Duluth avionics manufacturer gets nod to grow
A parking variance will provide American Precision Avionics a bit of breathing room as it adds staff to boost production.
DULUTH — American Precision Avionics' parking needs should ease soon, thanks to a variance the manufacturer received from the Duluth Planning Commission on Tuesday night.
The company, which is a major supplier of wiring harnesses and other components for Cirrus Aircraft, already employs 87 people, and it is looking to hire another 25 more workers yet this year to meet growing demand. American Precision Avionics has only a 40-stall parking lot — the maximum allowed by code for the size of its nearly 16,000-square-foot facility — and the variance will enable it to add 20 more spots to its property at 3815 Prosperity Road.
Employee vehicles regularly spill onto Prosperity Road due to the shortage of parking in the company lot, and industrial park covenants technically do not allow for on-street parking, as it can impede supply trucks and pose a safety hazard, particularly in the winter, explained Deborah DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.
Deluca noted the Port Authority has been involved as a development partner at the Airpark since the late 1970s, at the city's request. In a letter of support for American Precision Avionics' variance request, she described the Airpark as "a 300-acre modern light manufacturing industrial park housing nearly 40 private companies with over 900 employees."