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Riverhead Hopes To Revive Aerospace Industry

Frank Eltman
Test pilot Robert Lutz sits in the cockpit of a solar-powered Luminati Aerospace VO-Substrata prototype aircraft in Calverton, N.Y. in June. The company envisions manufacturing a fleet of drones to provide aerial internet service for four billion people.

On Long Island, an aerospace start-up will purchase a former naval weapons plant, which could bring aerospace manufacturing back to the area.

The Town of Riverhead has struck a deal with Luminati Aerospace to sell the last acres of Enterprise Park at Calverton for $40 million.

The purchase includes over 2,000 acres and two runways from the former naval weapons plant.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter says the deal could create about 2,000 jobs in Riverhead.   

“We have basically reintroduced the aviation defense industry back to Long Island in a very large scale way.” Walter says.

Over 100,000 people worked at Calverton during World War II. After the war, Long Island and Connecticut manufactured dozens of new types of aircraft.   

Riverhead town officials say Luminati Aerospace will expand its projects on next generation aircrafts and body armor fabrics at Calverton.   

The deal is expected to close by late 2017.