since 2000, employment by Bonner County manufacturers has risen 21%, while manufacturing employment in the U.S. has fallen by 16%. This is especially significant to our economy since manufacturing wages are the highest in the county – 33% higher than the average wage.”
“It is seldom that a company is fortunate enough to find a growing community for its headquarters that meets all the company's and employees' needs,” said Paul Schaller, President and CEO of Quest. “Bonner County has been such a community and we look forward to growing together to build on this relationship. As we begin delivery of KODIAK aircraft in 2007, we will continue to expand our employment here.”
“Our employees have found a wonderful quality of life and many ways to contribute to the people and the progress of our community,” Schaller concluded. “Bonner County is an excellent location for Quest.”
Quest was officially launched in 2001 and by that summer employed a staff of 14. On October 16, 2002, the 27,000 square foot new facility was officially dedicated and the team moved the production work to its current home at the Sandpoint Municipal Airport. Two years later to the day, the KODIAK took to the skies for its first flight. Since then, the KODIAK has logged over 500 hours flight time as the aircraft moves closer to FAA certification, expected by the end of this year.
In October 2005, the company completed a 57,000 square foot expansion to its facility that will house the KODIAK production line. Construction of the first production aircraft, s/n 1, is well underway and the aircraft is scheduled to roll off the line within weeks.
Quest Aircraft, LLC is the manufacturer of the KODIAK, a 10 place single engine turboprop utility airplane, designed to be float capable. The aircraft is built around a commitment to modern short takeoff and landing design, rugged construction, turbine power, and high useful load. Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, Quest currently employs 100 skilled personnel.
Media Contact: Julie Stone
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