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Latest News in Marana, AZ

Ascent Aviation Services And Israel Aerospace Industries Sign Agreement To Establish New Aircraft Conversion Site In Marana

Within the framework of the collaboration agreement, IAI plans to have Ascent convert two lines of Boeing B777-300ER aircraft, starting in 2024 in Ascent’s facilities located in Marana, Arizona. To support the program, Ascent will build two new widebody hangars with pre-construction work having already commenced. Work is expected to be completed on both hangars prior to aircraft induction.IAI’s Aviation Group recently successfully completed the first test flight of a B777-300ERSF after it underwent passenger-to-cargo conve...

Within the framework of the collaboration agreement, IAI plans to have Ascent convert two lines of Boeing B777-300ER aircraft, starting in 2024 in Ascent’s facilities located in Marana, Arizona. To support the program, Ascent will build two new widebody hangars with pre-construction work having already commenced. Work is expected to be completed on both hangars prior to aircraft induction.

IAI’s Aviation Group recently successfully completed the first test flight of a B777-300ERSF after it underwent passenger-to-cargo conversion, the first of its kind in the world. At the same time, IAI is in the final stages of the certification process with IAI expected to receive the STC from CAAI and FAA within 2023.

Setting up passenger-to-freighter conversion remote sites around the world is required due to the expected demand for wide-body freighter aircraft capable of long-haul flights, such as the B777-300ER, which after conversion will be able to carry payloads of up to 100 tons. According to analysts’ reports, the combination of these capabilities, with the significant fuel savings that the aircraft will permit – will make it one of the most popular freighter aircraft in the world. The 777-300ER will join IAI’s family of converted aircraft, which today includes the Boeing 747, 767 and 737 NG and A330-300 under development.

"Ascent is excited to embark on this long-term partnership with IAI over the course of this fifteen-year agreement,” said David Querio, President and CEO of Ascent Aviation Services. “We look forward to getting started on our hangar buildout and bringing dozens of aircraft to Arizona to support the maintenance and modification services required. This long-term collaboration agreement will bring lasting growth to the Tucson aviation community. With this expansion, we will expand our footprint in Marana to hangar up to three wide-body aircraft, bring hundreds of new high-skilled jobs to the region and continue to provide our team members continued growth and stability. This additional diversification of our offerings continues Ascent down our journey to become the world-class MRO of choice for our customers.”

“The advanced capabilities and efficient solutions which IAI offers its customers, provide the solution having the best value available in the market, supporting the growing demand for cargo aircraft around the world,” said Boaz Levy, IAI President and CEO. “Today's signing of the agreement with Ascent represents a strong direct continuation of the many successful collaboration agreements already existing between IAI and USA companies. IAI's Conversions and Upgrades Business Line, Aviation Group, underscores the confidence that the company has in Ascent Aviation Services’ ability to set up a conversion site within the required timetable, and next year to carry out the first conversion."

Media Contact

Alyssa Tufts, Arizona Commerce Authority, alyssat@azcommerce.com

About Ascent Aviation Services Ascent Aviation Services is one of the largest independent aircraft aftermarket services providers in the world, offering heavy maintenance, component MRO, flight line and reclamation services across widebody, narrowbody and regional aircraft. Ascent is a Class IV FAA 14 CFR Part 145 certified repair station with additional quality certifications from all over the globe, including: EASA, 2-REG, DGAC, ANAC, TCCA, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and several others. Ascent has maintained a strong and continuous workforce in Arizona for over forty (40) years. Ascent is continuing to invest in new capabilities to better serve their large and diverse customer base that includes airlines, cargo operators and lessors from more than 40 countries across 6 continents.

About Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)Israel Aerospace Industries is a world-leading civil aviation, defense, and space company, which develops sophisticated solutions in the air, in space, on the land, at sea, and in the fields of cyber security and homeland defense. The company is active in both civilian and military markets, combining Israel’s “start-up nation” spirit of innovation with decades of proven operational experience. IAI’s customers benefit from pathbreaking solutions, tailored to the specific challenges they face. IAI’s Aviation Group is one of the leading passenger-to-freight conversion houses in the world. Within IAI, the Aviation Group deals with manned aircraft, whether civilian or military; passenger-to-freight conversion; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); business jets; aerostructures and aircraft assemblies; aircraft upgrades; and more. Among the company’s customers are the world’s leading logistics companies: Amazon, DHL, FedEx and others.

About the Arizona Commerce AuthorityThe Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state's leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona's economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create - attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit azcommerce.com and follow the ACA on Twitter @azcommerce.

Amazon will use its Marana delivery station but won’t say when

Neighbors who didn’t want the facility next door are now waiting to see how it will affect themTUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - An unwelcome delivery for some Marana residents still sits unused. The unmistakable Amazon delivery station at Ina and Silverbell roads, with its distinct color scheme, has yet to be put to use.The delivery station would be where packages arrive and then are dispersed out on vans for that final mile delivery to customers. But the estimated delivery on when the building launches into action is uncertai...

Neighbors who didn’t want the facility next door are now waiting to see how it will affect them

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - An unwelcome delivery for some Marana residents still sits unused. The unmistakable Amazon delivery station at Ina and Silverbell roads, with its distinct color scheme, has yet to be put to use.

The delivery station would be where packages arrive and then are dispersed out on vans for that final mile delivery to customers. But the estimated delivery on when the building launches into action is uncertain.

“It was a bit of a shock, said Janell Merchen. She knew someone would build on the land across Silverbell Road from her home. But what took shape last year exceeded her expectations, and not in a good way.

“I didn’t expect that land to be developed with such one, big, massive type of building and corporation,” she said.

“We didn’t know it was going to be a huge, huge Amazon building,” said Alison Cardwell, who also lives in the neighborhood across Silverbell Road from the new building.

She’s waiting to see when the 220,000-square-foot facility will function as an Amazon building.

“It would be really unfortunate if they don’t use it and they built this big, ugly building to block our view of the mountains, but I’m not in any hurry for them to start it open,” she said.

“From a capacity perspective for Amazon, we serve a crucial function in making sure we get items to the southwest region in a timely fashion,” said Christopher Jordan, general manager of the TUS2 Amazon Robotics Facility, which is the large fulfillment center on Kolb Road on Tucson’s southeast side.

“We ship sortable units which is basically any unit that can fit in one of our 24-inch totes,” he said.

Robotics at the fulfillment center allow employees, called associates, to pick items from bins at their height on the carts, which are called drives, and place them in the yellow totes for shipping. This saves associates from walking through aisles of products and bending over or reaching above. The fulfillment center employs 2500 to 3000 employees and can ship a million items in 24 hours. At the peak of covid demand, they had 4400 employees.

“We’re a safe facility, we’re one of the safest facilities in the entire country, and so I think we offer a lot to the community and we offer a lot to those folks who decide to come and join us,” Jordan said.

An Amazon spokesperson did provide a response, but no firm timeline. The statement from spokesperson Zoe Richmond said, The delivery station slated for Marana remains in our plans. While we don’t have a specific launch date to share right now, once we have a better sense of timing, we’ll work with the local community and employment organizations in the area to hire for this facility.”

The Marana delivery station is about a quarter the size of the Tucson fulfillment center, but it’s more than Alison Cardwell wants across the street.

“I would expect more of that in Tucson, not in Marana,” she said but admitted that she uses the online giant. “Yes, and I better get my stuff within hours, being this close after all the inconvenience!”

Some neighbors did say they welcome the light from the facility and the fact that it is being maintained.

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Copyright 2023 13 News. All rights reserved.

Thousands of rentals under construction in Marana

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — Rising interest rates are driving some home buyers into rentals. With the increasing demand in Southern Arizona, Marana is working on stepping up to meet those needs with several rental-focused projects in the works."I pay $1,800 for a four-bedroom, two-bath house," Gwen Hart said. "It used to be $1,500 and it went up $300 from last year, which is pretty steep. I was expecting it to go up, but not by $300."Hart, like many residents in Southern Arizona, has been impacted by the ri...

MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN) — Rising interest rates are driving some home buyers into rentals. With the increasing demand in Southern Arizona, Marana is working on stepping up to meet those needs with several rental-focused projects in the works.

"I pay $1,800 for a four-bedroom, two-bath house," Gwen Hart said. "It used to be $1,500 and it went up $300 from last year, which is pretty steep. I was expecting it to go up, but not by $300."

Hart, like many residents in Southern Arizona, has been impacted by the rising costs in housing.

"I moved here from New York and they're very sensitive in New York, and I really enjoyed the cost of living here in Tucson-Marana," Hart said. "It is definitely comparable to New York now and they're going up and it's a little less affordable than it used to be."

For some, the rising interest rates are driving up rental demands.

"It's probably very difficult for people to manage it," Ron Schunk said, "I bought a long time ago so I got it when rates were low."

In the meantime, the town of Marana is working to attract several rental developments in the area.

"The goal is to have the diverse options for people because not everybody wants to deal with a big yard and maintenance," Jason Angel, Development Services Director for the town of Marana said. "Some people just want that town home or smaller attached unit."

——-Denelle Veselik is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. It's been her dream to tell your stories for the past decade. She is extremely curious and wants to continue to use her storytelling for the greater good. Share your story ideas and important issues with Denelle by emailing denelle.veselik@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram and X/Twitter.

Copyright 2023 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Food bank expands locations beyond Marana

Avra Valley and Picture Rocks will be added while Marana Resource Center will be handled by another organizationTUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - A local organization that helps people avoid hunger is expanding its services, and that includes scaling back in one location. The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona says it is responding to changing needs. It is adding some locations and handing over operations in Marana to another organization.The CEO for Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona said that Marana will still have plenty...

Avra Valley and Picture Rocks will be added while Marana Resource Center will be handled by another organization

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - A local organization that helps people avoid hunger is expanding its services, and that includes scaling back in one location. The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona says it is responding to changing needs. It is adding some locations and handing over operations in Marana to another organization.

The CEO for Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona said that Marana will still have plenty of support, but it won’t be operating the resource center there much longer. That responsibility will be with another organization, as the food bank adds mobile distribution sites to expand its reach.

The efficiency at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is noteworthy to anyone who visits the distribution center. Almost three thousand boxes of food, almost 21 thousand pounds, were assembled in three hours by 24 volunteers on a Tuesday morning.

“We wanted to give back in a very physical and real, on-the-ground,” said Paul Tumarkin, who volunteered with coworkers from Tech Launch Arizona.

What’s assembled there will leave the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona’s distribution center for places across southern Arizona, like Marana.

“Our hope is to actually meet the community where they are,” explained Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona CEO Malea Chavez.

Chavez explained the Marana Resource Center has switched to drive-through service since the pandemic and about two-thirds of its traffic comes from Avra Valley and Picture Rocks, which is why the food bank is making changes.

“For us it makes sense, again, to meet people where they are and to make sure the community isn’t experiencing additional hardship or spending more gas or time and energy to get to us,” she said.

Starting next month, a mobile distribution site will be at the Avra Valley Fire District station on Silverbell Road and another at the community center in Picture Rocks. A partner organization will handle the Marana location.

“We are in no way, shape or form leaving the community. We want to make sure that people still have resources. We are just changing the way in which we meet people,” Chavez explained.

And that makes sure all the work of volunteers does its job.

“If we’re producing this food, we have to figure out ways to get it to them so that they can use it, so they can eat, and so having that kind of impact is incredibly meaningful for us,” Tumarkin said.

The other organization that will operate this Marana site isn’t public yet. That agreement has not been finalized and will likely be shared next week.

The address of the mobile distribution site in Picture Rocks is:

Picture Rocks Community Center

5615 N. Sanders Road

It will be active on Wednesday, November 8, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, December 13, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The address of the mobile distribution site in Avra Valley is:

Avra Valley Fire District Station 191

15790 W. Silverbell Road

Marana, AZ 85653

It will be active on Wednesday, November 15, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, December 20, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Be sure to subscribe to the 13 News YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/@13newskold

Copyright 2023 13 News. All rights reserved.

Storm damages new Marana football field

Imagine a microburst lasting 45 minutes or so with sustained wind gusts over 60 miles an hour with hail and driving rain. That’s what the area surrounding Marana High School experienced Thursday from about 3:10 p.m. to about 4 p.m. Student dismissal is already a very tricky and difficult maneuver as it is but imagine trying to get over 2,000 students off campus in the middle of a severe thunderstorm.While driving west on Twin Peaks Road near the pumping plant at about 3:15 p.m., I noticed the rain started getting thicker and the...

Imagine a microburst lasting 45 minutes or so with sustained wind gusts over 60 miles an hour with hail and driving rain. That’s what the area surrounding Marana High School experienced Thursday from about 3:10 p.m. to about 4 p.m. Student dismissal is already a very tricky and difficult maneuver as it is but imagine trying to get over 2,000 students off campus in the middle of a severe thunderstorm.

While driving west on Twin Peaks Road near the pumping plant at about 3:15 p.m., I noticed the rain started getting thicker and the winds started to shake my truck. I looked over to my left and a power pole had tilted towards the road. There was still some blue in the sky and I wasn’t too worried about it but then another pole fell over and then another and the sky went dark grey.

. @whatsuptucson power lines down on the way to Marana high school blocking streets pic.twitter.com/a70UCNODe6

— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) August 17, 2023

At some point, the power lines cross over Twin Peaks and that’s when the power lines fell just inches over my truck and hit the pavement behind me, in traffic. I had missed damage by seconds. I figured those cars behind me were probably stuck there for hours. I continued to Marana High School and I slowly made my way to the parking lot, past all the stop signs that had blown over on Sandario and Emigh Road. I found a spot and waited for about 15 minutes, not knowing of any damage in the area.

Power lines also in front of Marana High https://t.co/UkHIb9NPqy pic.twitter.com/CNaHiCs0jW

— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) August 17, 2023

I started walking through the lake in the parking lot as the rain calmed a bit towards the front office and I realized all the power was out. There were several large trees blocking Emigh in front of the school and traffic came to a stop. I immediately helped law enforcement and the ground crew remove trees from the parking lot and the main road. Then, I decided to walk to the football field, which was being refurbished with a new artificial turf to replace the one put in in 2013. Disaster.

Don’t count on home football games for awhile at Marana – least of the worries here. https://t.co/TmjmfjKSUN pic.twitter.com/0I4ZeNh59Q

— Andy Morales (@AndyMorales8) August 17, 2023

I’m told the new field was almost done with most of the turf put in before the storm. Now, it’s a lake with the turf rolled off, trailers flipped over and the padding all over the stands and the surrounding area. Marana’s first home game is scheduled for Sept. 1 against Tucson. The first flag football game is slated for Sept. 5. I’m not sure if there’s time.

Meanwhile, Mountain View is also getting a new turf field to replace the one also constructed in 2013. That field did not get hit by the storm that was limited to the west side of I-10 but the same crew is charged with fixing both fields according to sources. The first home flag football game is slated for Aug. 31 (against Marana) and the first tackle football home game is Sept. 1. I’m not sure if there’s time although, in my opinion, the Mountain View field should be the priority now.

ARTIFICIAL TURF IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA2003: Pima Football (gone)2006: Tucson High2006: Cienega2010: Sahuarita2010: Salpointe2013: University of Arizona2013: Marana2013: Mountain View2021: Rio Rico2021: Douglas2022: Mica Mountain2022: Sunnyside2022: Desert View

Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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