Grounded planes expected to bring boost to Moses Lake economy

Almost 500 Boeing 737 Max Planes are grounded across the globe after two crashes led to 346 deaths this year, caused by software malfunctions.

But today, more than 80 of those planes are grounded in Moses Lake at the Grant County International Airport.

Boeing is leasing space with the airport as a software issue is fixed in those planes. That issue will bring hundreds of jobs to Moses Lake, according to the airport.

“It’s an opportunity for jobs in this town, it’s a shot in the arm for the economy of the airport, but also for the city and the region.” Airport Director Rich Mueller said.

Mueller said they’ll need people with FAA certification or technical backgrounds, but aren’t sure when that hiring will start.

The airport also isn’t sure just how long these planes will be grounded there, but Mueller said they look forward to working with Boeing for at least the next year and a half or beyond.

He also said Boeing does expect to get some of the planes ready for delivery by the end of the year.

“Each plane gets very individual attention, everything down to protecting the tires to make sure that they are kept at peak performance.” Mueller said. “So that way when they turn the keys over to the owners, they’ll be ready to put them into service right away and start making money for the airlines.