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State officials have approved tax credits for NetJets Inc.


State officials have approved tax credits for NetJets Inc. and its sister company as the aviation business readies for a $200 million expansion in Columbus.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved the tax credits for the New Jersey-based private aviation company, which are tied to creating and retaining nearly 2,800 jobs in the region. NetJets and FlightSafety International were awarded 75 percent credits for 15 years to help them expand their Columbus operations.

The value of NetJets' tax credit over its term is $24 million. The private aviation company would be required to maintain operations in Columbus for 30 years. The company proposes to expand its 192,554-square-foot complex by 415,000 square feet. The $73 million project is expected to create 735 jobs and retain 1,865 positions within the first three years of the project's start.

FlightSafety's tax credit is valued at $2.4 million. Its project, valued at more than $122.5 million, is expected to create 75 jobs and relocate 109 positions. The aviation trainer proposes to construct a 100,000-square-foot center next to NetJets' office on Bridgeway Avenue near Port Columbus International Airport.

NetJets, whose predecessor business was founded in Columbus in 1964, disclosed in March that it had chosen Columbus for the expansion. It considered North Carolina, Texas and Florida but was lured to stay with the help of public incentives valued at $67.6 million. Through the expansion, FlightSafety also plans to develop its campus at Port Columbus. The companies' combined campus will expand to more than 120 acres from about 20.

NetJets, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-A), sells so-called fractional jet ownership, allowing individuals and businesses to own aircraft at lower costs. The company accounts for 65 percent of the fractional aircraft ownership market and employs 7,297 workers worldwide.

FlightSafety trains aviation workers at more than 40 centers and designs and publishes flight simulation software.


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